Gum Disease Natural Treatments

The inflammation of gums is referred to as gum disease or periodontal disease, and can quickly spread to the bones that support the teeth. What starts out as a simple bacterial growth in the mouth can blossom into a full-blown issue that could lead to tooth loss. There are generally three stages: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.

The tricky part is that gum disease is not always painful, so becoming familiar with the warning signs is the best way to determine if there is a problem. Gingivitis, the early stage, will generally start with gums that are red, swollen and bleed easily. Gingivitis is reversible with proper oral care, but if left untreated can develop into gum disease. The plaque would have spread and grown further under the gum line which can cause severe irritation. Gums can begin to separate from the teeth and form pockets where more bacteria can gather. These spaces can lead to the loosening of teeth and could even result in tooth loss.

The following are red flags for potentially very serious gum problems:

  • red or swollen gums
  • tender or bleeding gums
  • receding gums
  • loose or sensitive teeth
  • bad breath despite brushing

While gum disease must be treated by a dentist, there are several natural remedies that can be used at home that can help if the gum disease has not extended too far.

  • Rinse – use warm salt water to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria. Not to be used daily since too much can hurt the teeth.
  • Paste – baking soda and water is an effective neutralizer of the acids that cause gum disease.
  • Oil pulling – although not guaranteed, many swear by this method of using a natural oil, such as coconut oil, to fight off the gum disease-causing bacteria.

While these are helpful, don’t forget that nothing can replace proper oral hygiene.

All You Need to Know About Dental Veneers

If you’re familiar with a few terms in the cosmetic dentistry world, you may have heard of veneers. When exploring your options to improve the look of your smile, there are a plethora of options. In this article, we’ll cover what dental veneers are and why they may be the right fit for you.

What are Dental Veneers?

Veneers refer to a customized shell that issued to fit the surface of your teeth. If you experience discoloration, cracked, chipped, or broken teeth, veneers could potentially be a great option for you. Veneers are usually made from porcelain or composite resin, while porcelain is a fan favorite thanks to its natural-looking appearance.

When Would You Need Dental Veneers?

Dental veneers work best for those that are purely looking to correct the aesthetic appearance of their teeth. In terms of serious dental problems like missing teething the like, veneers are not a great option. However, if you do have broken, chipped, cracked, discolored, or teeth with large gaps in between them, veneers are the answer. Of course, always be sure to talk to your dental professional to understand if veneers really are for you.

How Do You Care for Them?

Dental veneers are quite simple to care for. Regular brushing and flossing will ensure the longevity of your dental veneers and their beauty. Your regular visits to the dentist will also allow professionals to key an eye on any abnormalities or problems that may arise.

In any case, if you’re interested in your dental veneer option and you like in the Springfield, IL, area or its surrounding communities, we at Schon Dental would be delighted to have you take a visit to our office. We can explain dental veneers in further detail and let you know if you are an appropriate candidate. Don’t hesitate to give us a call today!

Preventing Problems Caused by TMJ Syndrome

TMJ is short for Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome, and it’s actually a lot more common than you might think. Maybe you or someone you know complains of this painful syndrome, but if you’re not sure if you do or don’t have it, in this article, we’ll be discussing a few of the symptoms associated with it, how to cope and treat, and when to finally seek help. At Schon Dental in Springfield, IL, we want to help you with your TMJ, or any other oral care problem.

Symptoms of TMJ Syndrome

The symptoms associated with TMJ are pretty straightforward. Its main symptom is excruciating pain. This pain, coupled with earaches, headaches, stiffness, muscle spasms, and locked jaw are all indicative of TMJ. You may also hear distinct sounds coming from your jaw bones when you chew or talk, also a sign of TMJ.

Coping with the Disorder

There is hope with this syndrome, as you can do a few things to ensure you experience less pain than is necessary. A few tips and tricks include:

Avoid chewing gum.

Avoid bites when eating.

Massage your facial muscles regularly.

Practice stress management, which can be a big culprit in TMJ.


