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Bruxism is one of the lesser known, but still very common, threats to your smile. Keep reading to learn more about what bruxism is, and how it can negatively affect your oral health.

And remember, our Saint Louis dentists offer effective treatments for bruxism, so that you can protect your smile from long-term damage.

Bruxism is a condition that is characterized by chronic dental grinding and clenching. You may find that you are clenching your teeth during the day, especially during times of stress. Alternatively, many people grind their teeth when they are asleep at night. Nighttime bruxism sufferers often discover that they are grinding their teeth because their sleeping partners hear them grinding, or because they start waking up with sore or painful jaws.

Bruxism is not only inconvenient; it can also cause very serious health problems:

· Chronic dental grinding weakens dental enamel. Without treatment, you are likely to suffer from dental cracks or chips.

· Weakened enamel is also more susceptible to dental decay. If your enamel develops micro-cracks, these weak spots can become hotbeds of bacteria accumulation.

· Bruxism also puts an unhealthy amount of pressure on your temporomandibular joint. The TMJ is the joint that connects your skull to your lower jaw. When you grind and clench your teeth you strain this joint. Bruxism sufferers are prone to developing TMJ dysfunction: jaw pain/stiffness, popping sensation in the jaw, limited jaw mobility.

There are a number of ways to address bruxism. Our team may recommend that you wear a protective mouth guard at night. We may also suggest that you refine your bite—either using bonding or orthodontics—so that your bite comes together in a comfortable way (poorly aligned bite is a common cause of bruxism).

Call our Saint Louis dentists to get more information and to schedule your personal consultation with our team!

Dental staining and discoloration can make your smile look older and less healthy than it actually is. The good news is that this type of aesthetic problem does not need to be permanent. Our Saint Louis cosmetic dentists are here to help you figure out the best way to whiten and brighten your smile. In this short article, we’re going to be talking about some of the most commonly used treatments to overcome dental staining.

One of the keys to treating dental discoloration is to figure out why your smile has started to change in appearance in the first place. Your teeth may develop stains due to foods and drinks; red wine, coffee, tea, chocolate, red sauces, berries, and more can all leave color deposits on your enamel. Alternatively, your teeth could start to look yellow or dull because your enamel has become thinner, and more of the dentin is able show through to the surface of the tooth. Once we figure out why your smile is discolored, we can make some personalized treatment recommendations to fit your needs.

Professional dental whitening treatments are great for minimizing existing environmental stains. During treatment, our team applies a topical whitening formulation to the natural enamel. This gel goes to work lifting entrenched stains from the tooth structure, helping to restore the patient’s smile to its previous level of whiteness.

If you are dealing with structural changes to your teeth, you may have more success with treatments that cover natural enamel, like dental bonding and porcelain veneers. Both of these treatments resurface the existing enamel and cover damage, textural irregularities, and discoloration.

When you meet with our Saint Louis cosmetic dentists, we’ll assess your smile and help you evaluate your treatment options. The best way to get started is to call our office to schedule a consultation, or to use the Contact Us page on our website to submit a question for our team.

Keeping your smile strong and healthy requires a lot more than caring for your teeth. You really have to think about the strength and integrity of all of your foundational oral tissues as well. With that in mind, our Saint Louis dentists are here with some information about how periodontal disease generally manifests. We hope that this information empowers you to seek treatment for gum health problems as soon as they pop up.

Gum tissue naturally comes in a number of different shades, but, generally speaking, gums are some shade of beige or pink. If you start to notice that your gums are looking brighter red or inflamed, this could be a sign that your gums are infected.

Additionally, infected gums are often prone to bleeding when the patient flosses or eats something abrasive or crunchy. As your oral tissues become irritated and swollen, blood vessels become more fragile and prone to damage. The good news is that as your gums begin to heal, they should become more resilient and stop bleeding.

As gum disease progresses you may start to notice that your breath feels and smells different than it normally does. This happens because harmful oral bacteria release odors when they feed and multiply. Persistent, hard-to-treat bad breath can actually indicate that you have accumulated a lot of bacterial plaque and tartar throughout your mouth.

In many cases, it’s imperative that patients combine at-home dental care with professional gum disease treatments in order to get control of periodontal disease. Our Saint Louis dentists use the latest treatments and technologies to help minimize oral bacteria and regenerate healthy gum tissue.

If you think you may be dealing with gum disease, then it’s time to reach out to our dental team for help! You can always give us a call, or use the Contact Us page on our site to submit a specific question for our dentists.

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