My Blog

Posts for: February, 2017

By Joseph & Nina Zeigler, DMD, PC
February 16, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Everyone loves a concert where there's plenty of audience participation… until it starts to get out of hand. Recently, the platinum-selling band Fifth Harmony was playing to a packed house in Atlanta when things went awry for vocalist Camila Cabello. Fans were batting around a big plastic ball, and one unfortunate swing sent the ball hurtling toward the stage — and directly into Cabello's face. Pushing the microphone into her mouth, it left the “Worth It” singer with a chipped front tooth.

Ouch! Cabello finished the show nevertheless, and didn't seem too upset. “Atlanta… u wild… love u,” she tweeted later that night. “Gotta get it fixed now tho lol.” Fortunately, dentistry offers a number of ways to make that chipped tooth look as good as new.

A small chip at the edge of the tooth can sometimes be polished with dental instruments to remove the sharp edges. If it's a little bigger, a procedure called dental bonding may be recommended. Here, the missing part is filled in with a mixture of plastic resin and glass fillers, which are then cured (hardened) with a special light. The tooth-colored bonding material provides a tough, lifelike restoration that's hard to tell apart from your natural teeth. While bonding can be performed in just one office visit, the material can stain over time and may eventually need to be replaced.

Porcelain veneers are a more long-lasting solution. These wafer-thin coverings go over the entire front surface of the tooth, and can resolve a number of defects — including chips, discoloration, and even minor size or spacing irregularities. You can get a single veneer or have your whole smile redone, in shades ranging from a pearly luster to an ultra-bright white; that's why veneers are a favorite of Hollywood stars. Getting veneers is a procedure that takes several office visits, but the beautiful results can last for many years.

If a chip or crack extends into the inner part of a tooth, you'll probably need a crown (or cap) to restore the tooth's function and appearance. As long as the roots are healthy, the entire part of the tooth above the gum line can be replaced with a natural-looking restoration. You may also need a root canal to remove the damaged pulp material and prevent infection if the fracture went too far. While small chips or cracks aren't usually an emergency (unless accompanied by pain), damage to the tooth's pulp requires prompt attention.

If you have questions about smile restoration, please contact us and schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers: Strength & Beauty As Never Before” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”

By Joseph & Nina Zeigler, DMD, PC
February 09, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: bad breath  

No one likes having bad breath. There are several potential causes, including certain foods, a dry mouth or poor dental hygiene. bad breathUnderstanding the cause of your bad breath can help you correct the problem and prevent it from coming back. If you are unable to eliminate the problem yourself, a dentist can often help. Dr. Joseph Zeigler and Dr. Nina Zeigler are your Saint Louis, MO, area dentists and can help address problems with bad breath.

Causes of Bad Breath

There are many factors can cause bad breath, such as smoking or having an oral infection. Certain foods, such as garlic and onion, can give you bad breath when eaten. A dry mouth can also lead to bad breath. Saliva in the mouth helps wash away bacteria that can cause bad breath. When the mouth is dry with insufficient saliva, bad breath can result. Additionally, not brushing your teeth regularly can lead to breath problems when bacteria are left to linger on the teeth and gums. Potential causes of bad breath can include:

  • Poor Dental Hygiene
  • Certain Foods
  • Dry Mouth
  • Smoking Tobacco Products
  • Oral Infections
  • Medications

How Dental Visits Can Help

Your Saint Louis dentist can help you keep bad breath at bay with regular dental checkups that include professional teeth cleaning. A mouth that is healthy and clean is less likely to develop bad breath due to bacteria on the teeth and gums, an oral infection or a dry mouth condition. In short, seeing a dentist regularly helps prevent bad breath by keeping your mouth, teeth and gums healthier. Additionally, if you do develop chronic bad breath, your dentist can help determine the cause so that you can correct the problem and prevent its recurrence.

When you have tried unsuccessfully to get rid of bad breath or are uncertain of the cause, a dentist might be able to help. A thorough dental checkup and professional cleaning with your Saint Louis, MO, dentist can eliminate bacteria that contribute to bad breath. Additionally, regular dental checkups help keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthier so that you are less likely to develop bad breath due to poor dental hygiene, a dry mouth or an oral infection. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Joseph Zeigler or Dr. Nina Zeigler, call (314) 872-7590.

By Joseph & Nina Zeigler, DMD, PC
February 01, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: saliva  

For over a century now, health providers have depended on blood and urine samples to diagnose many forms of disease. Very soon, though, we may routinely use a different bodily fluid that's easier and cheaper to collect: saliva.

Secreted by six hundred or more glands in the mouth, saliva performs a number of important functions for digestion and overall oral health. Saliva lubricates the mouth to make food easier to swallow. Its enzymes begin the digestion process breaking down food even before we swallow. It also helps wash out food particles that could build up as plaque on the teeth and harbor disease-causing bacteria.

In terms of dental health, its greatest role is as a neutralizer of food acid. It's natural after we eat for the acid levels in the mouth to rise above normal. If acid remains in contact with enamel for an extended period of time it can soften the enamel's minerals and make it easier for them to erode. Within thirty minutes to an hour after eating, saliva neutralizes acid and restores the mouth's normal pH level. Saliva also contains calcium and phosphate materials, which helps restore some of the minerals the enamel may have lost from the acid contact.

But we're discovering saliva can do even more: we can now use it as an indicator for certain conditions in the body. Like blood or urine, saliva contains molecules that can serve as biological markers for different types of disease. By employing devices calibrated to detect these markers, we can use saliva to uncover cancer, diabetes or other systemic conditions.

As these particular devices are manufactured and become more available, the use of saliva for disease diagnosis will rise. In the future, you may not need a trip to the bathroom or wince at a needle stick — a swab of your saliva will do!

If you would like more information on saliva's role in your health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Saliva: How it is Used to Diagnose Disease.”