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Posts for category: Oral Health

December 31, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: loose tooth  

Losing their first tooth is among the most significant rites of passage for kids. This is completely normal, but if you have concerns, don’t hesitate to consult with your children’s dentistry professional in Decatur, IL, Dr. Natalie Corley, or Dr. Chad Corley here at Corley Family Dental.

Amid all the thrill and buzz around growing up, as a parent, here’s what you should keep in mind when it comes to your child losing teeth.

When Does The First Baby Tooth Fall Out?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids begin losing their first baby teeth at about six or seven years old. However, because all children are different, your little one might be older or younger when this happens. Just continue bringing your child to the dentist to detect any infection signs or other issues that could hinder milk teeth from falling out on schedule.

Baby teeth don’t typically loosen until the adult or permanent teeth under them has begun to push the baby teeth out of their socket. Take note though, that when baby teeth start to loosen, it could take up to several weeks to completely fall out. Just leave the tooth alone unless you see any indications of infection such as swelling or redness around the tooth’s gums.

If your child’s baby tooth becomes loose due to an injury, it’s best to visit your children’s dentistry professional in Decatur, IL, to check the baby tooth’s stability and the condition of the adult tooth underneath, if applicable.

Should You Pull Out Your Child’s Loose Tooth?

The best thing you can do with a loose baby tooth is to not do anything about it and just let it fall out naturally on its own. Just make sure to tell your child what to expect, especially when it falls out. Tell him or her that there might be some bleeding and tingling, but that these will pass quickly.

Have your child rinse her or his mouth with water after the loose tooth falls out, and place some gauze in the gap to stop the bleeding. Give your child an OTC pain medication if there’s pain. In the unlikely case that the bleeding and pain persists for more than an hour, call your dentist for advice.

Reach Out to Us To Learn More About Children’s Loose Teeth and Our Children’s Dentistry Services

Contact your Decatur, IL, dentist Dr. Natalie Corley or Dr. Chad Corley here at Corley Family Dental by calling (217) 330-6217.


Most of us have no clue how the ancient holiday tradition of kissing under the mistletoe originated—but it sure doesn't stop us from keeping the tradition alive! Yet although eager to join a certain someone under the hanging twig, you still might hesitate to apply the old smackeroo out of fear your breath isn't as fresh as it should be.

Bad breath has tormented us humans long before we started osculating (kissing) under trimmings of viscum album (the scientific name for mistletoe). Our resulting discomfort has inspired a myriad of remedies, from ancient Egyptian toothpastes containing natron (also used in embalming mummies) to 19th Century American breath mints made of ingredients like cardamom, essence of rose and licorice root.

Today, we're much better at relieving common bad breath because we've uncovered its primary source: bits of food and mucus accompanied by oral bacteria on undisturbed areas the mouth, particularly the tongue. As the debris interacts with the bacteria, it releases chemical compounds called VSCs (volatile sulfur compounds) that emit a classic rotten egg smell.

The key then is to remove the source of these VSCs. You might think that means doing a better job of brushing and flossing, and you're right. But it can involve more.

Keeping your tongue clean. Since the tongue is a prime collecting point for debris and bacteria, it makes sense to keep it clean. That might simply mean brushing its surface when you brush your teeth. You might, however, benefit from using a tongue scraper if you have more stubborn accumulations.

Maintaining your dentures. These and other dental appliances can accumulate food debris that if not removed can cause a “stink.” You should clean dentures daily using a denture cleaner or mild antibacterial soap and then rinse them off thoroughly. It also helps to take them out at bedtime.

Seeking dental care. Another source of bad breath could be tooth decay or gum disease, or even older dental work in need of repair. Treating these and other conditions (like an oral yeast infection) not only improves your dental health, it could do wonders for your breath.

There are also other sources of foul breath unrelated to the mouth—and some can be serious diseases like diabetes, cancer or lung infections. If your chronic bad breath doesn't respond to your hygiene efforts, it's a good idea to get checked medically.

Now as to holiday traditions, we can't help you maneuver your prospective sweetheart under the mistletoe with you—you're on your own, pal (or gal). But by following these tips for sound oral care, we're sure you'll have the “fresh breath” confidence to follow through from there.

If you would like more information about eliminating chronic bad breath, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath.”

December 11, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: General Dentist  

You’re probably well aware by now that maintaining good oral health is immensely crucial to avoiding various oral health issues. But did you know that keeping your oral health in tiptop shape also ensures your general health? This is because poor oral health is directly correlated to an increased risk of various health problems such as stroke and heart disease.

That being said, with help from your dentist here at Corley Family Dental in Decatur, IL, Dr. Natalie Corley, or Dr. Chad Corley, you could ensure excellent oral health with general dentistry treatments. What are these treatments, exactly?

Preventive Dentistry Treatments

General dentists aid in preventing oral infections and oral cancers as well as other oral health complications. Professional cleanings performed by your dentist can likewise aid in preventing plaque, stain, and discoloration from accumulating in your teeth. Your dentist is more capable of cleaning your teeth and gums more effectively than any toothbrush can.

