Straighten Your Teeth with Invisalign: A Patient’s Guide

Let’s imagine a scenario: you wake up, jump out of bed, and go into the bathroom to brush your teeth. As you’re opening wide to reach those back molars, you notice something — the bottom row of your teeth is getting pretty crooked.

In the old days, this meant painful, irritating, and unsightly braces. In fact, many people don’t realize that there are other options on the market today, and we love to see the look on their faces when we inform them that in most cases, braces are a thing of the past!

One of the most popular alternatives is a clear-aligner straightening method called Invisalign. In this piece, we’ll tell you all about them, including the advantages over conventional teeth-straightening methods and what to expect when you come into see Dr. Kevin F. Postol for a consultation!

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a system that provides an alternative to braces for millions of patients — 14 million as of 2022, according to the brand’s website — looking to improve their smile easily and comfortably.

Like braces, Invisalign® gradually corrects the alignment of the teeth using clear, medical-grade plastic trays that seamlessly cover the entire set of upper and lower teeth. Like the name suggests, this method is intended to be an invisible alternative to other teeth-straightening methods and while the aligners won’t be literally invisible, Invisalign is virtually undetectable at a glance.

Who Is a Candidate for Invisalign?

In a 2022 study released by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the smile’s importance to a person’s self-image was made crystal-clear:

  • 37% of people interviewed said flaws in their smile make them feel less attractive
  • 25% said that these flaws make them feel less confident

Everyone wants to love what they see in the mirror — and make the best impression on the world around them — so it’s no surprise that patients of all ages (treatment can start with patients as young as 6 years old) are lining up to learn more about Invisalign. A few reasons you might want to schedule an Invisalign consultation with Dr. Postol and the team include…

  • To achieve the perfect smile with straight, well-spaced teeth
  • To correct issues with the width of your dental arch
  • To alleviate irritated gums and tooth pain caused by uneven wear

Is there anyone who isn’t a good candidate? Generally, Invisalign is not recommended for people who already have dental implants or bridges, as well as those who suffer from TMJ pain. But, every case is different, so we recommend that everyone schedules a visit so they get a chance to walk through all of their options with Dr. Postol!

Invisalign vs. Braces

Most people are interested in Invisalign because it’s WAY less noticeable than braces — and you’re right. Invisalign doesn’t come with the same distracting metal brackets, wires, and bands. But there are more benefits to opting for clear aligners outside the realm of aesthetics that you should keep in mind…

They’re Customized to Your Teeth

Invisalign clear aligner trays are made using a 3D-mapping process that creates precise molds of your teeth and gently aligns them over time. The process is faster and easier than having to have metal semi-permanently fixed to your teeth, affecting your speech, and occasionally injuring the inside of your cheeks and gums!

They Have a Minimal Effect on Your Lifestyle

With braces, some of the major complaints are about how annoying it can be to not be able to eat everything you want while wearing them. This isn’t a concern with Invisalign.

Clear aligners can be removed and put back in, making it easy to eat any foods that you desire — as long as they’re good for your teeth, that is — and makes brushing and flossing easier than with braces too!

They’re More Comfortable to Wear

Any time we’re talking about moving teeth in your mouth over time, there will be some discomfort associated with the method of choice, but you’ll be happy to learn that most patients rate Invisalign higher in terms of comfort.

Since each tray is mapped out using sophisticated imaging technology, you’ll have a better fit. Many patients say that they still feel pressure from the aligners holding their teeth in place, but experienced far less soreness than with braces, especially in the beginning.

Can You Get Invisalign if You’ve Already Had Braces?

Yes! For a variety of reasons, when you have braces as a teen or young adult, your teeth may not stay aligned forever. Maybe you didn’t wear your retainer enough (a common issue) or maybe you developed a new alignment issue due to a wisdom tooth emerging after getting your braces off initially. There are any number of issues that may cause your smile to be less than perfect as an adult, even if you’ve already had braces earlier in life.

Invisalign can be a great option for adults who want an improved smile without having to go back to braces — in fact, we see them here every day!

What Should You Expect if You Want to Move Forward with Invisalign?

The first step is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Postol and his team in Ballwin, MO. We’ll make sure you’re a good candidate for Invisalign and give you a more detailed explanation of what the treatment looks like from there. Before that, though, there are a few things to know about being fitted with and wearing Invisalign or any other clear aligners.

  • The process is simple. We’ll start by taking extremely precise measurements of your teeth. After that, your custom alignment trays will be made. You’ll be instructed to wear each tray for two weeks before moving to the next one.
  • You’ll need to come in for a follow-up appointment every 4-6 weeks. During your follow-ups, we’ll confirm that the treatment is working as designed and that you’re not experiencing any unintended side effects.
  • Time estimates for Invisalign may vary. Also, it’s recommended that you wear your aligners for as much of the day as you can — otherwise, the course of correction may take longer.

The average patient completes the process between 12 and 15 months, but everyone is different! Dr. Postol and his team will provide all the information you need, personalized to your unique case, when you come in for your Invisalign consultation! Schedule an appointment today to get started.

Bruxism Treatment: How to Stop Teeth Grinding

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a common disorder that can cause serious dental problems and disrupt sleep. Fortunately, there are several effective treatment options available for managing and preventing this condition. In this blog, we will explore the different methods of bruxism treatment including oral appliances, behavioral therapies, and medications to help you stop teeth grinding and preserve your dental health.

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a dental condition characterized by the excessive grinding or clenching of teeth, which can occur both during the day and night, often unconsciously. It is a common condition that affects a significant portion of the population and can cause damage to the teeth, gums, and jaw bones.

Symptoms of Bruxism

  • Teeth that have worn down enamel, revealing deeper layers of the tooth
  • Heightened tooth pain or sensitivity
  • Tired or tense jaw muscles or difficulty opening or closing the jaw
  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or face
  • Pain that feels like an earache, but is actually originating from another source
  • Headaches that begin in the temples
  • Damage caused by biting the inside of the cheek
  • Interruptions in sleep due to the above symptoms.

If left untreated, it can lead to more severe oral problems like worn down teeth, tooth fractures, and even temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

Types of Bruxism

Bruxism can be broadly classified into two types: awake bruxism and sleep bruxism.

