Crowns vs Veneers: What To Know and What They Do

These days there’s a fix for any kind of dental issue you can think of and probably some that you can’t. You may have heard of veneers and dental crowns but would they be suitable for your specific problem? Let’s find out more about these dental solutions and work out whether veneers or crowns are the best answer.

What Is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown is a protective cap that’s placed over a damaged tooth and cemented into place. It looks like a normal tooth and functions in the same way but is usually made of ceramic or porcelain, although they can also be made of metal or a metal amalgam.

With good care, dental crowns are long lasting and durable. You can avoid excess wear on them by stopping things like chewing your fingernails, crunching down on hard things like ice and by using a nightguard if you grind your teeth at night.

Crowns are a great option to restore the appearance and strength of a decayed or broken tooth. They can also be used to cover discolored or misshapen teeth. The crowned tooth is still susceptible to bacteria and decay, though, so don’t forget to maintain a good oral hygiene routine. Discovery Dental Group in Missoula, MT can create same-day ceramic crowns for patients, making the process a lot more convenient.

What Are Veneers?

Dental veneers are thin shells of porcelain or composite that are fixed to the front surface of a tooth to make it look perfect. They are a common fix for many cosmetic issues such as discolored, crooked, gappy or chipped teeth.

Veneers can last for between 10 and 15 years and you can keep them in good shape by avoiding biting directly into things (use your back teeth), maintaining a good oral healthcare routine and not using any whitening products on your teeth as this can damage the surface of the veneer. Porcelain veneers are quite stain resistant but try to cut back on dark, staining food and drink such as black coffee, red wine, tomato sauces and dark berries.

While veneers are quite simple to apply, your oral health needs to be at a good level before they’re added. This is because they don’t offer protection to teeth, they just provide a more aesthetically pleasing look. If you have gum disease or cavities, you may not be a candidate for veneers until your oral health has improved. You also need enough enamel on your teeth to hold the veneer in place.

Are Veneers Better Than Crowns?

YES if:

  • You are looking for a cosmetic solution to misshapen, discolored or crooked teeth
  • You have a chipped or broken tooth at the front of your mouth that is otherwise healthy

NO if:

  • You need a extensive restoration or replacement of a tooth
  • The affected teeth are at the back of your mouth
  • Your oral health is poor

Are Crowns Better Than Veneers?

YES if:

  • You need restorative dental work to protect or replace a tooth
  • You have a damaged or decayed tooth at the back of your mouth

NO if:

  • You want a more uniform, whiter or more perfect looking teeth
  • Your teeth and oral health are in good shape but you just want a cosmetic improvement

What Else Do I Need to Know About Veneers or Crowns?

There are some circumstances where you will have the option of choosing between a crown or a dental veneer. In these cases, your dentist will be able to advise which will be the most effective treatment. In general, crowns are used to protect and repair damaged or decayed teeth and veneers are used to improve the look of a tooth. If you’re in Missoula, MT, and want to find out more about your options to improve the look of your smile, call Discovery Dental Group for the latest in dental technology.

How to Improve Your Smile

Your smile should be something to be proud of and it’s one of the main things people notice about you. If you’re embarrassed or less than happy with your smile, there’s always a way to improve it. Whether you are missing teeth, have receding gums, have misshapen or crooked teeth or just want to turn up the brightness, a visit to your dentist can get your smile looking great in no time.

How To Get Better Teeth Naturally

Before resorting to cosmetic procedures, there are some things you can do to improve the look of your teeth and gums. Oral health is important not only for your teeth but for your general health too, so looking after your smile is beneficial on many levels. Here’s what you can do at home to keep your teeth looking nice:

  • Brush twice daily

Everyone knows they need to brush at least twice per day for 2 minutes each time but how many people manage to keep up with this routine? Removing food particles and bacteria from your mouth is extremely important in keeping tooth decay and gum disease away.

  • Floss daily

Flossing before brushing lets the toothbrush get rid of particles better than flossing after brushing. Keep your breath smelling sweet and your gums looking healthy by flossing at least once every day.