  • Modify the pain – Modifying the pain can mean resting your joints, taking anti-inflammatory medication, or applying moist heat to the affected areas.
  • Practice relaxation techniques – Relaxation training, also known as biofeedback, may also help to manage your stress. If that is not enough, your dentist may recommend sleeping with a night guard.
  • Fix poorly aligned teeth – Orthodontic treatment may be your best option to correct alignment.

When to Seek Help

If you’re experiencing a locked jaw, whether in an open or closed position, go to the emergency room immediately.

In any other case, consult your dentist to find healthy ways to cope and treat your TMJ. Call us at Schon Dental today for any oral health care needs!

Are Amalgam Dental Fillings Toxic?

Dental fillings can be made of a variety of materials. For a long period of time, silver amalgam fillings (a mixture of various powdered metals such as silver and tin bound together by elemental mercury) were the norm. Almost as soon as amalgam fillings started being used, however, they were criticized as being toxic to humans because of the presence of mercury within them. But do these fillings really present a danger to dental patients, and if so, to what extent? Read on to find out.

Why is mercury used in amalgam fillings?

Liquid mercury is the only known substance that can effectively bind together the alloy particles used for fillings to form a strong, hard, stable compound.

Why is mercury considered to be dangerous?

Mercury occurs naturally and is also introduced to the environment as a contaminant. It exists in three chemical forms: organic, inorganic, and elemental. Methylmercury, organic mercury, is the one found in fish and the most toxic. Inorganic mercury has a variety of uses and is not as dangerous as organic mercury as it cannot be absorbed through the digestive tract. Dentist offices use the last form of mercury, elemental mercury, also known as liquid or metallic mercury, in dental fillings. It is almost completely non-toxic when ingested orally because it cannot be absorbed through the digestive tract.

Are silver fillings toxic?

It is true that exposure to high levels of mercury can have adverse health effects, such as damage to the brain and kidneys. However, since the 1990s, several agencies (CDC, FDA, ADA) have concluded that amalgam fillings are safe for adults and for children six years and older. Although they can release small amounts of mercury vapor, which can then be inhaled, it was found that even in people with as many as 15 surfaces of amalgam fillings, detectable mercury levels were far below the lowest levels that could cause any harm. Additionally, clinical studies found no link between amalgam fillings and health problems.


Silver fillings have been successfully used to treat dental caries and other dental issues for years. They present no health dangers, but have become used less often simply because of aesthetic purposes – other materials are tooth-colored and are less conspicuous.

The Process of Filling Cavities

It’s unlikely that you pay any mind to the actual process of getting a filling. After all, it’s a rather routine process, especially if you have had a few cavities in your day. If you get a cavity, the way you see it is probably something like this: you have a cavity, so you go into your dentist; he does his thing, and you leave with a healthy mouth and a new filling.

We get it; it’s not exactly your job to know what’s going on, but we want to make sure that you have at least an idea of what goes into the process of receiving a filling.

The Steps of Filling Cavities in Order

  • Numbing

The first step is to numb the area that the dentist will be working on. A numbing topical gel would be applied to ease the pain of the injection. This allows the dentist to perform the rest of the procedure with zero pain to you.

  • Removing The Cavity

Once the area is completely numb, the dentist will use a high-speed drill to remove the cavity and any decay in the area. Unsupported dental enamel is also removed. The dentist uses a slower drill when they reach the softer layer of dentin.

  • Preparing the Tooth

The tooth is then prepared by removing a small amount of natural tooth. This is done to prepare a place for the filling. In the case of tooth-colored fillings, a very minimal amount of natural tooth enamel must be removed in order to form a strong bond.

  • The Filling Itself

An acid gel will then be used to finish the preparation process. Then the filling is placed to fill the hole left by the cavity and decay. This seals off the hole from any harmful bacteria.

  • Checking Your Bite

If you have had a filling before, you know your dentist has you bite down on a small piece of paper. This is to help them to see that your bite is proper and healthy.