  • Awake bruxism, also known as diurnal bruxism, is the type of bruxism that occurs during the day while a person is awake. It is typically associated with stress and anxiety and can occur at any time of the day, although it is most common during periods of intense concentration or focus.
  • Sleep Bruxism (SB) is a type of bruxism that occurs during sleep, characterized by the grinding or clenching of teeth. This condition is considered a sleep-related movement disorder and is often associated with other sleep disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

On average, a person with bruxism exerts around 250 pounds of force on the teeth.

Who Is at Risk for Bruxism?

There are several factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing bruxism, including:

  • Stress and anxiety: Patients who are under a lot of stress or have anxiety disorders may be more likely to grind or clench their teeth.
  • Certain medications: Certain medications, such as antipsychotics, can increase the risk of bruxism.
  • Other sleep disorders: Patients with sleep disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) may be more likely to develop bruxism.
  • Substance abuse: Alcohol and tobacco use can increase the risk of bruxism.
  • Age: Bruxism is more common in children and adolescents, but can affect people of all ages.
  • Gender: Bruxism is more common in males than females.

It’s important to note that many people who grind or clench their teeth do not have any obvious risk factors. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms and seek help from a dental professional if you suspect you have bruxism.

Diagnosis of Bruxism

During regular dental check-ups, Dr. Postol will be on the lookout for any signs of bruxism. They will closely inspect your teeth and mouth to detect any changes or abnormalities.


If any signs are detected, Dr. Postol will monitor your teeth and mouth over the next few appointments to determine the severity of the condition and if treatment is necessary.

Identifying the root cause

In order to understand the reason for your bruxism, Dr. Postol may ask you questions about your overall dental health, medications, daily habits, and sleep patterns.

Evaluating the extent of bruxism

To fully understand the extent of your bruxism, Dr. Postol may check for:

  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw muscles
  • Dental abnormalities such as broken or missing teeth
  • Damage to teeth, underlying bone, and inside of cheeks, with the help of X-rays
  • Other disorders that may cause similar jaw or ear pain, such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders or other health conditions.

Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial in preventing any long-term damage to the teeth and jaw. If you suspect you may have bruxism, it is important to consult with your dentist and follow their recommended treatment plan.

How Can Bruxism Be Prevented?

There are several steps that can be taken to prevent bruxism or reduce the frequency and severity of teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Some preventive measures include:

  1. Stress management: Stress is a common trigger for bruxism, so practicing stress-reducing techniques such as relaxation exercises, yoga, and meditation can help prevent or reduce the occurrence of bruxism.
  2. Avoiding triggers: Identifying and avoiding things that trigger bruxism, such as alcohol, caffeine, and certain medications, can help reduce the frequency of episodes.
  3. Good sleep hygiene: Ensuring that you have a comfortable sleep environment and a regular sleep schedule can help prevent bruxism.
  4. Proper oral care: Regular dental check-ups, good oral hygiene, and properly aligned teeth can help prevent bruxism.
  5. Changing certain habits: such as biting nails, chewing gum, or holding objects between the teeth can be a factor in developing bruxism, so avoiding these habits can prevent the condition.

Consulting with a dentist or doctor can help determine the underlying causes of bruxism and develop an appropriate prevention and treatment plan.

How Is Bruxism Treated?

The treatment for bruxism in both adults and children can be similar but may vary depending on the individual’s specific needs and the underlying cause of the condition.

For adults:

  • Oral appliances such as a custom-made mouthguard or splint can be worn during sleep to protect the teeth from grinding and clenching.
  • Behavioral therapies such as stress management techniques, biofeedback, and cognitive-behavioral therapy can help control the muscle activity associated with bruxism.
  • Medications such as muscle relaxants may be prescribed to reduce muscle activity associated with bruxism.
  • Dental treatments such as the repair or replacement of damaged teeth may be necessary to fix damage caused by bruxism.
  • Surgery may be recommended in severe cases to correct jaw position or repair damage to the jaw joint.

For children:

  • Dental appliances such as a mouthguard are commonly used to protect the teeth from grinding.
  • Behavioral therapies can help children learn how to control muscle activity associated with bruxism.
  • Dental treatments such as the repair or replacement of damaged teeth may be necessary to fix damage caused by bruxism.
  • Medications are generally not recommended for children but may be considered in severe cases.
  • Early intervention is important for children to prevent long-term damage to the teeth and jaw.

It’s important to note that treatment for bruxism is often most effective when a combination of methods is used and that regular follow-ups with the dentist or doctor are essential to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments.

Types of Mouthguards

To combat bruxism, many individuals turn to mouthguards as a form of treatment. There are several types of mouthguards available, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.

  • Stock nightguard. These are generic, over-the-counter options that can be purchased at pharmacies or general stores. They are designed to fit the average bite, but may not always stay in place during sleep.
  • Boil-and-bite nightguard. These are made from a thermoplastic material that is heated in hot water to make them more pliable. The patient then shapes it to their bite using their fingers and tongue. While these guards can provide a better fit than stock options, they still have a tendency to have fitting issues.
  • Custom mouthguard. These are individually designed by dentists using molds of a patient’s teeth and constructed in a laboratory. They offer a precise fit and long-lasting protection, but require a significant investment of time, energy, and resources, making them more expensive than the other options.

Ultimately, the type of mouthguard that is best for you will depend on your specific needs and budget. Consult with Dr. Postol to determine which option is best for you.

Preparing for Your Appointment

To make the most of your appointment, it is helpful to come prepared with information about your medical history, symptoms, personal circumstances, and any medications you are currently taking.

Before your appointment, consider making a list of:

  • Your previous experiences with bruxism or related issues
  • Any symptoms you are currently experiencing, including the timing and severity of pain
  • Any recent changes or stressors in your life
  • A list of all medications and dosages that you are currently taking

During your appointment, some important questions to ask might include:

  • What is the likely cause of my symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes to consider?
  • What is the most effective treatment approach?
  • Are there alternative treatment options?
  • How can I manage my bruxism alongside other health issues?
  • Are there any generic alternatives to the prescribed medication?

If you suspect you have bruxism, schedule a consultation with Dr. Postol. Our team offers years of experience and a high level of care for teeth grinding and related symptoms. Contact us for friendly, professional service in a welcoming environment. Don’t wait, get treatment now.

How To Stop Those Candy Cane Cavities

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about cavity prevention during the holidays. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the season, especially if you’re surrounded by family and friends. However, it’s important to remember that your oral health should always be a top priority—and that includes during Christmas! Christmas is a time for love, family, and nearly endless sweets. It can be easy to forget about oral care during the holidays, but it’s important to be mindful of the sugar you consume to prevent future cavities.