  • Avoid tobacco

Smoking and using tobacco products are very bad for your health. As well as causing discoloration of your teeth, you are more likely to develop gum disease and oral cancers.

  • Skip the sugar

Sugar is bad for your teeth so try to cut down on sugary treats and drinks. Prolonged contact with the surface of teeth can lead to cavities and gum disease.

  • See your dentist

Don’t fall behind with your regular check ups. Seeing your dentist every six months can help prevent things like cavities or gum disease from getting worse and you will also get a professional cleaning that will leave your teeth smoother and brighter than when you walked in.

Improve Your Smile With Better Teeth and Gums

Nowadays there are many techniques dentists can use to correct and improve any aspect of your smile that you’re unhappy with. Got gaps? No problem. Teeth looking yellow? Yep, got a fix for that. Patients in Missoula, MT can contact Discovery Dental Group for the best dental services in a friendly environment.

Here are some of the most common cosmetic issues and solutions to get a better smile:

Get Rid of Yellow Teeth

If brushing just isn’t cutting it, get your teeth professionally whitened by your dentist. This will get them several shades brighter after one treatment so you can feel confident whatever the occasion. Dentists use professional grade bleaching materials or tools which are more effective and last longer than over the counter whitening kits so really, what are you waiting for?

Fix Crooked or Misshapen Teeth

Do you have one tooth that has always looked different and is ruining your entire smile? Whether you have misshapen, gappy, crooked or even discolored teeth, contact your dentist. Dental bonding can be used to fill in small gaps or reshape the look of a tooth, while dental veneers can be placed on the surface of a tooth to give it a perfect outward appearance.

Repair A Broken or Cracked Tooth

If you’ve chipped, cracked or broken a tooth, don’t worry, it can be fixed. For minor chips or breaks, dental bonding material can be color matched and fixed to the tooth to repair it. For more damaged teeth, a crown can be used to protect the tooth and to match its look and functionality. A dental veneer can be attached to the front of a broken tooth to make it look even better than new and veneers can also be used to disguise superficial cracks in the enamel known as “craze lines.”

Replace Missing Teeth

If you have missing teeth or need to have teeth removed, it’s important to replace them. Gaps in your jawbone can cause surrounding teeth to move and lose support and you’re also more susceptible to gum disease or an infection. Dental implants are the best answer to replacing a missing tooth and getting your smile looking great again. These are permanent screws placed in your jaw to which realistic crowns are attached. You can have one implant, several attached to a bridge or even get your whole mouth replaced.

Now you know that there’s an answer to any cosmetic issue out there, you can get better teeth and a nicer smile with one call to your dentist office. If you’re in Missoula, MT and surrounding areas, contact Discovery Dental Group for the latest in dental technology paired with a welcoming and professional atmosphere.

Can You Overbrush Your Teeth?

Some people find it difficult to brush for the recommended 2 minutes, twice a day, but others go to the other extreme and brush vigorously after every meal. Is this the correct approach? Did you know that brushing too soon after eating or brushing incorrectly can actually damage your teeth and cause gum recession? Don’t panic, we’ll go through the correct way to safely brush your teeth but let’s look at overbrushing first.

Can You Brush Your Teeth Too Much?

Unfortunately, it is possible to brush your teeth too much. Yes, this sounds counterproductive to normal dental advice, but that’s why twice a day is recommended, not after every time you eat, for example. Overbrushing can lead to tooth abrasion, which is a permanent loss of the tooth’s enamel, and gum recession, which in many cases is not reversible. If you’re worried that you might be over brushing, there are warning signs you might see so you can ease back on the tooth cleaning.

Main Signs of Over Brushing

Keep a lookout for these signs if you’re brushing more than twice a day or you think you might be brushing too hard:

  • Your toothbrush bristles wear down quickly or are splayed outwards
  • Your gums are red or swollen after your brush
  • Your gums bleed regularly after brushing and flossing
  • You can see signs that your gums are receding from your teeth
  • Your teeth have become sensitive to hot and cold food and drink

Now let’s take a look at the way you brush so you can see if you might be over brushing or brushing too vigorously.