An Explanation of the Different Types of Fluoride

What is fluoride and why do our dentists always want to encourage us to use it? Let first examine where fluoride originated; fluoride is a mineral, which is naturally found in water. Fluoride has been found to be a natural cavity fighter and helps to stop the early stages of tooth decay. The American Dental Association (ADA) identifies fluoride as a safe and effective treatment.

Does the type of fluoride matter?

Fluoride can be used topically and systemically. When used topically, it strengthens your teeth which makes it harder for them to decay over time. When used systemically, the become part of the forming teeth and are ingested. It also goes into your saliva, giving further constant protection to your teeth. Topical fluorides come in toothpaste, gels, mouthwashes, as well as professionally applied methods.

Why is there such an effort to add fluoride to our drinking water?

Adding fluoride to our water is an easy and effective way to take care of our teeth. Ask your dentist what amount of fluoride you should be ingesting based on your age. It varies as we grow older. Those who drink water from a well may need to increase their fluoride intake levels.

Schon Dental in Springfield, IL offers specialized fluoride treatments for people of all ages. We recognize the importance of fighting against plaque to protect our teeth. We will take into account your risk level for acquiring cavities. The best way you can care for your teeth is by brushing thoroughly, flossing, and regularly having dental examinations. We recommend you visit your dentist at least biannually. Call us today to schedule your next appointment!

3 Things You Need to Know About a Sinus Lift

Not many of us have ever heard of a sinus lift, but it is much more common than you might think. Even though it sounds like some kind of plastic surgery, it is, in fact, a dental procedure. One in which lays the foundation for an upper jaw implant that can help one avoid dangerous dental affiliations such as gum disease or even tooth decay. To begin, it’s important to note that a sinus lift is a grafting procedure. This grafting procedure, in particular, is designed to make more room in the back, upper jaw area of the mouth. Over time, if there is a lack of teeth in this space, the bone mass can face a major reduction in volume, making the sinuses more susceptible to sag and making the likely hood of a successful implant abysmal. To understand this surgery a bit better, let’s discuss 3 things essential to know.

1. How is the surgery performed?

This grafting surgery is performed by a meticulous set of incisions, movements, and closures. To begin, a cut is made in the back of the jaw. This opening is made to reveal jawbone, and the remaining sinus membrane is then gently pushed back up into the sinus cavity. This allows for more space in the back of the jaw, which is then filled with grafting material and left to heal for a handful of months before the sinus is completely healed and implants can be put into the mouth.

2. When will I need it?

There are a few reasons a patient might need a sinus lift, most associated with bone loss from missing teeth or accidents. These reasons can possibly include:

  • Bone loss due to cancer treatments or age
  • Sinuses laying too close to the jaw area
  • If your molars need added mass to assist in dental implants

3. Am I the right candidate for a sinus lift?

This question is best answered by a dental professional that is fully aware of your circumstances and needs. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor about a sinus lift to assist in your next dental implant placement.

Dental Emergency Tips

A trip and fall, a touch tackle while playing sports, biting down on an olive pit… dental emergencies can come from anywhere and can happen when you least expect it. While the majority of dental emergencies will require a trip to the dentist, there are certain steps that can be taken before you get to the dentist that can help you and your tooth.


A severe toothache is usually an indicator of a larger issue such as a cavity, root canal problems of a fractured tooth. The sooner you get a toothache looked at, the better, since you may be able to stop a small issue before it eventually becomes a large one. To alleviate the pain associated with a toothache, get an over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen. When the pain medication makes the tooth feel better…that is not an excuse to not visit the dentist!

Filling or Crown Falling Out

When a crown falls out, it is very important to save it! Crowns are made for each person and can be expensive to replace. Fillings cannot be reused, so it is less important to save them. For both issues, it is important to protect the part of the tooth that is now exposed in order to prevent more issues from occurring. Keep the area sanitized and clear of debris by rinsing with warm salt water. Crowns can be temporarily reattached with denture adhesive too.