It’s not just sugar that causes cavities. Another common culprit is the acid in certain foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits and juices. When these types of foods are consumed with other sugary treats, they can speed up tooth decay even more. Candy canes are the perfect stocking stuffers, but they can also be the perfect cavity-makers. If you don’t brush and floss after every meal, your teeth are at risk for cavities. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to enjoy your favorite holiday treats while still protecting your teeth from damage.

Carry a dental care kit

Good oral care is the number one way to prevent cavities. You should brush after every meal, and flossing is important as well. You should also create a travel dental care kit that includes floss, toothpaste with fluoride, and mouthwash as well. Get a fluoride rinse. Fluoride is great for strengthening enamel and preventing cavities from forming in the first place. You can buy fluoridated rinses at most drug stores or online. By engaging in good dental care regularly, your teeth will be much less likely to develop cavities.

Another trick is to try to eat scheduled meals instead of snacking throughout the day. Snacking gives your teeth less time to neutralize the acid in your mouth. If you need more help to protect your enamel, ask your dentist about fluoride treatments.

Eat less sugar

Sugar turns acidic when it sits in your mouth. When these sugars are left on your teeth for long enough, they will start to dissolve the enamel on your teeth, making them much more susceptible to cavities. This is especially true if you have multiple cavities or other dental work that makes it easier for food to get stuck between teeth. Sugar is a huge cause of tooth decay and cavities, so limit your intake of sugary drinks, like soda or juice.

If you’re craving something sweet, try opting for sugar-free options instead—you’ll still get the same great flavor without any of the damage! Reach for an item that contains a different sweetener instead of regular sugar. While it’s still not recommended that you consume large amounts of Xylitol (or any other ingredient), this particular ingredient has been shown in studies to reduce the risk of developing cavities by up to 80%.

Common artificial sweeteners that mimic the taste of sugar include:

  • Sucralose
  • Aspartame
  • Monk fruit
  • Stevia
  • Saccharin

Avoid sticky or tacky foods

The longer something stays on your teeth, the more likely it will cause damage. You should also avoid sticky foods if you have any dental work, as they may pull out fillings or crowns. Take frequent breaks from eating sweets by brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste or chewing sugarless gum. This will help neutralize the acid in your mouth, so it doesn’t have time to eat away at your teeth.

Candy canes are also notorious for causing tooth decay because they get wedged in between your teeth and stay there for hours at a time. Candy canes create plaque that can lead to cavities if left untreated. As the candy melts in your mouth, it creates an acidic environment that can eat away at your enamel and cause cavities. If this happens to you on a regular basis, then consider using a toothbrush with soft bristles before bedtime so that any leftover sugar from those tasty treats doesn’t have time to settle into place overnight.

Some of the worst foods for tooth enamel include:

  • Caramels
  • Hard candies
  • Candy canes
  • Toffee
  • Taffy

Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water this holiday season. This will stimulate salivary flow (and therefore neutralization) as well as cleanse your mouth of food particles that could otherwise lead to plaque buildup on your teeth’s surfaces (which could then lead to cavities). Water can rinse away what is stuck on the teeth and keep them clean throughout the day. You should drink at least 8 ounces every hour while eating or drinking sugary foods (including candy). Additionally, be mindful of how much sugary food or drink you consume each day—especially if you’re eating or drinking something sweet every time someone offers it up!

Water will not only help prevent cavities, but it will make you feel good. Drinking enough water is vital for making sure your body stays hydrated throughout the holidays when so much of our focus is on food and family. You may even notice that when you’re drinking enough water, you feel less hungry during meals and snacks—which means less sugar intake.

Regularly visit your dentist

We know it’s hard to stay on top of your oral health all year, not just around the holidays. Unfortunately, if you don’t make a special effort to stay on track, you could be setting yourself up for a lot of pain and heartache come January.

Make sure you are having regularly scheduled visits with your dentist. If you aren’t sure how often you should be going in for check-ups, ask them. They can help set up a schedule that makes sense based on your lifestyle and goals. You’ll feel good knowing that your teeth are being looked after by professionals who know what they’re doing—and they’ll thank us later when they see how healthy your smile looks.

You can trust our team to deliver high-quality dental care, whatever your situation may be. Reach out to us now with questions or concerns, and we’ll be happy to help!

What Are Dental Implants Like Today?

It’s a given that our teeth are important—they are one of the first things people see when they meet us, and a healthy smile goes a long way. Unfortunately, our teeth are susceptible to many problems, from cavities to gum disease. And while there are treatments available for these issues, sometimes the damage is too significant, and the tooth must be removed.

This is where dental implants come in. A dental implant is an artificial replacement for a natural tooth. Here’s what you need to know about dental implants today, including the available types and how to choose one.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are titanium posts surgically placed into the jawbone to support a replacement tooth or teeth. The implant fuses with the jawbone over time, providing a strong and stable foundation for the new teeth.

Dental implants can be used to replace one or more missing teeth. They can also support a dental bridge or denture, providing a more secure fit and making it easier to eat and speak.

What Are the Different Types of Dental Implants?

There are 2 main types of dental implants: subperiosteal and endosteal.

Endosteal implants are undoubtedly the most popular type of implant. They are typically placed directly into the jawbone, and once they have healed, a second surgery is needed to place the post that will support the replacement tooth.

Subperiosteal implants are placed under the gum but on top of the jawbone. They are an option for people with insufficient jawbones to support an endosteal implant. Once the implant heals, the metal frame becomes attached to the bone, and the replacement teeth are placed on the gum.

How Do I Choose a Dental Implant?

There are several factors to consider when choosing a dental implant, including:

The number of teeth replaced: One dental implant can support one tooth, and multiple implants can support a dental bridge or denture.

The Location of the Tooth

The type of implant will be determined by the tooth’s place. For example, an anterior (front) tooth will require a different implant than a posterior (back) tooth.

The Health of the Jawbone

The implant must be placed in a healthy area of the jawbone to ensure proper fusion.

The Overall Health of the Patient

Overall health is essential in any surgical procedure, and dental implants are no different. Patients who are smokers or have certain medical conditions may not be candidates for dental implants.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

There are many benefits to choosing dental implants, including the following:

Improved Appearance

Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth and are designed to match the color of your existing teeth. Furthermore, because they are placed in the jawbone, they support the lips and cheeks, giving you a natural-looking smile.

