Top Risks for Oral Cancer

You know your dentist is looking for cavities during regular check-ups, but you may not know you’re also being screened for cancer at the same time. Oral cancer and cancers of the throat, tonsils and back of the tongue (pharyngeal) strike approximately 40,000 a year.

Regular visits to your dentist can help you detect such cancers early, and changing a few potentially harmful habits may help reduce your chances of developing them. Watch what happens during an oral cancer screening above, then read on to find out the top risk factors.  read more

8 Secrets to a Successful Back-to-School Dental Checkup

Regular dental visits are important year-round, but a back-to-school checkup is key in fighting the most common chronic disease found in school-age children: cavities. In fact, dental disease causes children to miss more than 51 million school hours each year.

Prevention and early detection can help avoid pain, trouble eating, difficulty speaking and school absences. “When people are beginning to do their pediatrician checks to make sure their kids are school-ready, make sure teeth are part of it,” says pediatric dentist and American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Mary Hayes.

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Adults over 60

Getting older doesn’t mean you have to lose your teeth, with healthy habits you can keep them for life.  Read More

Pregnancy and Oral Health

pregnant toothbrush woman dental care oral health baby prepregnany motherIf you are planning or expecting a baby, congratulations! We understand this is the busiest and most exciting time of your life. Here are some tips to keeping those pearly whites healthy and white.

If you are planning a pregnancy, get a checkup done now to reduce the risk of having a dental emergency during pregnancy and if there are any current issues that need to be addressed they can be taken care of before you conceive.

The changing hormone levels that a woman experiences during pregnancy can make some dental problems worse. Many women become prone to gingivitis (gum disease) which can be prevented with diligent oral care by keeping your teeth clean and flossing daily.

If dental x-rays are necessary you will be covered with a leaded apron that minimizes exposure to the abdomen.

Good daily care is vital. That means always brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing once a day and eating a healthy, balanced diet.

It is important to continue with your regular oral examinations and professional teeth cleanings during pregnancy. If you notice any changes in your mouth during pregnancy, schedule an appointment to see me immediately.


Dr. Michael Brown is an O’Fallon Dentist that has provided General Dentistry services to residents of O’Fallon and the surrounding areas for over 30 years. Dr. Brown is listed in the Top Dentists in St. Louis by St. Louis Magazine for 2010, 2011 and 2012, as voted by peers.

What is tooth decay and how do I prevent it?

Healthy Teeth st louis dentist dr michael brown Tooth decay is the process that results in a cavity. It occurs when bacteria in your mouth make acids that eat away at a tooth.

Bacteria and food adheres to the tooth by creating a clear, sticky film on the tooth called plaque. Bacteria feeds on the sugars in food, so by continuing to eat sugary foods the bacteria multiplies and continues to create acids. The acids attack the teeth after eating, which is why it is recommended to brush your teeth or chew gum after each meal.

Left unchecked, the progressive decay can lead to the death of a tooth.

Usually tooth decay does not cause any symptoms until it has progressed to the point of having a cavity or infected tooth. The key to preventing this from occurring is to be more conscious of incorporating dental hygiene into your everyday life.

Tips to preventing tooth decay:

  • Brush twice a day. Check with your dentist if you should brush three times a day.
  • Clean between your teeth daily with floss.
  • Eat nutritious and balanced meals. Limit snacking and carbohydrates.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral examinations.

Dr. Michael Brown is an O’Fallon Dentist that has provided General Dentistry services to residents of O’Fallon and the surrounding areas for over 30 years. Dr. Brown is listed in the Top Dentists in St. Louis by St. Louis Magazine for 2010, 2011 and 2012, as voted by peers.

O’Fallon Dentist Explains: What is Plaque?

Healthy Tooth with PlaquePlaque is a soft, sticky, and colorless deposit that is continually forming on our teeth and gums. Often undetected, plaque attacks the teeth and gums with the acid it produces from bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria uses the sugars from foods and beverages along with saliva, to thrive and multiply. This acid attack breaks down the tooth’s enamel, causing tooth sensitivity and ending with varying degrees of tooth decay. Plaque is the main cause of cavities and gum disease.