How Not To Brush Your Teeth

Here is a list of things not to do in order to maintain healthy teeth and gums:

  • Do not use a hard-bristled toothbrush. Go for a soft one.
  • Do not use too much pressure as this can damage your gums.
  • Do not drag the brush backwards and forwards over your teeth, use a more circular motion.
  • Do not hold the brush straight against your teeth and gums, try angling it up about 45 degrees for the most effective gum line clean.
  • Do not brush straight after a meal. While brushing after your three main meals is fine, applying a toothbrush immediately after eating can have an abrasive effect on your tooth enamel due to sugars and high acid levels still being present in your mouth. Wait at least an hour after eating before brushing your teeth.
  • Do not just brush the front of your teeth and neglect the back sides and chewing surfaces.

How to Brush Your Teeth Properly

OK, now we’ve lectured you on how not to brush your teeth and how not to brush them too often. So what is a safe way to do it? Here are the best tips for getting the most out of your brushing routine and keeping your smile healthy:

  • Use a soft-bristled brush. You may assume it’s not as effective for removing bacteria but it is and it’s also gentler on the enamel of your teeth and on your gum line.
  • Think of your mouth in 4 quadrants and spend equal time brushing each part, not over-concentrating on the fronts.
  • Floss before brushing instead of afterwards.
  • Brushing three times a day is great, but wait for at least an hour after every meal.
  • Change out your toothbrush or toothbrush head regularly.
  • Use a toothpaste with fluoride and avoid abrasive toothpastes.
  • Drink more water and reduce your intake of sugary drinks and foods.
  • Use a lighter touch to clean your teeth as brushing with too much force can cause damage.

What to Do If You Have Damaged Your Teeth or Gums From Over Brushing

As we have said, brushing your teeth too much or too hard can result in damage to the tooth enamel and the wearing away of your gums. If your gums start to recede, this can lead to periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, which carries the risk of decay and tooth loss.

Sometimes overbrushing is caused by people worried about the look of their teeth who then brush too much, which makes the issue worse. Contact your dentist if you have any concerns about the health or appearance of your teeth and gums. Patients in Missoula, MT can contact Discovery Dental Group for a wide range of options regarding preventive care or restorative dental work.

Some cases of tooth abrasion (loss of enamel) can be fixed with fillings or dental bondings, restoring the look of the surface of the tooth. Alternatives such as porcelain veneers can also be a solution to correct the look of damaged teeth. If you’re over brushing because your teeth just aren’t looking white enough, your dentist can also help with dental whitening treatments.

To treat gum recession, your dentist might use deep cleaning techniques to encourage reattachment and in some cases gum grafts can be performed. Good oral hygiene is the most effective way to halt gum recession in its tracks, however, so don’t be afraid to get back to brushing, just use a lighter touch.

Top Dental Crown Problems

Dental crowns are great for protecting damaged or decayed teeth, or for replacing missing teeth. They are realistic looking artificial teeth, usually made from ceramic or porcelain, that look and function just like a normal tooth. With good care, dental crowns can last many years but sometimes issues occur that mean you need to get in touch with your dentist a bit earlier than planned.

Let’s check out the top problems concerning dental crowns and what you need to do to solve them.

Dental Crown Sensitivity

When applying a crown to an existing tooth, some enamel may need to be removed first. This can cause an increase in sensitivity around the crowned tooth area, especially when eating or drinking hot or cold things. This is a common side effect of having a crown and is not usually a cause for concern. Sensitivity can be treated by using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth, or by taking over the counter pain relief. If the pain doesn’t go away after a few days, contact your dentist to see if the crown needs adjusting.

Tooth Decay Under the Crown

Just because you have a crown over your tooth doesn’t mean you can forget about oral hygiene! The tooth inside or below the crown is still susceptible to decay and potential gum disease so it’s just as important to get into a good brushing and flossing habit after having a crown placed as it was before. Tooth decay that occurs or worsens after a crown is placed might mean another trip to the dentist for a brand new crown which would be an expensive and avoidable lesson to learn.

Gums Going Gray

If you have a crown that’s made of gold or another metal, you might see a dark line on your gum or your gum might appear gray or dull. This is just the metal in the crown showing through and is not harmful, although it doesn’t look particularly nice. This won’t go away in time but if you change out your crown to a non-metal porcelain or ceramic one, your gum will return to its normal color.