Improved Speech

Dental implants are placed securely in the jawbone, so they will not slip or move when you speak. This can be specifically beneficial for people who wear dentures, as loose-fitting dentures can cause slurring or mumbling.

Enhanced Comfort

Dental implants eliminate the pain and irritation caused by dentures that do not fit properly.

Better Oral Health

Unlike dental bridges, which rely on adjacent teeth for support, dental implants do not require any alteration to the surrounding teeth. This helps to preserve your oral health.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

The implant screw, with regular brushing and flossing, can last indefinitely; however, the crown will only last 10 to 15 years before replacement due to everyday wear and tear. Furthermore, the jawbone around the implant will continue to degrade over time, which can eventually lead to the loss of the implant. It is essential to visit your dentist regularly to ensure that the implant is still securely in place and to monitor the health of the surrounding jawbone.

Procedures That You May Have With Dental Implants

Ridge Expansion

A ridge expansion is a standard procedure to make more room for dental implants in the patient’s mouth. This is often necessary when the patient has suffered from tooth loss, and the gum tissue has receded, exposing more of the jawbone.

Socket Grafting

Socket grafting is a kind of bone grafting often performed with dental implants. The procedure involves taking bone from another area of the patient’s body and grafting it into the socket where the tooth was removed. This helps to preserve the jawbone and prevent further deterioration.

Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is a procedure often performed in conjunction with dental implants. The process involves taking bone from another area of the patient’s body and grafting it into the jawbone. This helps to preserve the jawbone and prevent further deterioration.

Sinus Lift

Implants are notoriously difficult to place in the upper back jaw due to the proximity of the sinuses. A sinus lift is a type of bone grafting performed to make more room in the jaw for dental implants. The procedure involves lifting the sinus membrane and grafting bone into the space created.

Get Your Perfect Smile

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you, so it’s vital to ensure it looks its best. Dental implants can help you achieve a beautiful, natural-looking smile that you can be proud of.

If you are thinking of getting a dental implant, consult a seasoned implant dentist to go over your options and ensure that you are a suitable candidate for the procedure. Once you have decided to proceed with dental implants, your dentist will work with you to develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and goals.

Dental implants may be the right solution for you if you want to improve your appearance and boost your self-confidence. Consult a qualified implant dentist such as Dr. Kevin F. Postol to learn more about this exciting treatment option.

Can My Dentist Stop My Snoring?

Snoring is a major problem for many adults in this country. There are many effects of snoring, but the inability to breathe properly is the most serious. For some adults, snoring causes them to wake during the night, which can lead to fatigue during the day.

One possible cause of snoring is obstructive sleep apnea. This condition affects almost 10 percent of women and around 25 percent of men. Adults aren’t the only ones who can suffer from this condition. Babies and children can also have obstructive sleep apnea.

Why is Obstructive Sleep Apnea a Major Issue?

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway. This usually occurs when the soft tissue in the throat collapses. This is much different than central sleep apnea, which occurs because of changes in the central nervous system.

Some people are more prone to obstructive sleep apnea than others. These include people who are overweight, have a large neck or suffer from a small upper airway. People who have an overbite, those who have enlarged tonsils, and those who have a nasal obstruction may have a small upper airway.

The problem with obstructive sleep apnea is that it can lead to major health problems. These include:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Heart attacks
  • Stroke
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Enlargement of heart muscle tissue

There’s also the possibility of this condition making it difficult to live life normally because of fatigue. Some people who have obstructive sleep apnea are at an increased risk of work-related and automobile accidents. Lax work or academic performance might also occur.

What are the Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea causes symptoms that are noticeable while you’re sleeping, but there are also some that are present while you’re awake. In some cases, you won’t notice these but your partner will. These signs include:

  • Snoring, often loudly
  • Headaches
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Problems with memory
  • Mood swings, including irritability
  • Sore throat or dry mouth when waking
  • Night sweats
  • Fatigue during the day
  • Sexual dysfunction

Sleep apnea interrupts the breathing cycle that occurs during sleep. These disruptions can last a few seconds or longer than a minute. They may occur hundreds of times during the night. The longer the episodes and the more frequent the episodes, the more issues they can cause.

How Can a Dentist Help People Who Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

People who have obstructive sleep apnea sometimes need to have continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, when they sleep. This requires them to wear a mask that’s connected to a breathing machine. Typically, people who have a severe case of obstructive sleep apnea will require this.

For those who have a minor to moderate case of obstructive sleep apnea, a dental appliance might help to prevent the soft tissue from blocking the airway by adjusting the lower jaw. Oral appliance therapy uses a device that looks similar to a mouth guard.

There are three categories of devices that may help with obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Kevin F. Postol will determine which of these three would benefit you.

  • Mouth guard: These provide a minor adjustment to the lower jaw by pulling it forward some.
  • Mandibular advancement devices: These snap over the teeth to pull the lower jaw forward. They’re made of hard plastic that’s molded specifically for your tooth alignment. They also have screws and hinges that are adjusted to get the position of you lower jaw set correctly.
  • Tongue-retaining devices: These devices help to prevent your tongue from falling back over the throat. They are usually uncomfortable and can cause dry mouth.

Once you’re given a dental appliance to help control your obstructive sleep apnea, you’ll need to wear it on a consistent basis. It can be challenging to get used to sleeping with it in, but the symptoms you’re experiencing will be reduced if it’s the correct one for you. In some cases, you’ll have to try more than one of these before you find the one that provides the most relief from obstructive sleep apnea.

How Does a Dentist Determine What Can Help Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Dentists work closely with sleep specialists to determine the best way to help a person who has sleep apnea. Determining the best course of treatment usually starts with having a polysomnography test, which is an in-lab sleep study, or a home sleep apnea test. Both of these tests help to determine what happens to your airway while you sleep.

Dr. Postol can also use an i-CAT imaging scan to find out about your tooth and jaw positioning. This enables him to find ways to reduce the obstructions of your airway while you sleep.

What are the Risks of Dental Appliances to Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

While using a dental appliance to treat obstructive sleep apnea is usually a successful treatment, there are some risks that are present when using these devices.

  • Loose teeth
  • Jaw pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Bite changes
  • Drooling excessively

These risks are usually outweighed by the benefits of wearing the device. Most adults would rather deal with those instead of having to wear a CPAP mask while they sleep. But, it’s important to remember that CPAP might be necessary if the obstructive sleep apnea isn’t controlled by the dental appliance.