Everyone develops plaque because bacteria is constantly forming in the month. Plaque accumulates in hard to reach areas of the mouth. If it is not removed daily, it begins to harden into a calcified substance called calculus, also known as tartar. The most common sign of tartar is a yellow or brown color to teeth or gums.

Plaque is controlled by brushing and flossing daily at home and during a regular cleaning from your dentist. The only way for sure to detect tartar, and to remove it, is to see your dentist.

If you are having issues with plaque or tarter development, contact our office and we can help. We provide convenient appointment times to schedule a cleaning. Call 636-395-0042 or email us to schedule an appointment.


Dr. Michael Brown is an O’Fallon Dentist that has provided General Dentistry services to residents of O’Fallon and the surrounding areas for over 30 years. Dr. Brown is listed in the Top Dentists in St. Louis by St. Louis Magazine for 2010, 2011 and 2012, as voted by peers.

Tips for Cleaning Your Teeth & Gums

dental tips st louis st charles dentist dr michael brown ofallon dental clinic health hygiene gums teethWhether you are 80 years old or five, your teeth and gums require the same amount of care. A few minutes every day spent on dental hygiene can save you from dental pain and potentially thousands of dollars in the long run.

I recommend the following for good oral hygiene:

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day.
  2. Replace your toothbrush every 3 months, or when the bristles start to fray.
  3. Floss daily to remove bacteria that still lingers between teeth where your toothbrushes bristles can’t reach.
  4. Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Limit the amount of sugary and processed foods you consume.
  5. See me at least twice a year for a cleaning and exam.

Follow these tips and you will stay on the road to keeping your teeth & gums healthy.

Enjoy your Easter!

– Dr. Michael Brown


Dr. Michael Brown is an O’Fallon Dentist that has provided General Dentistry services to residents of O’Fallon and the surrounding areas for over 30 years. Dr. Brown is listed in the Top Dentists in St. Louis by St. Louis Magazine for 2010, 2011 and 2012, as voted by peers.

Chewing Gum Is Recommended by The American Dental Association

The ADA has stated that chewing sugar-free gum is safe, and beneficial, for your teeth.

Chewing gum ada st louis ofallon dentist dr michael brownAlong with brushing and flossing your teeth daily, there are indeed benefits to chewing sugarless gum.The physical act of chewing increases the flow of saliva to your mouth.  And saliva is a natural enemy of bacteria that live in the plaque on your teeth. So, if you chew gum after a meal, the increased saliva you produce from chewing gum will actually help to neutralize and wash away the acids that are produced when food is broken down by the bacteria in plaque on your teeth.  This is only true when chewing sugar-free gum, however. When you chew gum that contains sugar, the acid in the food you eat will eat away at your tooth enamel, creating the perfect environment  for tooth decay to start. Another benefit of chewing sugarless gum is that the increased saliva flow can also help to strengthen your tooth enamel, because it carries more calcium and phosphate to your teeth. After reviewing the above mentioned information, the ADA did clinical studies showing that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay.

All that said, chewing gum is NOT a replacement for brushing and flossing your teeth. The ADA still recommends brushing your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and to also clean plaque from between your teeth once a day with dental floss or other dental cleaners. Make sure you have your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist at least twice a year, because they can do a much more thorough locating and removing of any plaque deposits you may have.

So what does the future of sugarless gum hold? Soon you may find chewing gum that delivers a variety of therapeutic agents that rival the additional benefits to those provided by the ability of gum to mechanically stimulate saliva flow. For example, gum may become available that contains active agents that enhance the gum’s ability to remineralize teeth and reduce decay, or enable gum to resist plaque and gingivitis.

Look for the ADA Seal when purchasing sugar-free chewing gum. It will assure you that the gum you choose has met their stringent safety and effectiveness requirements. In order to get that seal, companies must verify all of the ingredients they use to make their gum with the ADA.

If you have any other questions about ways you can keep your teeth healthy gives our office a call at 636-395-0042.

How Oral Hygiene Can Affect Your Heart Health

Oral Hygiene and Heart Health

Oral hygiene will not only help to keep your mouth healthy, but it can also help to change your heart health for the better. Research has shown that certain types of cardiovascular diseases are linked to poor oral hygiene. Oral hygiene involves keeping the mouth, teeth and tongue clean in order to prevent disease. This includes brushing and flossing your teeth, as well as brushing or scraping your tongue and keeping up with regular visits to your dentist for a check-up and cleaning.