Loose Crown or Broken Crown

Crowns are made from very durable material but things can happen and they can be damaged just like normal teeth. If a part of your crown breaks off, a dentist may be able to fix it, but a large crack or break may require a new crown.

Your crown can become loose from injury, impact, or if it’s dislodged soon after it’s been fitted. Avoid eating hard foods such as nuts and hard candies for a couple of weeks after you get a crown. This gives it time to bond strongly to your tooth.

Nerve Problems From a Crown

This is not that common but sometimes the nerves of a tooth are affected when a crown is placed. If this is the case, you can experience pain almost immediately but sometimes it can take weeks or months to become painful. If you have discomfort or tooth pain after having a crown fitted, go back and see your dentist. They can perform a root canal to treat the nerve and your crown can be removed and replaced.

Allergic Reactions From a Crown

These are rare as alternatives to metal crowns are becoming more and more popular. You’re only potentially going to have an allergic reaction to a crown if it’s made from metal or metal amalgam. If you’re not sure whether you’re allergic to metal or you experience soreness in the area after your crown has been fitted, go back to your dentist and swap out the metal crown for a ceramic or porcelain one.

Dental Crowns in Missoula, MT

Now you know the most common problems people face when having a dental crown fitted. If you are interested in protecting or replacing broken or decayed teeth with crowns, get in touch with your dental office. Patients in Missoula, MT can contact Discovery Dental Group for the latest in dental crown technology, including same-day crowns created in-office with the CerecⓇ system.

What Is An Overbite and Do I Have One?

Most people have front teeth that slightly overlap their lower teeth when their jaws are shut and while that’s technically an overbite, it’s also the ideal alignment and not any cause for concern. There are different kinds of overbite, however, with some that would definitely benefit from dental intervention. But what exactly is an overbite and what should you do if you have one? If you’re worried about whether you have an overbite and what possible treatment options there are, you can find out all about it below.

What Does An Overbite Look Like?

An overbite is a type of malocclusion or misalignment of the teeth. Someone with an overbite will have their front teeth protruding or significantly overshooting their bottom teeth or jaw. Severe cases can result in the “buck tooth” look where the two front teeth actually overhang the bottom lip. Thankfully, it’s usually straightforward to correct an overbite at any age, although intervention in childhood is much easier than dental work that starts in adulthood.

Main Types of Overbite

Overbites can occur for a variety of reasons such as habits started in infancy, genetics or several things connected with your teeth, jaw and muscles. In general, the main types of overbite can be assigned as either a skeletal overbite or a dental overbite.

Skeletal Overbite

A skeletal overbite is when your jaw is causing the issues. Usually, it means that your lower jaw is smaller than your upper jaw, meaning the upper teeth are pushed forward, out of natural alignment. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, this is the most common reason for an overbite. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to correct the issue as well as orthodontic treatments such as braces.

Dental Overbite

A dental overbite is when your teeth are causing the issue. Even from early childhood, bad oral habits can impact your teeth alignment. Things like thumb sucking, tongue thrusting and overuse of a pacifier can affect the way teeth grow and other factors such as tooth loss, nail biting, bruxism or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders as an adult can also create an overbite.

Can An Overbite be Fixed?

Yes! Overbites are extremely common, with the American Dental Association stating that 70% of children show signs of developing them. The most effective treatment is early orthodontic intervention.

For children and teenagers, braces are the most common treatment, with some tooth extractions if necessary. After the treatment plan is completed, aligners or retainers are used to keep the top teeth in their new positions.

For adults, it can be more difficult to treat severe overbites, and sometimes surgery may be necessary on the jaw. Otherwise, similar treatment with braces and retainers will bring the front teeth back into alignment.

What If I Leave My Overbite As It Is?