Contact Kevin F. Postol, DDS to Treat Your Snoring

Getting treatment started for obstructive sleep apnea can help you to enjoy a more restful night’s sleep. It can also help to improve your overall health and make it easier for your partner to get a good night’s sleep. Contact Dr. Kevin F. Postol to schedule an appointment to learn how our team can help you address the snoring that’s become a major problem in your life. Our team has more than 25 years of combined experience in treating sleep apnea and snoring.

Your 2022 Guide to Cosmetic Dentistry

Looking after your teeth is about more than simply keeping your teeth healthy enough to chew comfortably. A bright smile gives a valuable first impression and shows that you are a person who takes care of even the tiny details of your appearance. It also helps you feel more confident and to project that feeling to those around you.

Unfortunately, a dazzling smile doesn’t always come naturally, and accidents and circumstances can damage your teeth, making you less inclined to smile at all. So what can you and your dentist do to improve your smile and give back that feeling of confidence?

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry covers a whole range of treatments designed to improve your smile, from simple ones that can be done in one appointment to complex procedures that may involve surgery. This contrasts with general dentistry, which concentrates on basic needs and keeps your teeth and gums healthy. Cosmetic dental procedures may be offered to rectify congenital defects (problems you are born with) or to repair the effects of accidents, decay or lack of care.

What Are the Top Choices for Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures?

Cosmetic dentistry offers a wide range of treatments, some for tidying up discoloration and stains and others for replacing missing or damaged teeth. If you’re unsure which procedures might suit your needs, here is a quick breakdown of six of the most common procedures, all of which can be provided by Dr. Kevin F. Postol and his professional team.

Dental Implants

A missing tooth certainly doesn’t improve the look of your smile, and dental implants are one way to fix this issue. This procedure involves placing a titanium post into the jawbone, providing a solid foundation for the replacement tooth. Unlike a bridge, a dental implant places no stress on adjacent teeth, and it’s also much more durable and has none of the drawbacks of dentures. In addition, a dental implant that is cared for will last for many years and looks and feels just like one of your natural teeth.

Smile Makeover

A complete smile makeover is the choice of those who have had a significant injury or are living with the effects of years of tooth decay and neglect. It begins with a full assessment of the condition of any remaining teeth, the gums and the jawbone. Next, Dr. Postol will talk you through the options available, which will cover a combination of treatments. These might include orthodontic treatments to correct alignment issues, dental implants or bridges where teeth are missing, veneers or crowns for damaged teeth and gum reshaping. The process is a total team effort by dentists such as Dr. Postol, other specialists and their support staff.

Porcelain Veneers

Suppose the enamel on your teeth is cracked or badly discolored or stained. In that case, porcelain veneers are an excellent way to restore a dazzling smile. Firstly, Dr. Postol will remove a thin layer of the enamel under local anesthetic and take an impression of your teeth which they send to a lab. The lab may take up to four weeks to produce your veneers, so we will often send you home with a temporary set. Once the porcelain veneers are ready, they are cleaned and etched to provide a strong bond before Dr. Postol fits them. With proper care, a set of veneers should last you for many years.

Teeth Whitening

If you have discoloration or staining on your teeth that isn’t sufficiently bad to require veneers, teeth whitening can be an ideal way to make your smile shine more brightly. It’s a quick procedure—usually taking less than an hour—and you will notice that your teeth are immediately much whiter. Alternatively, you can use a home-whitening system provided by us that includes a customized appliance worn over your teeth and a mild topical solution. Unfortunately, this method is not as fast, and it can take several weeks for you to see the full effects.

Gum Contouring

Sometimes, the line of your gums along your teeth doesn’t look even. This may be down to periodontal disease, or it could simply be the shape you were born with. Gum contouring improves your smile by removing some gum tissue or adding it from other parts of your mouth should there not be enough tissue. Dr. Postol will accomplish this with a scalpel or laser under a local anesthetic, which will generally be completed in one visit. There may be some discomfort after this procedure, for which we will prescribe painkillers. Healing will usually take days or maybe a couple of weeks, but your even gum line will improve your smile immensely once you are fully healed.

Cosmetic Bonding

Cosmetic bonding is a procedure that dentists use to rectify minor issues with your teeth that would otherwise require crowns or veneers. Examples of this include a small gap between teeth or a little crack in the enamel. During a cosmetic bonding procedure, Dr. Postol will use a resin agent matched to the color of your teeth to repair the issue.

Suppose you think you might be a suitable candidate for cosmetic bonding. In that case, Dr. Postol thoroughly examines your teeth, detailing all imperfections and damage. We then etch the area to prime it for binding and apply the bonding agent. Curing takes only thirty to sixty seconds. After this, Dr. Postol files and polishes until the treated area looks like a natural part of your tooth.

Take Care of Your Teeth to Keep Smiling Brightly

Much of the time, cosmetic dentistry becomes a necessity due to a lack of preventive care. Even after you have had some of these procedures done, you can save yourself from further intervention by taking good care of your teeth personally and in partnership with Dr. Postol. To do this, there are five simple steps you can take:

  • Floss once and brush twice each day
  • Visit us for a check-up every six months
  • Brush your teeth immediately after consuming staining food or drinks such as wine or coffee
  • Wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports
  • Orthodontics: having your teeth straightened with a brace can make them easier to take care of

Most importantly, if you are considering cosmetic dentistry procedures, ensure that your dentist is a reputable, experienced professional like Dr. Postol, with a skilled team around them. To find out more about cosmetic dentistry procedures, contact one of our professional and friendly team members today!

Why It’s Necessary to Replace Missing Teeth

From gum disease to injuries, there are tons of issues that can lead to missing teeth. Not only do tooth gaps negatively impact self-confidence, but they may also cause oral health problems. Let’s take a closer look at the potential consequences of missing teeth, as well as available treatment options.

What Are the Consequences of Missing Teeth?

Even a small gap in your smile can greatly impact your day-to-day life. Here are a few possible oral health issues that may occur as a result of missing teeth.

Difficulty Chewing

Every tooth plays an essential role in the chewing process. For example, front teeth are used to break off small bites of large food items (such as apples), while back teeth help grind up chewier foods (such as meats). Molars, meanwhile, are used to chew virtually everything. Foods that become especially challenging to consume with missing teeth include:

  • Hard foods (like raw vegetables or nuts)
  • Sticky foods (like gum or candy)
  • Hot foods (like hot beverages)

Difficulty chewing is more than an inconvenience. If you don’t chew properly, you may experience acid reflux and similar digestion problems.