Tooth Knocked Out

When a tooth is completely knocked out, there are a few things to do right away to help the tooth survive. Never touch the tooth by the roots, only touch the crown and clean the roots with warm water if needed. To keep the tooth alive, keep it in a small container of milk or tucked between the lip and gums.

Remember: the longer you wait to get a dental issue taken care of…the more difficult it can be.

Live Better in 2018 with a Full-Mouth Reconstruction

A full mouth reconstruction can help improve the quality of your life! Do you miss chewing without difficulty, or smiling without embarrassment? These are simple pleasures in life that you may not consider until you have lost one or more teeth.

Start Over with a Full-Mouth Reconstruction

We are proud to offer our patients that best advancements in modern dentistry. With quality materials and state-of-the-art techniques, you finally get a great smile after living with tooth loss.

Dental Implants for Your Smile Makeover

Today’s dental implant technology has completely changed the way missing teeth are replaced. There are many benefits to choosing implants over other tooth replacement options:

  • You Get a Great Smile: The most attractive lure of dental implants is how well the restoration improves an imperfect smile. You will not only get back better mouth function and oral health; your new teeth will look very natural.

  • You Get to Eat Food You Love: With implants, you can eat whatever you want without difficulty or discomfort, and you won’t have to worry about removable dentures slipping out of place or breaking.

  • You Get Clearer Speech: If traditional dentures are not properly fitted, the device can cause teeth to bang together and make you slur your words. This can be very problematic if you enjoy social conversations or if your job depends on you communicating clearly and with confidence. Dental implants are secured to the jaw bone, so there is no concern about stability.

  • You Get to Resume Oral Hygiene: Dental implants are permanently fixed, so there is nothing to remove and clean every day. It is so much easier to maintain implants because you simply brush and floss as you normally would. Implants are the least disruptive tooth replacement option because they are just like natural teeth.

  • You Get Better Oral Health: It is important to replace missing teeth to avoid bone loss and a sunken in facial structure. Implants keep the jawbone and gums nourished and engaged, so they stay strong and continue to support your dental health. Patients who suffer from tooth loss are at a greater risk of developing gum disease and other health threats.

Traditional dentures are still the best choice for some patients with missing teeth. But people who are good candidates for implants typically opt for a fixed tooth replacement option, Dental implants are non-removable and do not need to be adjusted or replaced every few years.

Let’s Get to the Root of Your Root Canal

Approximately, 15 million patients undergo root canal therapy every year, as reported by The American Association of Endodontists. That is an awful lot of oral surgeries performed annually. If you have never needed a root canal, you have likely heard something about it, but you might not have all the facts.

What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a hollow area deep inside each tooth. The endodontic procedure is performed to repair an infected or severely decayed tooth. Once the center pulp is damaged, bacteria can spread inside the tooth causing infection. It is common for an abscess to form. Root canal treatment involves removing the pulp and disinfecting the inner cavity to restore the tooth to health.

How Do I Know If I Need a Root Canal?

Signs of a deep infection include a persistent toothache, inflammation, pimple on the gums, sensitivity or discoloration. If you experience any of these mentioned symptoms, schedule a dental exam as soon as possible.

What Happens During a Root Canal?

Root canal surgery starts with an access hole that is drilled into the affected tooth, so the dentist can remove the damaged pulp, bacteria, and any infected or decayed tissue. The empty hole is scraped and scrubbed clean, filled and sealed. In some cases, the tooth is sealed during a later appointment, or immediately after being cleaned. If the procedure is not completed in one visit, a temporary filling is placed in the interim.

A dental paste and rubber compound are placed inside the hollow root canal to fill the empty space. The exterior hole is also closed with filling.

The last step is tooth restoration. This typically involves placing a dental crown to protect the weakened structure from breakage and to restore function.

While it may appear like a long process, our friendly staff will ensure you’re comfortable throughout the root canal procedure. We want you to feel at ease! If you have any questions about root canal treatments and how they can help with your tooth pain, contact us to schedule an appointment.