Dental Topics Of Interest

Causes of Bad Breath.

What you eat affects the air you exhale. Certain foods, such as garlic and onions, contribute to offensive breath smell. Pungent food, once absorbed into the bloodstream, diffuses odors through the lungs. The aromas will continue until the body eliminates the food.

People who diet may develop unpleasant breath from infrequent eating.

If you don't brush and floss daily, food particles remain in the mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Food that accumulates between the teeth, on the tongue, and around the gums can sour, leaving an unpleasant odor.

Dry mouth occurs when the flow of saliva decreases. Saliva is necessary to cleanse the mouth and remove particles that may cause odor. Dry mouth has many causes, various medications, salivary gland problems, or continuously breathing through the mouth.

Tobacco products cause bad breath, so if you use tobacco, ask your dentist for tips on kicking the habit.

Bad breath may also be the sign of a medical disorder, such as a local infection in the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, liver or kidney ailment.

Bruxism Diagnosis and Treatment

Bruxism, commonly known as "tooth grinding," is clenching together and the grinding of the upper and lower teeth. During sleep, the biting force of clenched jaws can be up to six times greater than during waking hours.

Bruxism can cause complications over the years:

  • Wear down tooth enamel
  • Break fillings or other dental work
  • Worsening of TMJ dysfunction
  • Create jaw pain, toothaches, headaches, or earaches
  • Cause tooth sensitivity
  • Increase tooth mobility
  • Can Chip Teeth

There is no cure for bruxism; however, you can manage the condition. The most common procedure to help to alleviate pain and discomfort is a Nightguard oral appliance.

Canker Sores Diagnosis and Treatment

Canker sores are common in adults and children—trauma is the most common trigger among many. Canker sores tend to cause discomfort, particularly during eating.

Canker sores can appear in patients under stress or those experiencing health problems. Other triggers are hormonal changes and dietary deficiencies in Vitamin B12, Iron, or Folic Acid.

Although there is no specific treatment for the ulcer itself, except for severe cases (prescribed steroids), treatment usually focuses on the pain caused by the ulceration.

Cold Sores Diagnosis and Treatment

Recurrent herpes labialis (the common dental term) is a prevalent viral infection in children and adults. It is caused in most cases by a sub-type of the herpes simplex virus, and in most patients, it precedes an illness, exposure to the sun, or exposure to cold. In addition, most patients experience prodromic symptoms such as itching or burning sensation in the area where the blisters soon appear.

Your dentist may recommend therapies to minimize or eliminate the appearance of the blisters. This infection is usually self-limiting and can last up to 14 days before the blotches disappear.

Dry Mouth: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Saliva flow keeps the mouth moist and aids in chewing, swallowing, digestion and speech. A dry mouth is a condition from the lack of normal saliva flow.

Causes of dry mouth:

  • Dehydration
  • Emotional stress
  • Anemia
  • Related to surgery
  • Medical Conditions
  • Medication
  • Allergy
  • Anti-depressant
  • Blood pressure
  • Some mouthwashes that are high in alcohol content

Dry mouth symptoms:

  • Mouth feels sticky
  • Lips cracked and dry
  • The tongue may have a burning sensation

People who experience dry mouth are at high risk for developing cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.

Helping dry mouth:

  • Chewing gum/lozenges
  • Humidifier at night
  • Maintaining good oral hygiene

Mouth Guards

Accidents can happen during any physical activity. A mouth protector will help safeguard the soft tissues of your tongue, lips, and cheek lining.

Over-the-counter stock mouthguards can be inexpensive, pre-formed, and ready to use.

Boil and bite mouth protectors offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. Softened in water, they are more adaptable to the shape of your mouth.

Optimal mouthguards are custom-fitted by your dentist. They are more expensive, but a properly fitted mouth protector will stay in place during use, making it easy for you to talk and breathe.

Is it safe to see the dentist while pregnant? Yes.

We ask that our female patients who are pregnant or suspect they might be please inform us before x-ray examination and dental treatment.

Tobacco Use and Oral Health - Know the Facts

You are probably familiar with the links between tobacco use, lung disease, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Current studies have also established that tobacco smoking causes direct damage to your mouth and makes periodontal disease more damaging and harder to treat. There is a greater incidence of calculus formation on teeth, deeper pockets between gums and teeth, more gum recession, and more loss of the bone that holds the teeth in your mouth.

Smokeless tobacco significantly increases your chance of developing oral cancer.

Any tobacco usage can complicate the placement of dental implants.

Chemicals in tobacco, such as nicotine, which constricts blood vessels, slow down wound healing.

Other chemicals impair the function of your white blood cells, which are your first line of defense against infection. The tars contain carcinogens which over time, induce cell mutations and cancers. Quitting tobacco use will lower the risk of developing cancer and improve the health of your teeth and gums, as well as your heart and lungs.

Smokeless tobacco poses very serious problems including:

  • Causes tooth decay
  • Eats away your gums
  • Leads to tooth loss
  • Bad Breath
  • Stains your teeth
  • Causes oral sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Decreases sense of taste and smell

Tooth Fractures

There are many types of cracked teeth. The treatment and outcome for your tooth depend on the type, location, and severity of the crack.

Unlike a broken bone, a fracture in a cracked tooth will never heal. Therefore, diagnosis is essential. Unfortunately, even with high magnification and special lighting, it is sometimes difficult to determine the extent of a crack.

A crown will bind and protect the cracked tooth. When a crack reaches the tooth root, root canal treatment is frequently needed to treat the injured pulp. An untreated cracked tooth will progressively worsen, eventually resulting in the loss of the tooth.

Traumatic Ulcer

It is not uncommon for children to inadvertently "bite" on their lips or cheeks, particularly following a dental visit employing a local anesthetic. The main reason why this occurs is the natural curiosity that a child has about the area of the mouth that is "numb." We try our best to explain to children that local anesthesia is temporary, and we give them (and their parents) instructions on how to prevent "lip biting." If this occurs, please notify our office to determine if your son or daughter will require treatment (i.e., antibiotics or pain medicine).

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