Misaligned Teeth

When you have a gap in your teeth, the adjacent teeth will gradually move closer together in an effort to fill the gap. As a result, your teeth may become misaligned. Known as malocclusion, this can cause the following problems:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle plain
  • Tooth sensitivity or decay
  • Gum recession
  • Further tooth loss

Uneven teeth also pose cosmetic issues. If your teeth aren’t aligned properly, it’s harder to be confident in your smile.

Weakened Jawbone

Every time your top teeth make contact with the bottom teeth, your jawbone is stimulated and strengthened. If a tooth is missing, the part of the jawbone around that area will not receive the stimulation it needs. When this happens, the jawbone will shrink and the gums will recede into the gap, leading to these consequences:

  • Sagging facial skin
  • Changes in facial structure
  • Difficult speaking and chewing
  • Headaches and facial pain
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (TJD)

In addition to causing pain, a weakened jawbone may alter the appearance of your face and make it harder to pronounce certain words.

What Are the Solutions for Missing Teeth?

Even just one missing tooth can cause long-term problems for your oral well-being. Fortunately, there are treatments available for those with tooth gaps. Here are three common solutions.

Partial Dentures

Dentures are artificial tooth replacements that look and feel just like real teeth. Some dentures are removable, while others are secured in place with an adhesive. While they’re typically used in situations where a patient is missing most or all of their teeth, there are partial dentures available for filling in small-scale gaps. To create the dentures, Dr. Kevin F. Postol will make a wax or plastic impression of the patient’s jaw and mouth. Then, a technician will shape them until they’re a perfect fit. Benefits of dentures include:

  • Realistic appearance: Dentures are designed to look natural.
  • Low maintenance: Fixed dentures can be maintained with regular brushing and flossing, while removable dentures just need to be rinsed regularly.
  • Works for most patients: Unlike other tooth replacement options, partial dentures can suit almost any patient.

Of course, there are some cons to dentures as well. For instance, they cannot handle certain foods and need to be replaced regularly (about every seven to 10 years). They’re also prone to slipping, which can be embarrassing in social situations.

Dental Bridges

If you’re missing teeth but think dentures are too extreme, dental bridges may be the right solution. Staying true to their name, they quite literally “bridge the gap” between teeth using posts and prosthetic teeth. Dr. Postol will start by installing two posts (or crowns) over the teeth adjacent to the gap. Then, he will place artificial teeth over the posts. Secured in between these teeth is another artificial tooth, which seamlessly fills in the gap and completes your smile. Benefits of dental bridges include:

  • Strong bite force: Compared to dentures, dental bridges offer a stronger bite force that can maintain the shape of your jawbone.
  • Long-lasting: On average, dental bridges last for about 15 years.
  • Secure: Dental bridges remain secure in your mouth, meaning you don’t have to worry about an embarrassing slippage situation.

On the downside, dental bridges are not 100% effective in preventing bone loss and jawbone deterioration. Moreover, if the crowns don’t fit properly, the patient may experience tooth decay underneath.

Dental Implants

When it comes to tooth replacements, dental implants tend to be the most popular option. They involve artificial, customized tooth roots that are implanted directly into bone tissue. First, Dr. Postol will make a small incision in the gum to expose the jawbone underneath. If the bone is strong enough to support implants, he will drill holes and install the tooth roots. Patients with weaker jawbones may need a bone grafting procedure before they can use implants. Benefits of dental implants include:

  • Permanent solution: Unlike other artificial teeth options, dental implants typically last a lifetime.
  • Easy maintenance: Dental implants are designed to function just like normal teeth, so they can be maintained with regular brushing and flossing.
  • Stability: Since they’re anchored to your gums, dental implants are highly secure.

In comparison to dentures and dental bridges, dental implants offer the most benefits. Not only are they permanent and easy to care for, but they’re also the closest thing you’ll find to real teeth.

Where Can I Get a Tooth Replacement?

Whether you’re missing one tooth or several, it’s important not to let the problem go unaddressed. Over time, missing teeth can cause tooth decay, gum disease and serious jawbone deterioration. If you’re looking for high-quality dental implants or other tooth replacements, Dr. Postol and his team are here to help. After an initial consultation, we can determine the best solution for your needs. Learn more by requesting an appointment today!

Effects of Eating Disorders on Oral Health

Anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating are all eating disorders that have the potential to cause dental health concerns. Symptoms range from mild to severe and hurt both your oral and overall health. Dr. Kevin F. Postol and his team can identify early signs of an eating disorder and help patients access the treatment they need to stop harmful behaviors and improve oral health.

How Do Eating Disorders Affect Oral Health?

It’s no secret that your diet has a huge impact on the health of your mouth. A lack of nutrients and consuming too many sugary or acidic foods may lead to tooth decay and other problems. However, the harm caused to the mouth by an eating disorder is often just as devastating to your oral health.

What Are Eating Disorders?

An eating disorder is any abnormal or dangerous eating habit. They are serious and potentially life-threatening mental illnesses that may cause long-term damage to a person’s mental, physical, and oral health. Some of the most common eating disorders include:

  • Anorexia: Individuals suffering from anorexia nervosa severely limit their food intake out of fear of gaining weight.
  • Bulimia: Individuals with bulimia nervosa engage in a pattern of binge-eating numerous calories and then purging. Vomiting, taking laxatives, and engaging in long periods of exercise are all methods of purging.
  • Binge-eating: This eating disorder involves an individual who consumes excessive amounts of food. The person typically eats until they are uncomfortable and experiences associated feelings of shame, guilt, depression, or disgust after the episode.

There are many types of eating disorders that have varied behaviors and characteristics. They usually start with an unhealthy view or obsession with food or body weight.

How Do They Cause Complications In the Mouth?

Dietary habits have a major impact on oral health. Visible signs may emerge in the mouth that indicate a problem or change in routine behavior. Dr. Kevin F. Postol and his team can check for early signs of an eating disorder as changes in the mouth are often the first symptoms a patient presents.

Restricting food leads to deficiencies in key nutrients like calcium, vitamins, and iron. A trained dentist will notice the signs of nutritional deficiencies such as tooth decay, gum disease, and sores. Other behaviors associated with an eating disorder, such as frequent vomiting, also leave behind signs. Vomiting brings stomach acid into contact with the teeth and can cause them to lose enamel or change color. It also can leave behind small cuts and redness in the mouth, which is a warning sign to dentists that there may be a deeper problem.

