Keys to Controlling Bad Breath

Keys to controlling bad breath

If you’re serious about learning what’s causing your bad breath, consider scheduling an appointment with your dental professional. Given your full medical and dental history along with an oral examination, your dentist should be able to identify the culprit. The causes of bad breath are numerous and include certain foods, alcohol or cigarettes, poor oral hygiene, periodontal disease, diabetes, dry mouth, sinus or throat infections, lung infections or abscesses, kidney/liver failure, gastrointestinal issues and severe dieting.


Treatment of Bad Breath

It is important to conduct thorough oral hygiene at home twice daily utilizing tooth brushing with a fluoride antibacterial toothpaste and flossing to remove food debris and plaque on teeth, bridgework and implants, and brushing the tongue to remove odor-causing bacteria. A published study reported that tongue and tooth brushing in combination with dental flossing significantly decreased bleeding of the gum tissue over a two week period of time as well as reduced bad breath. Another clinical study conducted by the University of Buffalo dental researchers confirmed that brushing twice a day with an antibacterial toothpaste and using a tooth brush with a tongue cleaner can eliminate bad breath.


Tongue Cleaning is the Key to Fresher, Cleaner Breath

Cleaning your tongue is very important. You can purchase a Colgate 360 toothbrush with the tongue cleaner on the back of the toothbrush for cleaning both your teeth and tongue. After tooth brushing your upper and lower teeth with an antibacterial toothpaste, flip the toothbrush over to the tongue cleaner and place the tongue cleaner in the posterior region of the tongue and move it forward to the anterior section of the tongue. After you have scraped that portion of the tongue, rinse the tongue brush off with warm water to remove any odor causing bacteria. Then replace the tongue brush in the next posterior section again and repeat as described above again.

Consult your dentist or dental hygienist when choosing oral hygiene aids to help you eliminate plaque and odor causing bacteria and review the techniques that should be utilized at home. Also, ask your dental professional what oral hygiene care products they would consider you use to help eliminate bad breath (antibacterial toothpaste, antiseptic mouth rinse, tongue brushes or scrapers and interproximal cleaning devices). The key to a clean, fresh mouth is optimal oral hygiene conducted at home on a regular basis and professional recommendations discussed with you by your dentist.

Injured Tooth - What Should I Do?

Injured Tooth

How Do I Know if I Need Treatment?

As with any trauma to the mouth, you should consult with your dentist immediately to determine if treatment is required. The dentist will examine the affected area and may take X-rays.

If you are in pain from a broken, cracked or chipped tooth, you may want to take an over-the-counter pain reliever. If possible, keep any part of the tooth that has broken off and take this with you to the dentist. If a tooth is completely knocked out of the mouth by an injury, take the tooth to your dentist as soon as possible. It may be possible for your tooth to be placed back into your mouth, a procedure called reimplantation.

How Does a Dentist Treat a

  • Chipped tooth —If there is no pain and the chip is small, it's up to you to decide if, when and how the tooth should be repaired. Depending on the size of the chip, it can be smoothed or cosmetically corrected. Other options include veneers, crowns and fillings. Ask your Lakewood dentist to explain these options. If a filling or artificial tooth becomes chipped, it should be replaced.

  • Cracked or broken tooth —Cracked and broken teeth should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Root canal therapy or tooth extraction may be necessary. If a crack affects the enamel and dentin of the tooth, a crown is frequently the best treatment. Keep in mind that cracks are not always visible, even on X-rays. Symptoms may involve pain while chewing and Sensitivity to cold and possibly hot foods and liquids, as well as air, which may over time become more pronounced.

  • Tooth knocked out —The key to successfully reattaching a tooth is to get it reimplanted in the socket as soon as possible. With each minute that passes, more of the cells on the root of the tooth die. If possible, rinse the tooth with water only, then reimplant the tooth at the site and hurry to a dentist as quickly as possible. The tooth should be picked up by the crown only and must not be allowed to dry. The best chance for success is reimplantation within the first 30 minutes, with chances still good for up to two hours. It may be necessary for your dentist to do a Root canal treatment one to two weeks after the tooth has been stabilized.

  • Permanently lost teeth, whether they've been removed by a dentist or accidentally knocked out, should be replaced. This is to avoid problems such as difficulty chewing and speaking, a shifting of position among remaining teeth, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders caused by chewing on the side with more teeth, and a weakening of the jawbone. Options for replacing lost teeth include bridges, dentures and implants.

  • Broken jaw —If you suspect you or someone else has a broken jaw, do not move it. The jaw should be secured in place with a handkerchief, necktie or towel tied around the jaw and over the top of the head. Cold compresses should be used to reduce swelling, if present. Go immediately to a hospital emergency room, or call your dentist.

If you have any emergencies or concerns, please contact our Lakewood dentist today!

Periodontal Disease: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You

Lakewood Periodontal Disease

It is estimated that 35.7 million Americans are living with a bacterial infection of the gums known as periodontal disease. This infection attacks the tissue that keeps your teeth attached to your gums.