Professional Oral Health Checkups

During these crucial checkups, your dentist will thoroughly inspect your teeth, mouth, and gums for any potential issues. Depending on the results of your assessment, your dentist in Decatur, IL, may recommend some general dentistry treatments to prevent existing issues from progressing further and becoming harder to treat.

Likewise, keep in mind that your dentist has all the necessary tools to aid them in detecting oral health issues, like gum disease and cavities for instance, during their earliest phases when they’re still easier and more affordable to treat.

Restorative Dentistry Procedures

If your dental problems can’t be treated with regular cleanings and dental hygiene modifications, your dentist can still help save your tooth and safeguard it from further complications. For example, a cavity can be treated with a dental filling or a crown.

For severely damaged teeth, your dentist may be able to perform root canal therapy. Additionally, for teeth that can’t be saved, your dentist may recommend dental implants, bridges, and crowns, or dentures to replace your missing teeth.

Improved Oral Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, poor oral health is directly linked to poor overall health since the body is already more vulnerable to various complications since your immune system has already been compromised. So ensuring that your oral health is always in top condition will help lower your risk of developing all sorts of health problems.

Reach Out to Us to Learn More About How General Dentistry Can Benefit You

Book a meeting here at Corley Family Dental in Decatur, IL, Dr. Natalie Corley or Dr. Chad Corley, by calling (217) 330-6217.


Thousands of years ago, our ancestors could only expect to live between 30 and 40 years. But steady improvements in lifestyle and medical care have increased human life expectancy to almost 80 years.

Although a welcome development, it does raise a question: Are our teeth up to the added years? Even though quite resilient, it's natural for teeth to wear after years and tens of thousands of meals biting and chewing.

Fortunately, there have also been phenomenal advances in dental restorations that can effectively replace teeth we lose along the way. Even so, the most advanced artificial replacements can't restore the full benefit of natural teeth to oral and general health. The ideal goal is to preserve and protect our natural teeth for as long as possible.

Here are 4 areas worthy of your attention in protecting your teeth throughout your lifetime.

Dental disease. Tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease are the top causes for poor dental health and tooth loss. They're caused by bacteria living and feeding primarily in dental plaque, a thin biofilm on tooth surfaces. Brushing and flossing daily, along with regular dental cleanings, removes this disease-causing plaque. You should also seek treatment as soon as possible at the first sign of dental disease.

Bite correction. A poor bite is more than a smile problem: Teeth out of alignment and not engaging normally with their counterparts on the other jaw may increase tooth wear and make hygiene more difficult to perform. Orthodontic treatment, even if undertaken later in life, can help maintain your teeth's long-term health and longevity.

Bad habits. Your teeth are tough, but not indestructible. Protect them by avoiding harmful habits or practices like crunching ice, gnawing on pencils, nails or other hard objects, cracking open nuts or using your teeth as tools. Not engaging in these kinds of habits will help reduce wear and help you also avoid chipping and fractures.

Teeth grinding. Involuntarily clenching or grinding your teeth, often while sleeping, can accelerate dental wear. If you suspect you have this habit, take steps first to deal with stress, the number one cause of adult teeth grinding. Your dentist can also fashion a mouth guard that prevents your teeth from making solid contact with each other and thus help reduce wearing to your teeth.

If you would like more information on tooth wear, 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 “How and Why Teeth Wear.”


Dentists and oral surgeons remove millions of teeth every year, most without any adverse aftereffects. But about 2% of patients experience a dry socket, a condition that, although not dangerous to health, can be quite painful.

Also known as alveolar osteitis, a dry socket occurs when the blood clot that normally forms right after extraction doesn't form or becomes lost later. The clot serves as a barrier for the underlying bone and nerves during the healing process; without it these tissues can become irritated from contact with air, food or fluids.

Dry sockets (which usually occur in the back, lower molars) are fortunately rare, mainly in patients over 25, smokers or women using oral contraceptives. Patients also have a higher risk of developing a dry socket if they attempt certain activities too soon after tooth extraction like vigorous chewing or brushing that may dislodge the protective clot.

You can reduce your chances of a dry socket after a tooth extraction with a few simple guidelines. Unless advised otherwise by your dentist, avoid brushing the day after extraction and gently rinse the mouth instead. It also helps to avoid hot liquids and eat softer foods for a few days. If you smoke, you should avoid smoking during this time and use a nicotine patch if necessary.

Over the next few days, you should remain alert for any signs of a dry socket, often a dull, throbbing pain that radiates outward toward the ears, and a bad taste or mouth odor. A prompt visit to the dentist will help alleviate these symptoms, often in just a few minutes.

To treat it, a dentist will typically irrigate the socket and apply a medicated dressing, which you would need to change every other day for up to a week. After that, you'll leave the dressing in place for a while as you heal.

A dry socket doesn't interfere with the healing process: Your extraction site will heal whether or not you have one. But prevention and treatment for a dry socket will help ensure your healing after an extracted tooth is much less uncomfortable.

If you would like more information on dry socket after tooth extraction, 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 “Dry Socket.”

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