Bad breath is an unpleasant condition that's cause for embarrassment. If you're concerned about bad breath, see your dentist. He or she can help identify the cause and, if it's due to an oral condition, 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. Other dental causes of bad breath include poorly fitting dental appliances, yeast infections of the mouth, and dental cavities. Maintaining good oral hygiene, eliminating periodontal disease and scheduling regular professional cleanings are essential to reducing bad breath.
If you have an extensive buildup of plaque, an invisible layer of bacteria, your dentist may recommend using a special antimicrobial toothpaste or mouth rinse. Antiseptic and antibacterial mouth rinses and toothpastes can be beneficial in reducing plaque and gingivitis and also have breath freshening properties. Instead of simply masking breath odor, some of these products have been demonstrated to kill the germs that cause bad breath.Read more about Bad Breath
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.
Symptoms of Cold Sores:
- Pain around the mouth
- Fever and sore throat
- Swollen neck glands
Causes of Cold Sore Outbreaks:
- Chapped Lips
- Extreme sunlight exposure
- Physical exhaustion or illness
Even though no cure exists for the cold sore virus, Long Creek Dental Care can provide you with antiviral medication to control the outbreaks and relieve any pain or irritation you are experiencing. You can also avoid developing cold sores by avoiding sharing utensils and drinking cups with others that may be infected.
For advice and treatment of cold sores, call Long Creek Dental Care at 217-864-4494.
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.
During an examination, your dentist will perform a visual examination as well as a more detailed dental examination using one or more X-rays to detect:
- New cavities
- Weaknesses in previously placed crowns, fillings, and bridgework
- Gum or bone recession
- Tooth wear due to abnormal bite, bruxism, or TMJ
Your dentist will also perform a visual and digital examination of lymph nodes throughout the face and neck, looking for any abnormalities, pain or flexibility within the nodes that could be markers for disease. Likewise, a similar examination of your lips, gums, tongue, and other internal mouth surfaces will be conducted.
The comprehensive dental exam is designed to set a baseline of your health and to catch any early signs of serious illness that may otherwise be undetected. Your dentist will be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of the following illnesses which can be detected during a comprehensive oral evaluation:
- Blood pressure
- Cardiovascular problems
- Oral cancer
- Immune abnormalities
- Sinus problems
With a comprehensive exam every six months, we can manage small dental problems before they grow into larger, more complicated issues. Keep up to date with thorough dental checkups at Long Creek Dental Care. Call us at 217-864-4494 to schedule an appointment.
FluorideRead more about Fluoride
Gentle Professional Cleaning
Everyone over the age of four or five should visit their dentist for professional teeth cleaning at least twice a year. It's a procedure for the removal of tartar that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, especially in areas that are difficult to reach during routine toothbrushing. Professional cleaning includes an examination of your teeth and gums, tooth scaling (removal of plaque) and tooth polishing. It involves the use of various instruments or devices to loosen and remove deposits from the teeth. At Long Creek Dental Care, we provide comfortable, gentle hygiene cleanings. 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.
Important Reasons to Get Professional Cleanings
- To detect possible health risks, such as oral cancer and gum disease
- To prevent tooth loss
- To maintain good physical health
- To eliminate bad breath
- To have a brighter, whiter smile
The Teeth Cleaning Process
- Physical exam, using a small mirror to check teeth and gums for any signs of gingivitis or other concerns
- Removal of plaque and tartar, using a scaler
- Gritty toothpaste cleaning, using a high-powered electric brush
- Expert flossing by the dental hygienist
- Rinsing, to get rid of any debris
- Applying fluoride treatment, to help fight against cavities for several months
Regular, professional teeth cleaning is vital to maintaining your oral health. Call Long Creek Dental Care at 217-864-4494 today.
Custom sports mouth guards provided by Long Creek Dental Care can be an excellent way to protect your teeth while playing sports. Unlike uncomfortable, bulky traditional boil and bite guards, our customized sports mouth guards offer a comfortable fit and superior protection. The American Dental Association estimates that over 2 million teeth are knocked out from sports-related trauma, so our mouth guards can prevent serious injury and save you a lot of pain.
Benefits of Sports Mouth Guards
- Reduces the risk of concussion from lower jaw impacts while playing sports
- Sports mouth guards protect teeth from being knocked out or fractured
- Provides a comfortable fit allowing for natural breathing and speaking
- Prevents jaw fractures by acting as a cushion between the upper and lower jaw
- Meets all High School and Collegiate sports regulations
Oral Cancer Screening
The dental community is the first line of defense in early detection of oral cancer. The goal of oral cancer screening 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!Read more about Oral Cancer Screening
Periodontal / Gum Disease Treatment
Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is caused by bacteria in plaque. If not consistently removed, this bacteria builds up, infecting your teeth, gums and eventually the bone that supports your teeth, a common cause of tooth loss. Gum disease has three stages of progression: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis; the longer the disease has to advance, the more damage it causes. With advancements in detection and treatment, Long Creek Dental Care can discover periodontal disease early and begin treatment before complicated issues arise.Read more about Periodontal / Gum Disease Treatment
SealantsRead more about Sealants
Struggling with snoring and sleeplessness? Call your dentist. Snoring and sleep disturbances are often signs of obstructive sleep apnea, and your oral health could be to blame. The 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.
The first sign of sleep apnea is often tooth grinding (bruxism). Dentists look for worn tooth surfaces, 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).Read more about Sleep Apnea
SnoringRead more about Snoring
TMJ / TMD Treatment
Problems with your jaw and the muscles in your face that control it 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.
Possible causes of the disorder are:
- Injury to the jaw, the joint or muscles of the head and neck, such as from a heavy blow or whiplash
- Grinding or clenching your teeth
- Dislocation of the ball and socket
- Arthritis in the TMJ
Common symptoms include:
- Pain or tenderness in your face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew or speak
- Problems when you try to open your mouth wide
- Jaws that get "stuck" or "locked" in the open- or closed-mouth position
- Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when you open or close your mouth or chew
- A tired feeling in your face
- Trouble chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite, as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly
- Swelling on the side of your face
TMD can be painful. If you're experiencing any symptoms, call Long Creek Dental Care at 217-864-4494 right away.