Both Adults and Children Can Benefit from Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy

Orofacial myofunctional disorders describe conditions that cause people to have weak muscles in their mouth, throat, and/or face. Infants may struggle to breastfeed properly, while people of all ages may have trouble breathing, speaking, chewing, and swallowing.

Symptoms of Orofacial Disorders

Breathing primarily through the mouth, tongue ties, lip ties, tongue thrust, and overbites or underbites are some of the most common orofacial disorders. However, it can be difficult for people to recognize these disorders, especially children. Below are several symptoms that indicate you or your child could benefit from orofacial myofunctional therapy.

  • Dry lips and/or frequently licking the lips
  • Frequent choking or gagging
  • Lips remain apart while resting
  • Lisping and/or other speech issues
  • Previous diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Problems falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Sucking on thumbs or fingers
  • Using a pacifier past 12 months of age

Dr. Jim Allen and Dr. Mark Mueller offer patients with these disordersorofacial myofunctional therapy in West Salem, WI, which has proven extremely effective. The primary goals of orofacial myofunctional therapy include correcting tongue position, swallowing patterns, nasal breathing, and creating an appropriate lip seal.

How Does Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy Work

Dr. Allen or Dr. Mueller assign simple in-office exercises to improve the strength, positioning, and coordination of the face, mouth, and throat. The muscles in each of these areas must work together for proper functioning.

The earlier children receive intervention, the more likely they are to achieve normal dental and craniofacial growth. Although children tend to make faster progress because their jaws do not stop developing until the late teens, adults who never received help for orofacial issues can make considerable progress with our program.

Are you interested in learning more about orofacialmyofunctional therapy in West Salem, WI? Please contact Allen Dental to request a consultation.

Is Cavity Removal Painful?  

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is crucial to overall health and well-being. Despite our best efforts, cavities can develop in our teeth and cause pain and discomfort. In this post, we will discuss what cavities are, the benefits of cavity treatment, and whether the removal process is painful.

The professional team at Allen Dental of West Salem, WI, is proud to serve the local community with premium dental care services, filling and repairing cracks and cavities in your teeth to help restore the full function of your mouth in no time.

What are Cavities?

Cavities are holes in your teeth caused by decay. When food particles and bacteria are left on your teeth, they form a sticky film called plaque. Over time, the acid produced by the bacteria in plaque can erode the enamel on your teeth and cause cavities. If left untreated, cavities can cause pain, sensitivity, and even tooth loss.

Cavity treatment is crucial to prevent further decay and protect your teeth. During the cavity removal process, your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and replace it with a filling. This prevents the cavity from spreading and protects the tooth from further damage.

Is Cavity Removal Painful?

The cavity removal process is typically not painful. Your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth, so you should not feel any pain during the procedure. Some patients may experience discomfort or sensitivity after the process, but this usually disappears after a few days.

Your Local Trusted Dentist

Cavity treatment is essential for maintaining healthy teeth and preventing further damage. While the thought of getting a cavity filled may be daunting, the process is typically not painful.

During your next consultation with the qualified team at Allen Dental of West Salem, WI, you can be sure you receive the proper care and guidance you and your family deserve.


Why do Dentists Check Tooth Pockets?

You’ve likely experienced your dentist in West Salem, WI examining the depths of your gum pockets during a regular dental check-up. This seemingly small assessment is actually crucial to your overall oral health.

Why Your Dentist Checks Tooth Pockets

Tooth pockets are the gaps between your teeth and the surrounding gums. Ideally, there should not be large gaps. By measuring the depth of these tooth pockets, dentists can determine if there are any signs of gum disease or if there is a need for further examination.

Importance of Maintaining Healthy Tooth Pockets

Typically, healthy tooth pockets are less than 3mm deep. If a dentist finds that your tooth pockets are deeper than this, it may indicate the presence of gum disease. This is because deeper pockets can harbor harmful bacteria that can cause further damage to your gums and teeth. Teeth and gums that can become infected or inflamed if not properly cleaned. This can lead to gum disease, which can result in tooth loss.

How Your Dentist Measures Tooth Pockets

To examine tooth pockets, dentists use a small instrument known as a periodontal probe. The probe is inserted gently between the tooth and gum to measure the depth of the pocket. The dentist usually has the dental hygienist in the room to take down the measurements as the dentist calls them out. This simple and fast procedure provides valuable information about the health of your gums and teeth. Typically, this process is relatively painless, yet it is an essential part of your teeth cleaning appointments.

If during your teeth cleaning in West Salem, WI, your dentist finds that the tooth pockets are larger than they should be, you’ll be advised as to the best course of action to reverse the situation. Contact us today to book your next cleaning.

Interested in Dental Implants? Read this FAQ

Of all the prosthetic tooth options available to dental patients today, dental implants are the most like our natural teeth. If you’re missing a tooth or having a tooth extracted, a dental implant could be a good option to help restore your smile to its original beauty. Here’s what to know about dental implants in West Salem, WI.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

Dental implants look and function just like real teeth. Missing teeth can cause a variety of problems, including movement of the other teeth, problems with chewing and digestion, and issues with personal confidence. Getting dental implants can prevent all of these problems and more.