If you don’t think your overbite is that bad, you may be tempted to just leave it as it is and not worry about getting it corrected. If your regular bite is fine, with your back teeth meeting correctly, you don’t always need to have your overbite corrected. However, there are several reasons for getting treatment for it:

  • Aesthetically, an overbite may cause you to feel self-conscious which can have knock-on repercussions on your mental health.
  • Untreated overbites can cause you to grind your teeth, leading to an increase in the risk of tooth decay and tooth loss.
  • Severe overbites can cause wear on your gums, leading to gum recession and periodontal disease.
  • You may develop jaw issues such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder which can cause pain and affect the way you speak and eat.
  • It can affect your sleep by causing sleep apnea due to your lower jaw being further back in your mouth. A lack of restful sleep will have negative impacts on your overall health.

If you’re worried you have an overbite or you just want straighter front teeth, call your dentist for a professional opinion. Patients in Missoula, MT and surrounding areas can get expert dental care in a welcoming atmosphere from Discovery Dental Group.

Regular Cleaning vs. Deep Dental Cleaning

When you go to the dentist for a regular check-up, you’ll get your teeth cleaned at the same time. While this is more thorough than your at-home brushing, it’s not classed as a “deep clean” which is usually something reserved for patients with gum disease or gingivitis. Let’s find out more about the differences between a regular dental cleaning and a deep dental cleaning so you know what to expect heading into your next appointment.

Regular Dental Cleaning

If you brush twice daily and also use floss every day, your teeth should be in pretty good shape. During a routine appointment, your dentist or a dental hygienist will take things a step further in the regular dental cleaning. A regular cleaning will remove any hardened plaque or tartar from your teeth which is not always possible to remove during a normal at-home brushing session. This can prevent cavities and tooth decay and keeps you on a great oral health track.

What Happens in a Regular Dental Cleaning?

After your general dental exam, your dentist or dental hygienist will carry out the cleaning which usually involves:

  • Removing any tartar, plaque or calculus from the tooth’s surface and the gum line. This is done with a small handheld tool.
  • Flossing.
  • Sometimes a mild abrasive paste will be used to remove surface stains from your teeth.
  • A fluoride treatment may be applied either directly onto your teeth or via a rinse.


The regular dental cleaning takes a few minutes and will leave your teeth feeling and looking smoother and cleaner. If you have no other dental issues, a cleaning will take place every 6 months during your regularly scheduled appointments.

Deep Dental Cleaning

While a regular dental cleaning might feel like a deep clean compared with your normal routine, a deep dental clean is a more involved process, usually for patients who are in various stages of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. It can be split across two or more appointments, and uses processes called dental scaling and root planing. Together, these processes remove plaque and excess bacteria from below the gumline and also clean out the roots of your teeth. If caught early enough, it’s possible to successfully treat gum disease and sometimes even reverse it.

How is a Dental Deep Cleaning Carried Out?

Dental scaling is a non-surgical procedure also known as periodontal scaling. During your appointment, your dentist may numb your mouth before scraping away the calculus or plaque above and below the gum line with a handheld tool like a curette or periodontal scraper, or sometimes an ultrasonic instrument.

Depending on the severity of the gum disease, half your mouth may be treated at a time. Scaling reaches deep into the periodontal pocket under your gum line where you cannot clean with a normal toothbrush.

After the scaling process, the rough surfaces on your tooths’ roots will be smoothed, or planed, enabling them to better reattach to the gums. This is carried out with the same small tools used for scaling.

What Else Do You Need to Know About a Deep Dental Cleaning?

  • It can be uncomfortableWhile your dentist may use a local anesthetic to numb the area, your gums will probably feel a bit sore and your teeth may be more sensitive for a couple days after a deep clean.
  • Results can varyIf you have advanced periodontal or gum disease, scaling and planing may not help your gums to reattach.
  • Aftercare may be necessaryAn additional appointment to check the results might be needed. There is also a risk of bacteria entering your bloodstream, in which case antibiotics may be prescribed.
  • It has other advantagesHalitosis, or bad breath, can be successfully treated with a dental deep clean as more bacteria is removed than with a regular cleaning.
  • It’s a great treatment for gum diseasePeriodontal scaling and root planing is a tried and true way to combat or control the effects of gum disease.