On average, more than 500 species of bacteria live in your mouth.2 Some of these bacteria are beneficial, while others under the right conditions can cause disease. Living a healthy lifestyle helps you keep the harmful bacteria under control. Not taking care of your overall health and your teeth and gums can cause an overgrowth of harmful bacteria, which may lead to serious health problems beyond the mouth, in addition to the threat of losing your teeth.

35.7 million Americans are living with a bacterial infection of the gums known as periodontal disease

Factors that predispose people to gum disease include bad oral hygiene and genetics. In fact, research has proved that up to 30% of the population may be genetically predisposed to gum disease.3

Periodontitis, a severe form of periodontal disease, is caused by plaque that develops just below the gum line, in the area called the sulcus or periodontal pocket, where it causes the attachment of the tooth and its supporting tissues to break down. The mildest form of periodontal disease is known as gingivitis and is triggered by bacterial plaque that forms at the gum line.




What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissue that supports your teeth. It attacks just below the gum line, where it causes the attachment of the tooth and its supporting tissues to break down.


WARNING SIGNS

  • Pain in the mouth
  • Gums bleed when brushing
  • Spaces develop between teeth
  • Swollen and tender gums
  • Receding gums (exposing the bottom of your teeth)
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Pus between teeth and gums
  • Sores develop

RISK FACTORS
  • Tobacco use
  • Systemic diseases
  • Use of certain types of medicine
  • Bridges that no longer fit
  • Crooked teeth
  • Fillings that have become defective
  • Pregnancy
  • Oral cancer

If you're showing warning signs, see your Lakewood dentist. Mild gum disease may be controlled by routine professional teeth cleanings and more diligent home care. Gingivitis and early periodontitis can be kept under control by your dental team.

Scaling and root planing also may be a step your dentist or hygienist takes to control early to moderate periodontitis. Scaling removes hard and soft deposits of calculus from the crown of the tooth. Root planing smooths away calculus deposits that collect on the root surfaces beneath the gums.1

Local, needle-free methods are available to keep you comfortable during this process. Your dental professional may also choose to perform this treatment one area of your mouth at a time over a series of office visits.

For advanced gum diseases, surgical treatments using local anesthetics may be performed. To reduce the size of gingival pockets, a periodontist folds back the gum tissue and removes the disease causing bacteria. He or she may also reshape the bone and gum, add bone grafts if necessary, and then stitch the tissue back into place.

Diastemas and the Treatment Options

Diastemas

What is a Diastema and How do I Treat It?

A diastema is an area of extra space between two or more teeth. The two front teeth of the upper jaw area is where diastema is most frequently seen. Many children experience diastema as primary teeth fall out, though in most cases these spaces close when the permanent teeth erupt.

Diastemas may also be caused by a tooth size discrepancy, missing teeth or an oversized labial frenum, the tissue that extends from the inside of the lip to the gum tissue where the upper two front teeth are located. Secondary reasons involve oral alignment issues such as an overjet or protrusion of the teeth.1


What are My Treatment Options?

Once your dentist or dental specialist has determined the reason for your diastema, a treatment plan will be discussed. Options may include:

  • Keep the diastema.

  • Orthodontic treatment to move the teeth and close the diastema.

  • Use porcelain veneers, very thin pieces of porcelain bonded to the outside of the teeth.

  • Crown and bridge work or replacement of teeth with implants (adults only).

If you have an oversized labial frenum, you may be referred to a periodontist for an oral consultation and surgical procedure called a frenectomy. This procedure involves cutting the frenum and then repositioning to allow for more flexibility. If the frenectomy is conducted on a child, the space may close by itself. If it is a teenager or adult, the space may need to be closed with braces. A consultation with your dentist is essential to determine which option is the right option to treatment for you.

If you're having diastemas and looking for a treatment option, please contact our Lakewood dentist today!

The Important Reasons for Mouth Guards

Mouth Guards

A mouth guard is a soft plastic or laminate device used in sports to prevent oral injuries to the teeth, mouth, cheeks, tongue and jaw. The American Dental Association projects that one third of all dental injuries are sports related. The use of a mouth guard can prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries to the mouth each year.

The types of dental injuries that can occur without the use of a mouth guard are chipped or broken teeth, fractured crowns or bridgework, lip and cheek injuries, root damage to the teeth, fractured jaws, and concussions. Any athlete may be at risk for oral injury and any injury can be prevented with the use of a mouth guard.

Mouth guards are mandatory in collision sports such as football, hockey and boxing where the risk of injury is likely. Children and adults involved in incidental contact sports like basketball, baseball, softball, wrestling, soccer and volleyball may consider wearing a mouth guard to prevent injuries to the mouth.

A study of high school athletes found that seventy-five percent of injuries occurred when mouth guards were not worn and forty percent occurred during baseball and basketball. Nine percent of all athletes suffered some type of oral injury while another three percent reported a loss of consciousness. Fifty-six percent of all concussions were suffered when mouth guards were not worn. Trauma related to sports is more prevalent than previously reported.

Child or adult, a mouth guard is essential for all athletes. For more information about the right mouth guard for you, consult your dental professional.

For any further questions or concerns, contact our dentist in Lakewood today.

What Is Fluorosis?