Poor Oral Hygiene and Gum Disease

Your mouth is full of bacteria; some are good, and some are bad. The good ones help to digest your food, but the bad ones must be removed from your mouth or else they will multiply and cause your gums to become swollen and irritated which may lead to bleeding when flossing, or even when brushing.  Bacteria combine with sugar to make acid that leads to tooth decay and gum disease.

Most people have heard by now that periodontal disease is associated with an increased risk of heart attack. There is a logical explanation for why heart attacks could be related to periodontal disease. Bleeding gums are a doorway for the bacteria to enter into your bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream they travel throughout the body where they can cause inflammation leading to a build-up of fatty deposits which can clog the arteries. When arteries become clogged it can cause heart disease and stroke. These bacteria can also make their way to the liver, causing the liver to produce high levels of proteins which inflame the blood vessels and eventually can lead to heart attack or stroke.

Listed below are the symptoms of periodontal disease according to the National Institute of Health:

Symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Bad breath that won’t go away
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums or longer appearing teeth

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once per day will help keep your mouth clean. O’Fallon Dentist, Dr. Michael Brown, recommends investing in a good toothbrush, floss and biannual teeth cleanings.

The American Heart Association estimates that almost eighty million people suffer from heart disease and almost one million people die every year.  The best defense against heart disease is to consult your physician to advise you about reducing your risks, including dental health.  Make sure you keep your regular cleaning appointments and screenings schedules. Doing so will greatly increases the likelihood that any problems will be detected early. Dr. Michael Brown wants to keep you and your loved ones as healthy as possible.

– Dr Michael Brown, DDS


Dr. Michael Brown is an O’Fallon Dentist that has provided General Dentistry services to residents of O’Fallon and the surrounding areas for over 30 years. Dr. Brown is listed in the Top Dentists in St. Louis by St. Louis Magazine for 2010 and 2011, as voted by peers.

Annual Visit to the Dentist Reduces Your Risk of Oral Cancer

Afraid to visit the Dentist? You should be far more afraid of NOT going to the dentist!

Dentist checkup oral cancer screeningSome people are just plain stubborn, and refuse to see a dentist until there is a major problem going on. Maybe they had a bad experience years ago, and can’t seem to get it out of their mind. Or the last time they had their teeth cleaned it made them uncomfortable for a short while. Then there’s the silliest reason of all, some people are just afraid of finding out that something’s wrong, and afraid they may have to get a filling, or worse!

Why wait until you have bleeding gums or a terrible throbbing pain that prevents you from eating? Don’t wait until you’re in pain; practicing prevention is far more effective in maintaining good dental health, and will usually lead to a pain-free visit to the dentist. In this scenario, no pain is your gain!

There are many good reasons to visit your dentist regularly; here are just a few…

Bi-annual visits to the dentist can detect problems early, when they can be cured before they become costly. For example, gum disease affects millions of people each year. With proper dental care a problem can be detected and treated before it leads to periodontal disease, a far more severe form of gum disease. Periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth loss. Again, early detection is always the best key to prevention.

The early detection of oral cancer is another important reason for a bi-annual dental visit. Oral cancer kills thousands of Americans who are diagnosed with it annually, usually within five years of initial diagnosis. During your routine check-up, your dentist will screen you for suspicious lesions. If detected in its early stages, there is a very good chance that they will be able to treat it effectively, before it becomes life threatening.

Regular Dental visits can prevent minor problems from becoming major ones. A dentist can detect potential problems before they occur. Skipping your visit to the dentist may result in your having to undergo painful and expensive procedures, such as root canals and removal of teeth. Regular dental check-ups are relatively cheap and painless in comparison.

You only get one set of permanent teeth, losing them due to neglect will have a detrimental effect on your eating habits. You won’t have to go through the discomfort associated with dentures later if you take care of your teeth today. So brush, floss, and see your dentist twice a year. Don’t let a fear of the dentist prevent you from getting the care you need.


Dr. Michael Brown is an O’Fallon Dentist that has provided General Dentistry services to residents of O’Fallon and the surrounding areas for over 30 years. Dr. Brown is listed in the Top Dentists in St. Louis by St. Louis Magazine for 2010 and 2011, as voted by peers.