Now that you know the differences between a regular dental cleaning and a deep dental cleaning, you can head to your next appointment with confidence. Patients in Missoula, MT and surrounding areas can contact Discovery Dental Group for the best in general and cosmetic dentistry.

How to Avoid Dry Socket

As if you didn’t have enough to worry about when having a permanent tooth extracted, there’s also the potential of developing “dry socket” or alveolar osteitis afterward. What is this uncomfortable-sounding condition and is there anything that can prevent it happening? Let’s find out.

What Exactly is Dry Socket?

When you have a tooth extracted, a blood clot develops over the hole (empty tooth socket), allowing your gum to heal and protecting the nerves and bone underneath. If this clot does not form, or is knocked out or dislodged, this is known as alveolar osteitis or dry socket. You’ll know if you have dry socket because it can be very painful and if you look in a mirror, you may be able to see white bone instead of a dark clot or scab.

How Do I Know If I Have Dry Socket?

Although dry socket is not a very common condition overall, it is the most common complication you can get after an adult tooth or wisdom tooth removal. Following your dental extraction, be on the lookout for the following symptoms which might indicate dry socket:

  • Severe pain at the socket site between 1 and 3 days following your tooth extraction
  • Radiating pain from the extraction site to your neck, ear or eye on that side
  • Very bad breath
  • An unpleasant taste in your mouth


Is Dry Socket Dangerous?

Dry socket is painful and if left untreated or cared for, it can potentially lead to an infection. This is rare, however, and most cases of dry socket can be treated with common pain relievers until the area heals on its own. If you are experiencing dry socket after having a tooth pulled, contact your dentist for further advice.

Treatments for Dry Socket

If you have bad pain after a tooth extraction, let your dentist know. They may ask you to come in for some treatment to help your dry socket heal. This might include:

  • Flushing any bits of food debris and bacteria out of the socket
  • Packing the socket with a dressing or a medicated paste or gel to help with pain relief
  • Prescribing pain medication if necessary
  • Providing tools for flushing the affected socket at home


When you are at home, the recommended treatments for dry socket are:

  • Avoid smoking
  • Use saline rinses daily
  • Take pain medication as required
  • Do not brush the dry socket area
  • Don’t use a straw as this may dislodge any dressings or clots that begin to form


If it’s being looked after, your dry socket symptoms should resolve within a few days.

How to Prevent Dry Socket

It’s not always possible to prevent dry socket from occurring and people who have had it before are more likely to have it happen again. There are a few steps you can take, however, to give yourself the best chance of healing quickly after having a tooth pulled:

Do not smoke

Try to stop smoking in the run up to a tooth extraction. Smoking increases your risk of developing dry socket, as well as having a host of other negative health effects.

Improve your oral health

If the tooth being removed is decayed or there is gum disease in that area, this will give you a higher chance of getting dry socket.

Check your medications

Some medications can affect blood clotting, leading to a higher risk of dry socket. Talk to your dentist if you’re taking any sort of medicine.

Look after yourself

Follow any post-extraction healing guidelines to give yourself the best chance of a quick and successful recovery.

If you’ve developed dry socket after having a tooth pulled, contact your dentist for help and possible further treatment. Patients in Missoula, MT and surrounding areas can rely on Discovery Dental Group for high quality dental care in a friendly setting.

How Can A Dentist Help With My Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea affects a large percentage of the population, with up to 25% of men and 10% of women suffering from it in some way. You may not have thought that contacting your dentist would help relieve your symptoms but, in fact, there are dental devices and oral appliances that can have you sleeping like a baby!

What Is Sleep Apnea?

There are a couple of different types of sleep apnea but the most common and most effectively treated by a dentist, is obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. This is when the soft tissues in your throat obstruct your airway when you’re lying down, leading to choking, spluttering, heavy snoring and frequent awakening. OSA can have negative impacts on your everyday life as poor quality of sleep leads to a lack of concentration, irritability and a lowering of your immune system.

How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnea?