Fluorosis

Your permanent teeth form under your gums in the jawbone during early childhood. Except for your wisdom teeth, the crowns (the part you see in the mouth) of all of the permanent teeth fully form by the time you are about 8 years old. If you consume too much fluoride as a young child, the extra fluoride can disrupt the formation of the enamel (outer part) of your permanent teeth and lead to fluorosis, which varies from minor discoloration to surface irregularities of the teeth. The extra fluoride does not affect other parts of the tooth. Once your teeth have erupted into your mouth, they are not susceptible to fluorosis.

Fluorosis is a cosmetic condition, not a disease. Often, it is so mild that only a dental professional can detect it. Most cases of fluorosis result from young children taking fluoride supplements or swallowing fluoride toothpaste when the water they drink is already fluoridated.


Symptoms

Teeth affected by mild fluorosis may show no visible changes or changes visible only to a dental professional. Mild to moderate fluorosis is characterized by white lines, streaks or spots. In more severe fluorosis, the teeth can become pitted and have brown, gray or black spots, and the enamel can be misshapen.


Diagnosis

Your dentist and dental hygienist will ask if your child received fluoride supplements, used fluoride toothpaste or drank fluoridated water in previous years. They also will ask about past and present medical conditions or disabilities that may affect your child's teeth. Your dentist will examine your child's teeth and gums and take X-rays to make sure there are no other defects in the teeth.

Other conditions may look like fluorosis. Developmental defects and craniofacial problems can cause disruptions in the enamel or dentin of the teeth. In addition, infants or young children who have high fevers or experience trauma (such as a fall that injures a tooth) may have discolored teeth. Young children can get cavities in their primary teeth, so any tooth discoloration should be checked at the dental office.


Expected Duration

The spots and stains left by fluorosis are permanent and may darken over time.


Prevention

If you have a child under 6, put only a small smear or pea-sized amount of toothpaste on his or her toothbrush and encourage him or her to spit rather than swallow after brushing. Avoid toothpastes with flavors that may encourage swallowing. Keep all fluoride-containing products (toothpastes, mouthwashes, etc.) out of the reach of young children.

The addition of fluoride to drinking water is one of the great preventive disease programs of the 20th century. Children should take fluoride supplements only if the water they drink does not contain enough fluoride. If your child is taking fluoride supplements now, check the amount of fluoride in your water. If you are on a public water supply, call your supplier to ask about the fluoridation level. You can also have your dentist check a sample of your water. Then discuss with your dentist whether your child needs fluoride supplements.

Some foods and beverages contain fluoride. For example, many fruit juices and soft drinks contain fluoride at levels similar to fluoridated water. Some bottled waters now have added fluoride. Young children should drink limited amounts of these beverages.


Treatment

Many cases of fluorosis are minor enough not to need treatment or the fluorosis may occur only on the back teeth, where it can't be seen. More serious cases and cases involving the front teeth can be treated by removing the surface-stained areas through tooth whitening or other procedures. Severe cases of fluorosis can be covered with restorations, such as bonding, crowns or veneers.


When Should I Contact My Dentist?

If you notice white streaks or spots on your child's teeth or notice that one or more teeth are discolored, contact your Lakewood dentist today!

What you should know about dry mouth

Dry Mouth

Everyone has a dry mouth once in a while — if they are nervous, upset or under stress.

But if you have a dry mouth all or most of the time, it can be uncomfortable and can lead to serious health problems.

Dry mouth can

  • Cause difficulties in tasting, chewing, swallowing, and speaking

  • Increase your chance of developing dental decay and other infections in the mouth

  • Be a sign of certain diseases and conditions

  • Be caused by certain medications or medical treatments


Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging. So if you think you have dry mouth, see your dentist or physician — there are things you can do to get relief.

What is Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth is the condition of not having enough saliva, or spit, to keep your mouth wet.

Symptoms Include:

  • A sticky, dry feeling in the mouth

  • Trouble chewing, swallowing, tasting or speaking

  • A burning feeling in the mouth

  • A dry feeling in the throat

  • Cracked lips

  • A dry, tough tongue

  • Mouth sores

  • An infection in the mouth


What Can be Done About Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth treatment will depend on what is causing the problem. If you think you have dry mouth, see your dentist or physician. He or she can try to determine what is causing your dry mouth.

  • If your dry mouth is caused by medicine, your physician might change your medicine or adjust the dosage

  • If your salivary glands are not working right but can still produce some saliva, your physician or dentist might give you a medicine that helps the glands work better

  • Your physician or dentist might suggest that you use artificial saliva to keep your mouth wet

What can I do?

  • Sip water or sugarless drinks often

  • Avoid drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and some sodas. Caffeine can dry out the mouth

  • Sip water or a sugarless drink during meals. This will make chewing and swallowing easier. It may also improve the taste of food

  • Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy to stimulate saliva flow; citrus, cinnamon or mint-flavored candies are good choices

  • Don't use tobacco or alcohol. They dry out the mouth

  • Be aware that spicy or salty foods may cause pain in a dry mouth

  • Use a humidifier at night

For more information regarding dry mouth, please contact our Lakewood dental office today!