Individuals who binge eat may consume unhealthy amounts of sugar and carbonated beverages that increase the amount of plaque present on the teeth. This raises the risk of developing cavities and tooth decay.

Signs of Damage From an Eating Disorder

Eating disorders are serious and the associated lack of essential vitamins and nutrients can lead to dysfunction in the body. Higher levels of acidity in the mouth can also cause harm by wearing away the teeth and gums. These are some of the oral signs of an eating disorder:

  • Bleeding of the gums and soft tissues
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Chronic dry mouth
  • Cracked and dry lips
  • Mouth sores
  • Bad breath
  • Change in tooth color or shape
  • Erosion of enamel
  • Redness and small scratches or cuts in the mouth
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Bruising around the mouth

When left untreated, an eating disorder can progress to cause serious and permanent health issues in the mouth and throughout the body.

Treatment of Dental Concerns Caused by Eating Disorders

Dr. Kevin F. Postol can identify concerning signs that a patient may have an eating disorder. Routine check-ups look for problems and issues with the hard and soft mouth tissues. If warning signs are found, our team gently addresses the issue by discussing the oral health problems and giving advice and treatment options to correct them. Your dentist won’t judge you, so be honest so you can get the best care, advice, and ongoing support.

Dental Procedures

Dental care for individuals with eating disorders varies according to each person’s unique needs. The first step is to get the help necessary to treat the disorder and receive proper dental care. The longer the damaging behavior continues, the harder it is to reverse the oral health consequences.

Visit your dentist regularly to get an assessment and advice. If you require crowns, a root canal, or any form of cosmetic dentistry, you will need to address these issues immediately and then follow up with good oral hygiene and consistent follow-up visits.

Oral Hygiene Practices

You can help prevent further problems and protect your dental health by following a dentist-recommended oral hygiene practice. Start by brushing and flossing every day. Avoid brushing your teeth after vomiting as this can lead to further damage. Instead, rinse your mouth with water or a mouthwash. Ask for specific instructions to treat your additional areas of concern. Dr. Postol may prescribe a desensitizing toothpaste, remineralizing substance, or another product.

Restore Your Smile With Dr. Kevin F. Postol

If you need dental services, schedule an appointment with Dr. Postol today. Our dental team has more than 25 years of experience in family and cosmetic dentistry. We use the latest techniques to help you improve your oral health and maintain a gorgeous smile. Whether you need a routine examination or have specific needs, your health is our priority. If you are currently dealing with an eating disorder, our team can step in and help you restore your oral health. Early detection is best for a smooth and successful recovery.

You can be confident that your comfort and care are our primary focus. We understand that a trip to the dentist can be stressful. We do our best to ease your anxiety with our friendly environment and various amenities so you can relax through your appointment and have a pleasant experience.

What is a Sleep Apnea Dentist?

At first, the signs of sleep apnea can be easy to dismiss. Some people simply snore loudly, have trouble staying asleep or have headaches in the morning. However, these symptoms could point to a much bigger issue that can be fatal if left untreated.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes patients to stop breathing while they’re asleep. They often wake up gasping for air, then fall back into a restless sleep. When a patient has obstructive sleep apnea, their throat muscles relax while they sleep, closing their airways. Other patients have central sleep apnea, which happens when their brain doesn’t tell their breathing muscles to keep working.

What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

Insomnia or restless sleeping might not be an isolated issue. Instead, it could be a sign of sleep apnea. If you have trouble sleeping, look out for these common symptoms:

  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up gasping for air
  • Insomnia
  • Trouble concentrating or staying awake during the day
  • Morning headaches
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Sudden episodes where you stop breathing
  • Dry mouth

Many people don’t know that they have sleep apnea because they can’t hear themselves snoring. If you sleep with another person, they might notice that you snore loudly or suddenly stop breathing during the night. Don’t assume that you’re just a restless sleeper–take these concerns to your dentist before complications arise.

In children, sleep apnea symptoms include bed wetting, sweating, mouth breathing, snoring and choking or coughing while asleep. During the day, the child might act out in frustration. Parents assume that they’re misbehaving, but they’re actually tired and stressed after a night of restless sleep.

What is a Sleep Apnea Dentist?

A sleep apnea dentist works specifically in the sleep apnea field to provide patients with the best possible care. Patients can visit the clinic on their own or get a referral from a doctor. Once they schedule a consultation, the dentist talks about their symptoms, evaluates the patient’s mouth and discusses a treatment plan.

Sleep apnea dentists offer custom-made appliances that fit directly over the patient’s teeth. They make impressions of the patient’s teeth, then sends them to a lab that crafts the appliances. If necessary, dentists recommend other treatments like surgeries and CPAP machines. They stay in touch with the patient throughout the process to answer questions and adjust their appliances.

How Do Dentists Treat Sleep Apnea?

In some cases, dentists recommend a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine that keeps your airway open while you asleep. When you sleep, you’ll wear a face mask connected to the CPAP machine. The machine feeds air pressure through the mask that keeps your airway tissues from collapsing. You’ll enjoy reduced snoring and a better quality of sleep without disturbances.

If you have mild sleep apnea, we prefer to prescribe oral appliances that open your airway while you sleep. Appliances are smaller and quieter, making them an efficient treatment for people who don’t need a full CPAP machine. The appliances hold your jaw open at night to clear your airways without pain or discomfort.

Many patients prefer appliances because they’re much more portable. Patients can easily take trips, stay in hotels or crash at friends’ houses without hauling their CPAP machine around. They’re also more comfortable and less invasive. At night, the patient simply inserts the appliance, then takes it out when they wake up the next morning.

Dr. Postol’s office makes customized appliances for qualifying sleep apnea patients. We offer five different appliances that suit various needs. When we start treatment, we’ll evaluate parts of your mouth like the jaw, tongue and soft palate, then decide which appliance offers the best treatment.

Which Appliances Treat Sleep Apnea?

Studies have shown that oral appliances are just as effective as CPAP machines. You might be a candidate for appliances if you have mild-to-moderate sleep apnea, you’re not comfortable with CPAP therapy or you can’t undergo surgery. Some patients use an appliance along with their CPAP machine for comprehensive treatment.


The EMA is thinner than other appliances, making it ideal for people who aren’t comfortable holding large appliances in their mouths. EMA appliances feature plastic trays with adjustable straps on each side. While this appliance is less durable than its counterparts, the straps offer different lengths that gradually adjust the patient’s jaw.