As the severity of sleep apnea can vary from person to person, you may not even realize you have it. Here are the most common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea:

  • Waking up and not feeling rested
  • Having a headache upon waking up
  • A dry mouth
  • Night sweats
  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping or choking when asleep
  • Interrupted breathing patterns

Living with sleep apnea can not only reduce the quality of your own sleep, it can also affect your partner who may wake up frequently due to your loud snoring or quite scary spluttering and choking sounds when your airway is blocked during the night.

Can Dentists Treat Sleep Apnea?

A dentist may be able to spot signs that you have sleep apnea during a routine check-up. There are also things such as large tonsils or signs of nighttime teeth grinding that can indicate OSA. For severe cases, your medical doctor may prescribe you a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine which can keep your airways open at night. This isn’t the best solution for everyone though, which is where a dentist comes in. If your dental professional is trained in dental sleep medicine, they will be able to use oral appliance therapy to help treat your sleep apnea.

Oral Appliance Therapy

This involves your dentist making a custom dental device, similar to a nightguard or mouthguard. The appliance fits over your teeth and keeps your tongue or lower jaw in a forward position, which helps keep your airway free from blockages when you’re asleep. This will lead to a better, undisturbed night which will have positive benefits for your mental and physical health.

Other Dental Devices For Sleep Apnea

Bruxism, or the clenching and grinding of your teeth at night is one of the signs of sleep apnea. A nightguard puts a thin barrier between your back teeth, protecting them from damage and potentially helping with headaches that are associated with bruxism. Your dentist can create a custom night guard which fits perfectly over your top row of teeth.

Another dental device used to treat sleep apnea is the tongue stabilizer. By poking your tongue through the soft plastic splint, the stabilizer keeps your tongue and soft throat tissues from collapsing over your airway.

Dentists Can Help With Sleep Apnea

If your beauty sleep has turned ugly, contact your dentist to see if an oral appliance can help. Patients in Missoula, MT can call Discovery Dental Group for expert and friendly care.

Can a Loose Tooth Tighten Back Up?

Finding that you have a loose tooth as an adult can be alarming. Now that the days of the Tooth Fairy are behind you, your adult teeth are supposed to last a lifetime. There can be a few different reasons for having loose teeth and in some cases the issue might resolve itself but it’s important to see a dentist to establish the main cause and get it fixed.

Why Do I Have a Loose Tooth?

Let’s look at the main reasons for having a loose tooth or loose teeth as an adult.

Gum Disease

Gum disease or periodontal disease is the main reason for having loose or wobbly permanent teeth. Without good oral healthcare, bacteria builds up in your mouth and under your gums, eventually causing the gums to recede or pull back from the tooth. This means your teeth will become looser and are at risk of falling out.

Injury or Trauma

An impact to the mouth such as a sports injury or a fall can cause a tooth to become loose. There may be unseen damage to the surrounding gum and root of the tooth so ensure you see a dentist as soon as possible.

Tooth Grinding or Clenching

Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw is known as bruxism. It usually happens when you’re asleep and can result in heavy wear and damage to the surface of your teeth. In some cases it can even cause teeth to become loose.

Pregnancy and Menopause

If you are pregnant or menopausal, changes in your hormone levels can affect your teeth. During pregnancy, you may experience a loosening of the ligaments in your jaw. During menopause, you jawbone may lose density, increasing the possibility of loose teeth.

How to Fix Loose Teeth

The number one tip on how to fix a loose tooth is to make an appointment with your dentist! While you may ignore it or hope the issue fixes itself, in the majority of cases medical intervention will be needed. The amount of dental care to fix your loose tooth will depend on what’s causing it and in some cases, a replacement tooth or teeth may be necessary.

Loose Teeth Due to Gum Disease

If it’s caught early, gum disease is treatable and sometimes reversible. Your dentist can effectively clean your teeth above and below the gumline, which will encourage your gums to reattach. If the periodontal disease is more advanced, however, it may result in tooth loss. In this case, there are various options to replace teeth including dental implants and bridges.

Loose Teeth Caused by Injury or Trauma

See a dentist or an emergency dentist for any sudden injury to the mouth. Depending on other potential damage to the surrounding area, your dentist may fix your loose tooth by “splinting” or bonding it to neighboring teeth to stabilize it. In some cases even a knocked out tooth can be reattached but if the tooth or root is too damaged, a replacement tooth might be needed.

