Benefits of Good Oral Health
Do you want your smile to sparkle forever? By practicing proper oral health, you can keep your pearly whites healthy and feel great about your appearance.
Keeping your mouth clean and free of disease is vital to maintaining your oral health. Good dental hygiene can also prevent bad breath and help you maintain your overall health.
Tips for Maintaining Good Oral Health
To protect your oral health, practice good oral hygiene every day. Here are some tips to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Floss daily
- Eat a healthy diet and limit between-meal snacks
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if bristles are frayed
- Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings
- Avoid tobacco use
If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health, call our office at 618-882-6405. At Highland Family Dentistry we believe that taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.
If you suffer from chronic bad breath, your dentist can help identify the cause and, if it's due to an oral condition, he or she will develop a treatment plan to help eliminate it. Regular checkups will allow your dentist to detect any problems such as periodontal disease, a dry mouth or other disorders.
Cold Sore Treatment
Cold sores are a common nuisance. Although there is no cure for the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1 and HSV-2) that causes them, cold sore breakouts can be managed and avoided. Cold sores, sometimes called fever blisters, appear around the lips and mouth and are often associated with red, swollen and irritated skin around the breakout areas.
The mouth is often considered a window to the rest of the body because many other illnesses first present themselves as changes within the mouth. As a result, a comprehensive oral exam is recommended each time you visit a new practice to serve as a benchmark of your overall health.
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and especially tap water. This mineral helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque and sugars in the mouth. It attracts other minerals and strengthens tooth enamel.
Gentle Professional Cleanings
People over the age of four or five should visit their dentist for a professional teeth cleaning at least twice a year. To maintain oral health, it is very important that you stay current on the condition of your teeth so that if problems are detected, they can be treated early to avoid developing more serious issues.
At Highland Family Dentistry, we provide comfortable, gentle teeth cleanings, specifically to detect, deter and prevent gum disease. If we find a cause for concern, we may recommend a deep gum cleaning to remove tartar below the gum line, smooth out surfaces where plaque builds up and eliminate bacterial infection.
Custom-fit mouth guards are prescribed and created by a dental professional from thermoplastic material and are based on a detailed mold taken of your mouth and teeth. They can be made for either sports or for nighttime teeth grinding and are created differently depending on the intended use. They're highly personalized, as your dentist can adjust the thickness of the mouth guard, and they're designed to fit perfectly in your mouth with no adjustments needed.
If you’re experiencing chronic headaches and migraines because of involuntary night-time teeth clenching, let Highland Family Dentistry help you with a night guard. A night guard is a thin, transparent device that is worn over the biting surface of your teeth while you sleep to prevent contact between the upper and lower teeth. Night guards have also proven to be an effective remedy for patients who are suffering from the effects of grinding and clenching their teeth while sleeping.
Oral Cancer Screening
The dental community is the first line of defense in early detection of oral cancer. The goal of oral cancer screenings is to detect mouth cancer or precancerous lesions that may lead to mouth cancer at an early stage when cancer or lesions are easiest to remove and most likely to be cured. When found at the early stages of development, oral cancers have an 80-90% survival rate. Early detection is imperative!
Dental sealants consist of a plastic material that is placed on the chewing surface of the permanent back teeth, molars, and premolars to help protect them from bacteria and acids that contribute to tooth decay. Because of the likelihood of developing decay in the depressions and grooves of the premolars and molars, children and teenagers are candidates for sealants. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants.
Struggling with snoring and sleeplessness? You are not alone. The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that nearly 22 million other Americans suffer from it as well, with more than 80% of those cases going undiagnosed. Sleep apnea is more than just a mere annoyance, however. An estimated 1,000 people die from it every year, and it could be your oral health that is to blame. This serious medical condition causes repeated breathing interruptions throughout the night; the pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and may occur 30 or more times per hour. They happen because the airway is obstructed; however, not all snoring is a result of a sleep apnea diagnosis.
The first sign of sleep apnea is often teeth grinding (bruxism). Dentists on the lookout for signs of sleep apnea will search for worn tooth surfaces, which is a sign that a patient grinds his or her teeth. Grinding is just one oral health sign of sleep apnea. Other signs are a small jaw, a tongue with scalloped edges, or redness in the throat (caused by excessive snoring, which is another symptom of sleep apnea).
Snoring occurs when there is an obstructed flow of air through the mouth and nose areas. Sixty-seven percent of adults suffer from snoring, and it is estimated that over 120 million people in the United States snore every single night. Snoring can originate from a variety of different causes, but it usually stems from an obstructed nasal airway, a deviated septum, nasal polyps, weak throat and tongue muscles, bulky throat tissue or a long soft palate and/or uvula. Habitual snorers are commonly at risk for sleep apnea, as well as chronic tiredness, unnecessary strain on the heart and a reduction in their overall quality of life.
Your dentist can help you reduce chronic snoring by ensuring an unobstructed airflow through your mouth and nose. A custom-molded plastic oral appliance can be fitted to hold the lower jaw in its proper position at night so that you enjoy a healthy airflow and a good night's sleep.
Your temporomandibular joint is a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, which are in front of each ear. It lets you move your jaw up and down and side to side, so you can talk, chew, and yawn. Problems with your jaw and the muscles in your face that control it are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). But you may also hear it called TMJ, after the joint.
Problems with your jaw, face, neck and the muscles that control them are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD, sometimes referred to as TMJ). These disorders occur as a result of problems associated with the temporomandibular joint, which is the hinge joint on each side of your head in front of your ears that connects the lower jawbone to your skull.
If hot, cold, sweet or very acidic foods and drinks, or breathing in cold air, makes your teeth painful, then you may have tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity can come and go over time. It occurs when the enamel that protects your teeth gets thinner, or when gum recession occurs, exposing the underlying surface, the dentin, and reducing the protection the enamel and gums provide to the tooth and root.