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It’s National Smile Month

It’s National Smile Month

June is National Smile Month! Throughout the year, there are days on the calendar that are set up in celebration of or in awareness of certain causes and traditions. June is celebrated as National Smile Month, a month-long campaign created by the Oral Health Foundation. The Oral Health Foundation raises awareness of important health issues and promotes good oral health.

In celebration of this special event, I’d like to take the opportunity to discuss the importance of oral health and how it’s linked to systemic health. Additionally, I want to tell you how the TMJ and Cosmetic Dentistry services at my Eden Prairie, MN dental practice can help protect your dental health and contribute to your quality of life.

The Connection Between Oral Health & Systemic Disease

Did you know that there’s a powerful connection between your oral health and overall well-being? It’s called the oral systemic connection, and it’s fascinating! Taking care of your teeth and gums doesn’t just give you a sparkling smile; it can also have a profound impact on your overall health.

Poor oral hygiene has been linked to various systemic conditions including:
• Heart disease
• Diabetes
• Alzheimer’s
• Immunosuppression
• Stroke
• Bacterial pneumonia
• Low birth weight

By maintaining good oral health, you’re not only preventing cavities and gum disease but also reducing the risk of developing these serious health issues. In other words, a healthy mouth means a healthier you!

How Cosmetic Dentistry Improves Aesthetics & Functionality

When many people hear the term “Cosmetic Dentistry,” they often think of elective procedures solely focused on improving the way that teeth look. But in reality, the benefits of cosmetic dental treatments go far beyond the surface of just enhancing your smile’s beauty; they can actually restore the biological structure of your dental system and help your teeth function better on a daily basis. This, in turn, makes them look healthier and more beautiful.

Restoring Youthfulness & Beauty

If I told you to imagine a beautiful smile, you would probably picture something like this in your mind: shiny, white teeth, pink gums, and an overall symmetrical smile. What you’re actually picturing is a smile that’s not only beautiful but also the ideal image of good health and youthfulness.

Many people experience wear and tear on their teeth as they age. When you think about how often you use your teeth every day for chewing and breaking down foods, speaking, and drinking liquids, it’s easy to understand why this wear occurs. Over time, some people develop small chips in their teeth or stains. These signs of wear actually have the effect of making our smile look aged, thus making us look older in general.

By reversing this damage with cosmetic dentistry, we can essentially turn back the clock and rejuvenate the youthfulness and beauty of our smile as well as our overall appearance. With teeth whitening, we can remove stains on the teeth, and with other treatments like veneers, dental bonding, and crowns, we can address wear that has occurred over the years. All of this results in a better-looking smile, which in turn leads to enhanced confidence and a better quality of life.

Improving the Shape & Functionality of Your Teeth

In addition to making your smile look more attractive, cosmetic dentistry also improves the health and functionality of your teeth. Cracked, misaligned, and missing teeth not only detract from the beauty of your smile but can also contribute to dental disease. Damaged teeth are more prone to infection and can eventually lead to gum disease, tooth decay, chewing problems, TMJ problems, and/or systemic disease.

When your teeth are the correct shape and in the correct position, they’re able to function the way they’re supposed to. The entire dental system – including the chewing muscles, jaw joints, jaw bones, teeth, and gums – can function together in harmony. When teeth are straight and aren’t overcrowded, they’re also easier to clean, which reduces the risk of decay and infection.

Cosmetic Dentistry & TMJ Health

Another aspect that should be considered when discussing cosmetic dentistry is the patient’s TMJ health. Believe it or not, but the state of your TMJ health can actually affect the way you look.

The TMJs are the joints that connect the jaw to the skull. They play a key role in everyday activities like speaking, chewing, and swallowing. Individuals with TMJ Disorder often experience pain as a result of muscle spasms and overexertion of the facial muscles. Problems with the facial muscles can affect the symmetry of the face and cause the jaw to shift to one side or another and fall out of alignment. By addressing TMJ issues, we can treat these symptoms and restore the symmetry of the face. A symmetrical face and smile are strongly associated with beauty and attractiveness. Thus, by rehabilitating the patient’s TMJ health, we can, in essence, improve their appearance.

MAGO Splint Therapy for Treating TMJ

In order to do this, we must address the biological issues causing TMJ symptoms in the first place. There are some cosmetic dental treatments that can help with this such as teeth straightening, dental crowns, and dental implants. These treatments can help improve the structure and position of the teeth, thus correcting issues with malocclusion and jaw misalignment, which are the leading causes of TMJ Disorder.

However, before we can proceed with these corrective procedures, we must stabilize the TMJ joints. This is precisely what my MAGO Therapy services accomplish. MAGO Therapy is a type of Oral Appliance Therapy that we use here at Gallagher Dentistry & Facial Pain Center.

The MAGO is a specialized apparatus that is worn over the teeth. Its goal is to keep the teeth apart. The patient visits our office weekly for regular adjustments. Throughout treatment, my team and I monitor and track the patient’s progress until the desired results are achieved.

Advantages of MAGO Therapy

Through this therapeutic model, we are able to reduce inflammation and muscle spasms. Gradually, the chewing muscles relax, the jaw joints move into a healthy position, and the jaw once again becomes stable.

Not only does this process help reduce pain and other TMJ symptoms, but it also helps with creating an effective treatment plan. Only once the jaw joints are relaxed can I obtain an accurate diagnosis, which allows me to understand what treatments the patient needs.

If you have a history of jaw pain and are interested in cosmetic dentistry, it’s important to seek the help of a dentist in Eden Prairie like myself who specializes in both Cosmetic Dental Treatments and TMJ Disorder.

More About Gallagher Dentistry & Facial Pain Center

Dr. Michael Gallagher and our Eden Prairie Dentistry team are committed to providing exceptional care and empowering our patients with information about their dental health. If you have any questions about our services or would like to schedule an appointment, we invite you to give us a call at (952) 942-9600. The outstanding experience of our dental team, Dr. Gallagher, and the skills of our staff have helped us in successfully treating our patient’s oral problems. We’re always welcoming new patients throughout Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Bloomington, Minnetonka, Edina, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Burnsville, Plymouth, Eagan, Richfield and surrounding areas. For more information, please contact us!

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