Loose Teeth Caused by Bruxism

If bruxism, or nighttime clenching and tooth grinding, is the main cause of your loose teeth, equipment such as a custom nightguard may be successful in relieving the stress on your jaws. If there are no other underlying conditions such as gum disease, your dentist may splint the affected teeth and with a mouthguard to protect the dental work, your loose teeth have a great chance of tightening back up.

Loose Teeth Caused by Hormonal Changes

Usually, if your teeth become loose when you are pregnant, they will tighten back up on their own afterwards. It is still worth seeing your dentist, however, to discount other underlying factors such as periodontal or gum disease.

If you are experiencing a loss in bone density, grafts may be necessary to strengthen the jawbone or gums or minor treatments such as dental bonding can be used to close gaps and stabilize loose teeth.

Preventing Loose Teeth

It’s not always possible to prevent a loose tooth but there are some steps you can take to protect your permanent teeth:

  • Maintain a good oral health routine. Yes, we know you know but brushing twice daily and flossing at least once a day is the best thing you can do to prevent gum disease and loose
  • See your dentist regularly. A dental exam and professional cleaning every 6 months can spot and treat early signs of gum
  • Use a mouthguard if you’re playing Damage to the teeth from contact sports can be avoided if you’re wearing a properly-fitting mouthguard.
  • Wear a night guard if you grind your Reduce the stress on your jaws and teeth by using a nightguard or bite splint to prevent damage from bruxism.
  • Cut out the tobacco. Chewing tobacco and smoking causes gum disease as well as a host of other health Avoid tobacco products to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

If you are worried about loose teeth, get in touch with your dentist to find the best solution to your problems. Patients in Missoula, MT can contact Discovery Dental Group for expert care in a welcoming setting.

I Brush Every Day So Why Are My Teeth Still Yellow?

Are you embarrassed to smile in front of people because your teeth are yellow or discolored? Are you brushing your teeth every day but still not seeing results? Don’t worry, there are always solutions to dental problems so let’s take a look at what makes teeth yellow and what you can do about it.

What Makes Teeth Yellow?

Your teeth can look yellow because of two types of staining.

Extrinsic teeth stains are stains on the outside surface of the enamel.

Intrinsic teeth stains are stains inside of the tooth, where the dentin has become discolored.

There are several reasons why your teeth might be stained, or not as white as you’d like them to be. Here are the most common culprits that make teeth yellow:

  • Smoking or tobacco use
    As well as being bad for your overall health, tobacco products and smoking stain your teeth.
  • Certain foods and drink
    Strongly colored food and drinks such as tea, coffee, cola, soy sauce, tomato sauces, beets and berries can cause your teeth to become discolored.
  • Some medications
    Treatments for high blood pressure, allergies and chemotherapy can cause yellowing of the teeth.
  • Age
    As we get older, the enamel on our teeth starts to get thinner so more of the underlying dentin can be seen through it. Dentin is naturally more yellow in color, giving teeth a yellow appearance.
  • Genetics
    Sometimes there’s not much you can do about the natural color of your teeth apart from blaming your parents!


Does Brushing Make My Teeth Whiter?

The easiest way to keep your teeth in great shape is by brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily. Please note, though, that the natural color of most peoples’ teeth is not a bright, brilliant white anyway so don’t despair if your teeth are not looking 100% Hollywood ready.

Brushing is also not really intended to make your teeth whiter. While you can use whitening toothpastes which may work to some degree, brushing is necessary to remove bacteria from the mouth, leading to healthy teeth and gums. Brushing will keep your teeth clean, but it won’t whiten them.

How Your Dentist Can Get Rid of Yellow Teeth

If your yellow teeth are getting you down, pay a visit to the professionals at Discovery Dental Group in Missoula, MT. We can assess and advise you on your next steps, whether that be upping your oral healthcare routine or scheduling a cleaning. For stained or yellow teeth, we have options such as custom tooth bleaching or whitening which will lighten your smile and give you a confidence boost. For more severely stained or discolored teeth, we have the option of dental bonding or veneers to create a flawless surface look.