Do dental implants hurt?

Many people who get dental implants express surprise at the lack of pain during the procedure. They often say that the procedure hurt less than a tooth extraction. Anesthesia can help keep you comfortable throughout.

How can I make my dental implants last?

Take care of your dental implants just like you would take care of a natural tooth. Floss in the area around the tooth, and brush your tooth. Your dentist may recommend special types of toothpaste that can help you keep your implant clean without scratching the enamel.

Will my insurance pay for my implants?

It’s rare for insurance to pay for implants, although more types of insurance pay for implants than in previous years. If you would like dental implants and are not sure if you’ll be able to afford them, speak with your dentist in West Salem, WI. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and help you decide if this is a procedure you can afford.

4 Signs You Need to Visit the Dentist

Regular dental visits are essential for good oral health and for good overall health. When people skip dentist visits, there are almost always negative repercussions. Nevertheless, sometimes people do forego dental visits even though they are in their best interests. But when you notice any of the following signs, it’s definitely time to book your dentist visit in West Salem.

1. There’s a Bump On Your Gum Line

Your gums are supposed to be relatively flat and smooth along the upper edges of your teeth. When a gum infection occurs, there will be a noticeable bump over the tooth. This won’t go away on its own, no matter how long you wait. Only your dentist can help.

2. Your Teeth Are Shifting

If you can sense that your teeth are shifting, this is a sign you should see your dentist in Rancho Mirage right away. Teeth are not supposed to shift position. This can be a sign of periodontal disease or something else very serious.

3. It’s Been a Long Time

Experts recommend that you see your dentist at least once every six months. If it’s been a long time since you last visited your dentist, you need to book an appointment as soon as you can. Bear in mind that many dental problems can be easily taken care of if they are caught in the early stages. The longer you wait, the more serious they can become.

4. You Have Chronic Bad Breath

Bad breath on a consistent basis can be a sign that there’s something else going on. Visit your dentist and let them know what your symptoms are so you can be diagnosed and treated. Chances are, your bad breath can be cleared up once the underlying cause is found.

Your dentist in Rancho Mirage is ready to help you attain optimal oral health. Contact us today to book your next appointment!


Dental Cavities 101: Common Patient FAQs  

Cavities—the number one oral health threat among people of all ages. You’ve likely had one, you may have had one treated, and you may even have a cavity right now. Here is a look at some questions we hear most often about cavities as a West Salem dentist.

Why do you get cavities when you brush your teeth?

Brushing your teeth is definitely important to your oral health. However, just brushing alone is not always enough to prevent cavities from forming. For one, you may not hit every single surface of every tooth when you brush. Second, debris can get caught between teeth and just below the gum line where brushing does not reach.

Do you have to get a cavity filled?

Most dentists prefer to fill cavities once they are spotted because a filling can protect the tooth from further deterioration. However, other options may be available beyond fillings as well if you have just a small cavity. For example, if the cavity is only surface-level in the enamel, fluoride treatment may help to restore the damaged tooth enamel so you do not need a filling. This treatment is commonly combined with Solea laser dentistry to remove the damaged enamel quickly and painlessly without drilling.

Can a cavity spread to your other teeth?

Cavities are not contagious, so the presence of a cavity doesn’t mean the problem can spread to your other teeth. However, if you do get a cavity on one of your teeth, the likelihood of seeing others is greater. The reason is the presence of a cavity means conditions in your mouth are ideal for a cavity to form.

Talk to Your West Salem Dentist About Cavities

No cavity should be overlooked as unimportant, and new technologies like the Solea laser make cavities easier to treat than ever. Reach out to us at Allen Dental to schedule an appointment to have your cavity treated today!


Invisalign: Prospective Patient FAQs

Correcting bite issues to align your teeth can give you an entirely new level of confidence when you smile. And, standard metal braces are not the only solution for seeing desired results. Invisalign invisible aligners are capable of correcting mild to moderate bite issues as well. Here are a few things you may want to know as a prospective patient interested in Invisalign.

Does Invisalign work for people of all ages?

Invisalign is suitable for patients of any age. While the invisible aligners are attractive to younger people because they are not so obvious, this very feature makes the treatment attractive to older adults as well. In general, Invisalign is not the best solution for younger children who may not be responsible enough to wear their aligners as directed.

Do the Invisalign aligners hurt as braces do?

Invisalign aligners cause far less discomfort than traditional braces. You may feel some general pressure against your teeth as the aligners do what they are intended to do, but you won’t be dealing with:

  • Tooth sensitivity due to the brackets and wires
  • Cuts and abrasions on your lips or tongue
  • Pain associated with getting something caught in the braces

How long will Invisalign treatment take?

The average duration of treatment is between 12 and 18 months. However, every patient’s needs are different and each case may require a different length of time.

