• The Benefits of Straighter Teeth

    Has your dentist near Peoria recommended that you have your teeth aligned with braces If you haven’t considered orthodontic treatment before, then you may be wondering how you might benefit from having straighter teeth.

    For many people, improving the appearance of their smile is their motivation for attaining straighter teeth. Orthodontic options such as braces and Invisalign can treat a variety of conditions that cause teeth to appear crooked, misaligned, gapped, or crowded. Because of this, braces help many people feel more confident about laughing, smiling, and socializing.

    A sometimes overlooked benefit of having straighter teeth is improved oral health. When your teeth are properly aligned, adequately brushing and flossing them is often easier to accomplish. Also, when your teeth aren’t pressed too closely together, there is less chance of food catching between your teeth and contributing to the growth of bacteria and plaque. By achieving straighter teeth, you can expect to experience an enhanced smile and better long-term oral health.

    straight - smile

  • Steps You Can Take to Reduce Your Risk of Tooth Loss

    Millions of Americans suffer from missing teeth and the associated complications. As your dentist near Peoria can attest, in addition to natural teeth, dental crowns and bridges can also be lost. Adult teeth can fall out for many reasons. Many people lose teeth due to accident or injury, periodontal disease, or severe decay. Keep reading to learn what you can do to reduce your risk of tooth loss, including keeping up with oral hygiene, mouth protection, and dental visits.

    Oral Hygiene

    Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

    While dental implants now offer permanent solutions for missing teeth, the best way to preserve your oral health is to keep all natural teeth intact. To maintain superior oral hygiene, brush your teeth twice each day with fluoride toothpaste. You should also floss every night before bed with an ADA-approved dental floss. Brushing and flossing your teeth are essential for removing plaque, a sticky bacterial film that accumulates on your teeth and gums. If you do not eliminate plaque, it can eventually cause periodontal disease and tooth decay, both of which contribute to tooth loss.

    Consider Mouth Protection

    To preserve your smile, always wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports. A mouthguard will help protect your tooth enamel, or the outermost covering of your teeth. When your tooth enamel is worn down, it cannot grow back on its own and your teeth will be more vulnerable to decay. Many people also suffer chipped, broken, or knocked-out teeth due to sports injuries. A mouthguard will help to protect your teeth and soft mouth tissues from injury.

    Attend Regular Dental Visits

    Regular check-ups with a dentist near you are essential to keeping your smile whole. Only a dentist or dental hygienist can use the necessary tools to professionally clean your teeth, reaching spots that your toothbrush cannot quite access. Plaque and tartar buildup will cause tooth decay and periodontal disease if not treated by a dentist. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss around the world. When you visit your dentist, he or she can diagnose gum disease in its early stages and reverse its symptoms.

  • Dental Emergency: Abscesses 101

    A tooth abscess is caused by the accumulation of bacteria, which form a pus-filled pocket in the tooth. Some of the most common causes of abscesses include physical trauma, damaged dental work, and untreated dental cavities. If you have a tooth abscess, you should consult an emergency dentist in Peoria immediately. Left untreated, a tooth abscess can lead to serious health issues and, in some cases, life-threatening complications may ensue. The dentist may opt to drain the abscess to remove the infection. A professional with specialized training in endodontics may be able to perform root canal surgery, allowing you to preserve the original tooth and protect tooth enamel. However, in some cases, the dentist may have no option but to perform an extraction.


    Symptoms of an Abscess

    There are certain characteristic symptoms which suggest the presence of an abscess. You may have a severe headache, accompanied by throbbing sensations. You may be running a fever. Sensitivity to extreme temperatures and to chewing and biting motions may also indicate an abscess. Abscesses are often accompanied by facial swelling and by tender or painful lymph nodes in the face and neck. Should the abscess burst, you may experience a sudden feeling of relief, and your mouth may fill with a noxious-tasting, foul-smelling liquid. Visit a dentist immediately if you believe that you may have a tooth abscess. You should go straight to the emergency room if you experience difficulty swallowing or breathing, or have a fever and facial swelling.

    Causes of an Abscess

    A dental abscess is the result of bacteria invading the tooth pulp. The pulp is the innermost part of the tooth, and contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. The bacteria may enter the tooth through a chip, crack, or cavity. To prevent a dental abscess and protect tooth enamel, exercise excellent dental hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss every day. Schedule regular dental checkups. Avoid excessive consumption of sugary foods and sweetened beverages. Consuming a diet high in sugar will increase your risk of contracting an abscess.

  • Why Fluoride is a Dental Health Hero

    Fluoride is a naturally occurring ion of the common element fluorine. You may know that it can help to protect tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay. Consult a practitioner of general dentistry near Peoria for advice on how to incorporate fluoride into your dental hygiene routine to protect tooth enamel. Meanwhile, watch this video to find out more about how fluoride can help protect your teeth and prevent tooth pain.

    The video explains that the fluoride compounds found in toothpaste can strengthen teeth. The presenter says that tooth enamel is made of a substance called hydroxyapatite, which contains the minerals calcium and phosphorus. When people eat, oral bacteria break down foods, creating acidic byproducts which can deplete enamel of these vital minerals. Saliva bathes the teeth in mineral-rich fluid in a process called remineralization. Fluoride is able to enter the teeth through the saliva. It combines with substances in the enamel to form fluoroapatite, a strong, resistant compound, which offers protection against cavities and decay.

  • The Most Common Causes of Tooth Pain

    Just when the workweek gets hectic, you feel a pulsating ache in your mouth that demands immediate attention. When you visit a dentist for tooth pain in Peoria, chances are that the problem stems from one of these several common practices and problems.

    Bad Habits
    Chewing gum and grinding your teeth can cause wear down teeth and make it difficult to protect tooth enamel. toothache Peoria Patients who regularly grind their teeth can create problems such as a shifted bite, tooth fractures and unevenness. Potential injuries can be avoided by wearing a mouthguard during sleep. Sugar-laden gum can increase acids that cause decay; switching to a sugar-free product can alleviate decay problems associated with gum chewing.

    Tooth Decay or Abscessed Tooth
    Tooth decay is damage that results when carbohydrates remain on your teeth. They are turned into acids by mouth bacteria, and combine with saliva to create plaque that in turn adheres itself to your teeth. The plaque acids dissolve the tooth’s enamel and cavities form. An abscessed tooth is most often a direct result of tooth decay. It is a painful infection found at the root or between a tooth and gum. Other scenarios that lead to an abscessed tooth are gum disease, gingivitis, or a chipped or broken tooth. The resulting toothache can be severe, with patients reporting sharp, severe or throbbing pain.

    Infected Gums
    When the gum and bone separate from the teeth and form pockets, debris collects and the gums become infected. Gum disease (periodontitis) is the stage that follows untreated gum inflammation, also known as gingivitis. One common early sign of gingivitis are gums that bleed when you brush your teeth.

    Damaged Fillings or Tooth Fractures
    When you don’t protect tooth enamel, decay can expose the nerve and necessitate a filling. A dentist will numb the local area, remove any decayed matter and fill the hole. If the filling becomes damaged, the nerve will be re-exposed and create the need for a replacement filling. With a tooth fracture, your dentist will choose one or more techniques to correct it, including crowns, veneers, bonding and root canals.