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No one knows your smile better than you do. After all, you live with it 24/7, and care for it twice a day.

Our Saint Louis dentists encourage all of our patients to stay alert for any changes with their smiles. The sooner that you are able to reach out to a dentist for an assessment and treatment, the better your long-term dental prognosis.

With that in mind, here are a few issues to look out for. If you notice any of these changes to your smile, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our dental team for an assessment: 

Spots on your teeth

Dark spots may indicate areas of infection on the dental enamel. Cavities are most easily, comfortably, and inexpensively treated in their earliest stages; you want to remove the infection before it reaches the dentin or dental pulp.

Hard-to-treat bad breath

If you feel like you just can’t freshen your breath no matter how well you clean your smile, you may have an underlying infection that needs to be treated. The same bacteria that cause cavities and periodontal disease release unpleasant odors as they grow and multiply.

Red or swollen gums

Infected gum tissue often swells, appears inflamed, and bleeds when the patient flosses or eats something abrasive. All of these symptoms are indicators of periodontal disease. Prompt treatment will help you save gum tissue, and minimize your risk of gum-disease related tooth loss.

Bite changes

If it feels like your teeth are fitting together differently, it is time to talk to your dentist. Your teeth may be shifting due to bruxism or periodontal disease. Bite changes can also occur due to enamel damage or erosion.

No matter what the current state of your smile, our Saint Louis dentists are here to help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health. You can always reach our team by using the Contact Us page our website, or by giving our office a call to schedule a personal consultation. 

Cold sores, by their very nature, are pretty inconvenient and annoying. But that doesn't mean that we’re powerless when they pop up. There are things that we can do to stay comfortable during an outbreak, and minimize the risk of spreading infection. Keep reading to learn more from our dentists at Saint Louis County Dental.

Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are the result of HSV-1 infection. There is no cure for HSV-1, but there are medications that can minimize its virility.

Some people with HSV-1 never experience an outbreak; they may not even know they have it. Most people, however, will notice some symptoms shortly have HSV-1 exposure. They may have individual sore or blisters, sensitive oral tissues, and swollen lymph nodes. For some patients, this is it; they’ll never see symptomology beyond the primary outbreak. 

However, many people deal with recurrent sores; these lesions pop up periodically, especially when triggered by… 

  • Stress
  • Illness—like a cold or the flu
  • Sun exposure/sunburn
  • Hormonal shifts

Minimizing these triggers in your own life will help to keep cold sores at bay. 

When you do have an active outbreak, you should take special precautions to minimize the spread of HSV-1.

  • Don’t share utensils or drinks
  • Don’t share beauty products or lip balm
  • Refrain from kissing

The best thing that you can do in these situations is to allow the cold sore to run its course with as little disruption as possible. You can use topical creams and gels to nourish the skin, aid in healing, and desensitize the area. You can also ice lesions to bring down swelling while numbing your lip. While you are treating your cold sore, make sure that you are not picking at the skin or otherwise disrupting the healing process. Allow the cold sore to scab over naturally—this is a good sign!

Our Saint Louis dentists are here to help you manage HSV-1, so give us a call to schedule a personal consultation! 

When it comes to making decisions about your smile, you want to make sure that you’re working with the best information available. In this short article, our Saint Louis dentists are addressing some commonly spread myths about dental treatment and oral health. We hope that this helps you better understand your treatment options. 

  • Day-glo teeth: many people are afraid that if they undergo professional dental whitening, they’ll end up with enamel that is too white and bright. Well, this simply isn’t how whitening treatments work. The whitening formulations we use are designed to lift stains from the dental surface, thus returning the smile to its previous level of whiteness.
  • Brushing is always beneficial: the ADA recommends that patients brush their teeth every morning and every night before bed. You should absolutely follow this guideline, or the recommendations your dentists give you to replace it. However, talk to your dentist if you want to brush your smile more frequently. There is such a thing as brushing too much—doing so can lead to enamel thinning as well as gum tissue damage. Plus, you want to make sure not to brush for about 20 to 30 minutes after acid exposure, as your enamel is temporarily softened for this period of time.
  • Bad breath is a superficial issue: too many of us try to treat chronic bad breath with products like breath mints, gum, and oral sprays. This is because we are trying to address the symptom, rather than the actual issue. The truth is that bad breath can actually indicate an underlying oral health problem, like gum disease or dental cavities. In order to conquer bad breath for good, you have to improve your oral health.

In our Saint Louis dental office, we take the time to educate our patients on crucial oral health issues, So, if you have lingering questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us!


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