Oral Health

Bad Breath

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.

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Comprehensive Exams

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 already installed crowns, fillings, and bridgework
  • Gum or bone recession
  • Teeth deterioration 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. Again, this is to seek out any signs of illness or disease.  

Since the comprehensive dental exam is designed to set a baseline of your health and to catch any early signs of serious illness that may be otherwise undetected, your dentist will be on the lookout for the following illnesses which can be detected during a comprehensive oral evaluation:

  • Diabetes
  • Leukemia
  • 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 Highway K Dental Care. Call us at 636-240-0232 to schedule an appointment.

Mouth Guards

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 mouthguard, and they're designed to fit perfectly in your mouth with no adjustments needed. 

First, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth. This is generally done using a dental putty that forms to all the crevices of each tooth and creates an exact mold of your smile. The mold is then sent to the lab, where the actual mouthguard is created. The structure is made by layering superheated plastic to precise specifications and is then cooled to create an extremely durable piece of dental wear.

Because custom mouth guards are so precisely made, they are able to provide you with optimal safety and comfort. The level of protection afforded by custom-fitted mouthguards is unrivalled by any other mouthguard, and their durability is enhanced by the snug shape, which hugs each tooth closely, eliminating unwanted movement.

For more information on customized mouth guards, please call Highway K Dental Care at 636-240-0232 today.

Night Guards

If you're experiencing chronic headaches and migraines because of involuntary night-time teeth clenching, let Highway K Dental Care 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.

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ORAL CANCER SCREENING (VELSCOPE)

The VELscope is a powerful device specifically used to screen for oral cancer by identifying mucosal abnormalities and premalignant changes. Unlike other auxiliary devices our dentist uses, the VELscope does not require any dyes or prolonged testing procedures. In fact, VELscope examinations can be done in our office during routine hygiene exams, and under normal lighting conditions, in about two minutes. 

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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, Highway K Dental Care can discover periodontal disease early and begin treatment before complicated issues arise.

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Sealants

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