Will your aligners get stained during use?

While aligners could get stained when you drink certain things, staining is not generally an issue. The aligners are changed every few weeks, and you will be removing the aligners when you eat. Therefore, most patients do not experience any major discoloration.

Let’s Discuss Invisalign in West Salem

For mild to moderate bite issues, Invisalign can be an ideal solution. If you believe you could be a good candidate for Invisalign braces, reach out to us at Allen Dental to schedule an appointment.

Can Dental Implants Fail? What You Should Know

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), dentists place more than 5 million dental implants on an annual basis. People opt for implants for so many obvious reasons; these replacement teeth are more like natural teeth, restore chewing power, and boost self-confidence. One of the biggest concerns patients have when they visit us at Allen Dental about dental implants is if the procedure can fail. Here is a look at a few general questions and answers you should know as you make a decision about dental implants for yourself.

How can you ensure your implants do not fail?

It is actually quite rare for dental implants to fail. However, in many cases when problems arise, it is due to a lapse in proper care directly after the procedure. Once the implant is placed, the healing process begins. It is at this time that the implant fuses to the bone, so it is critical that you follow your dentist’s guidance about aftercare.

Is it possible for a dental implant to fail later?

Beyond the initial healing period, implants can fail later in life. The implants do occasionally fail simply due to age or deterioration of supportive bone. However, failure can also arise if:

  • You are not vigilant about your oral health
  • You develop gum disease that goes untreated
  • You are not following good dental hygiene practices at home

How do you know if a dental implant is failing?

Contact your dentist right away if you experience any of the following with your dental implant:

  • Pain and discomfort around the implant after the healing period
  • Swollen, inflamed, or bleeding gums
  • Looseness or shifting of the implant
  • Receding gum tissue around the implant

Find Out More About Dental Implants in West Salem

When you work with a reputable dentist, follow the guidance on aftercare, and take good care of your oral health, dental implants can last for many years. If you are interested in learning more about dental implants in West Salem, reach out to us at Allen Dental to schedule an appointment.

Composite vs. Porcelain Veneers: A Look at the Pros and Cons of Each

Veneers allow individuals with cosmetic concerns about their smiles to see a quick and easy smile transformation. If you have considered veneers for yourself, you likely have discovered the two primary types: porcelain and composite. To help you decide which dental veneers are right for you, here is a look at the pros and cons of each type.

Composite Veneers

Composite veneers are created out of a resinous material. These dental veneers are a common choice because of their economical price and durability. Additionally, they are a good choice in a situation when a patient needs a quick-fix for a cosmetic issue, such as a chipped or cracked tooth. However, there are a few pros and cons to consider.


  • Composite veneers can be created quickly
  • The veneers look natural
  • Can last for anywhere from four to eight years with the proper care


  • Not quite as durable as porcelain veneers
  • May become porous and discolor with age

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers have maintained their popularity over the years because of their resiliency and most natural appearance. Of course, porcelain veneers can take longer to create, so they are not usually recommended for a patient that needs a rapid fix for a smile problem. Here is a look at the pros and cons.


  • May last as long as 10 years or more with the proper care
  • Less likely to grow porous and develop discoloration
  • Provide a realistic appearance


  • Creation of porcelain veneers can take a bit longer
  • Can be more costly than composite veneers
  • Maybe more prone to cracking with direct force

Talk to a Cosmetic Dentist in West Salem About Dental Veneers

Smiling with confidence is ever important, and dental veneers may make that possible. If you would like to know more about dental veneers, reach out to us at Allen Dental in West Salem, Wisconsin to schedule an appointment.

How Long Do Veneers Last?

If there is one thing that can help you stand out from others, it is a beautiful smile. However, if your teeth are stained, chipped, or have other issues, you may feel self-conscious about your appearance. To solve this problem, many people turn to cosmetic dentistry options such as porcelain veneers. If you are considering this option, you may have several questions, one of which is how long the veneers will last. To help with your decision, here are some answers to your questions.

What are Porcelain Veneers?

When people think of porcelain veneers, they sometimes believe they are the same as dental implants, which is not the case. While dental implants replace teeth that are missing or have been extracted, porcelain veneers are customized to fit your teeth specifically and are fitted over the front of your teeth. Once done, your teeth will have a pearly-white appearance and be well-formed and straight, giving you a smile of which you can be proud.

How Long do Veneers Last?

If you choose to have porcelain veneers placed on your teeth, chances are you won’t need to have them replaced anytime soon. On average, porcelain veneers will last anywhere from 10 years to as long as 25 years, depending upon how well you take care of your teeth along the way. To have them last as long as possible, make sure you continue to brush your teeth twice daily and floss at least once a day. Also, if you avoid eating foods that are hard or very sticky, your veneers will tend to last longer.

If you’re ready to get the smile you’ve always wanted and feel as if porcelain veneers may be a viable option, schedule an appointment today with your dentist to discuss your options and how best to proceed.