TAP® 3

Many patients prefer the TAP® 3 because they can make their own adjustments. This appliance uses a hook and socket to connect your upper and lower jaw while you sleep. To make adjustments, simply use the key to gradually shift the position, then close your mouth once you’re satisfied.


While the HERBST OA’s components look intimidating, this appliance is safe and comfortable for patients. The design allows greater flexibility so patients can move their jaw during the night. Each appliance comes with a simple adjustment mechanism and uses rubber bands to keep the patient’s mouth closed, preventing a sudden episode.

What Happens When You Start Wearing Appliances?

When you first start using oral appliances, you might experience minor discomfort like tension, sore gums, dry mouth or salivating. Typically, these symptoms disappear as your mouth adjusts to the appliance. If the discomfort persists, schedule an appointment so we can make adjustments. Talk to us immediately if you experience jaw pain, tooth movement or damage to existing structures like crowns and bridges.

As you adjust to the appliance, you might notice reduced headaches, more alertness in the morning and restful sleep that gives you energy for the day ahead. Your partner may remark that you’re snoring less and don’t wake up in the middle of the night, gasping for air. You’ll enjoy a better quality of life without surgeries or CPAP machines.

Contact Our Office Today

If you suspect that you’re suffering from sleep apnea, schedule an appointment with Dr. Postol’s office. We may start with a Home Sleep Apnea Test (HSAT) or polysomnography test (PSG) to provide an accurate diagnosis. Otherwise, we’ll talk about treatment options that suit your condition’s severity.

Why Choose Dr. Kevin F. Postol for TMJ Treatment

Do you suffer from TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder? If so, you’re not alone. TMD, or Temporomandibular joint disorder, is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This joint is located in the lower jawbone and allows patients to open and close their mouths. TMJ disorder is when the temporomandibular joint does not work properly.

TMJ is a common dental problem that can cause pain and discomfort in the jaw and neck. In some cases, it can even lead to other health problems, like headaches and difficulty speaking. Fortunately, several treatments can help reduce the pain and improve your quality of life.

The treatment of temporomandibular joint disorder can be complex and involve various therapies and surgeries. If you’re looking for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment, Dr. Kevin Postol is one of the best TMJ experts who can help you get started. So, whether you’re looking for an online guide to the causes and symptoms of TMJ and the treatment options available, our blog is the perfect place to start your journey in finding the best TMJ treatment for you.

What Causes TMJ/TMD?

TMJ affects patients of all ages; however, women of childbearing years are the most affected. In many cases, the causes of TMJ disorders aren’t always clear or understood. Causes may include muscle weakness, stress or anxiety, teeth grinding, poor posture, braces, gum chewing, and inflammation. Other risk factors that will increase an individual’s chances of developing TMJ disorder are:

  • Jaw injuries
  • Different types of arthritis
  • Certain connective tissue disease
  • Neck strain
  • Poorly positioned teeth
  • Genetic predisposition to pain sensitivity and increased stress response

Multiple factors can contribute to the muscle tightness and dysfunction that characterize this condition. It is not clear whether some of these causes directly lead to TMD or if they are a direct result of the disorder itself.

What Are the Most Common Symptoms of TMJ/TMD?

Although pain is one of the most common symptoms of TMJ disorders, it affects patients differently. Common signs of a TMJ disorder include:

  • Pain and tenderness in the jaw
  • Pain in the temporomandibular joints
  • Pain while chewing or difficulty moving the jaw while chewing
  • Aching around the ears or in other areas of the face
  • Swelling around the face
  • Stiff joints or locking referred to as lockjaw
  • Popping or clicking in the jaw joints

Many patients experience this popping or clicking in their jaw joints, but they don’t have any pain or difficulty opening and closing their mouths. In this case, you may not need TMJ treatment if you are willing to live with the clicking. Each patient is unique; therefore, the number, intensity and frequency of TMD symptoms can vary in each patient. However, if your symptoms are severe, it is vital that you schedule an appointment for an evaluation right away. Dr. Postol can identify the causes of your TMJ disorder and decide on the most appropriate treatment. There are many effective treatments available for TMJ, and a diagnosis can help you get started on the path to healing.

How Do We Diagnose TMJ/TMD?

There is no widely recognized method for diagnosing TMJ because the exact causes are unknown and it is often caused by a variety of factors. Typically, during your appointment, we will consider your symptoms and ask you a few simple questions about your medical history. Based on this information, we may perform a physical examination of your jaw. In some cases and if we suspect a problem, we may also recommend x-rays, so we can examine your jaw in more detail.

What Treatment Do We Offer for TMJ/TMD?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating TMJ, as the condition can be significantly affected by your individual circumstances and symptoms. We offer a broad range of TMJ treatments through various methods. Some of the most common treatments include oral appliances, medication, chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy.

Oral or injection therapies such as corticosteroid therapy can effectively relieve TMJ symptoms. Sometimes, patients also benefit from botox injections into the jaw to prevent pain when chewing. Habits such as teeth grinding, biting your fingernails, and leaning on your chin can also lead to TMJ disorder. If this is the case, we may prescribe counseling to address any underlying issues that leads to this behavior.

You may require surgery if other therapies are not successful in relieving the symptoms. If this is the case, Dr. Postol will take you through your different options for surgical procedures. We often use arthroscopy as an alternative TMJ treatment to open-joint surgery as it is less invasive. During this procedure, we insert a small thin tube, known as a cannula, into the joint space, followed by an arthroscope, a small camera, to view the problem area to help determine a diagnosis. Although there are fewer risks involved than open-joint surgery, this treatment is limited, and in some cases, open-joint surgery is necessary. What is important to know is that TMJ can often worsen over time if left untreated, leading to reduced jaw mobility and even tooth loss.

When it comes to TMJ, there’s a lot that we still don’t know. However, we hope this blog helped you understand TMJ and the available treatment options.

At Kevin F. Postol, DDS, our caring dental team is highly trained, health-oriented, and experienced in all areas of dentistry. We aim to provide a reassuring atmosphere, excellent service and state-of-the-art dental techniques. As a recipient of the “Top Dentist” award every year since 2008, trust Dr. Postol and his team to provide the proper TMJ treatment to give you the relief you need.

Find out more by requesting an appointment with Dr. Kevin F. Postol and his professional dental team today.