Why you should love your dentist!!

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013 was “I LOVE MY DENTIST DAY!!!”

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Do YOU love YOURS????

You should………..though unfortunately, many of us don’t. If anything, we fear them, which is really unfortunate as our dentists help us with the very thing that helps us get noticed….our smiles!!!!

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Your dentist can help fix your smile for you and give you the confidence to go out and meet the world head on!!!

There are several reasons why you should love your dentist, and make regular trips to see him (or her);

A) During your check-up, your dentist will check for signs of oral cancer. He will also check for gum disease which is especially important to treat as it can affect your heart, blood sugar, memory and breathing. Effectively, your dentist can, in some cases, give you a very important heads up to other health conditions you may not know you have. (http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/gum-disease-can-cause-serious-illness)

B) Your dentist knows how to fix your teeth!! Among other things, he can take x-rays, look for cavities you can’t see and fill them. He can straighten crooked teeth. He can help you with bad breath and he and his team can clean and polish your teeth.

C) Your dentist cares about your teeth and will help you when you’re in pain. They will even see you out of hours if necessary and are usually (as is the case with Dr Schmidt) available by phone whenever you need them.

D) Your dentist prefers to see you on a regular basis though, so that he can help you avoid needing treatment. By having regular checkups he and his hygienist can spot minor ailments before they blow up into instances that need major work. In some cases your dentist can put sealants on teeth to avoid cavities. Your hygienist will help you by advising you how to care for your teeth at home between visits, reminding you to floss and brush regularly.

E) Modern dentists have new ways to treat you. They can do implants as well as crowns. Hygienists use sonic brushes to cleans your teeth, they can whiten your teeth so your smile is brilliantly welcoming. The dentist’s chair is now a place to relax with calming decor, music playing. If you’re still nervous, we can offer Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas) to relax you. The modern dental office is a great place to get your teeth checked.

F) Your dentist will have had a long thorough education in order to be able to care for your oral health. His education will have included College, Dental School, Dental Admissions Testing, State Licensing, National Dental Board Exams, Continuing Education and in some instances further specialist training.

G) You get a free tooth brush, floss and toothpaste every time you have a check up!!

And lastly, you get a healthy mouth AND a wonderful, clean, bright smile!!!!

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What more could you ask for?

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The Basics of Bad Breath

Bad breath- the down low, the dirty and the details…

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On the DNL (Down Low)….

Have you noticed friends or co-workers stand further away than necessary to talk to you? Do you receive daily offers of gum and mints? Does your dog run away when you bend down and say hello? If the answer is yes to any of these questions … you probably have bad breath, also called halitosis.

How is it possible for you to have bad breath and not know it? Your body uses a process called acclimation to filter out its own scents so you can use your nose to detect outside smells. This means your nose is used to whatever odor is emitting from your mouth. Even if you cup your hand and breathe into it, you probably won’t detect foul aromas. So, how can you tell if you have halitosis?

The easiest test for determining if your breath is rank is to ask someone. Friends or family members will probably be more than happy to render an honest opinion. Another way to test for bad breath is to wipe your tongue with a cotton ball and give it a whiff. Or go to a mirror, stick out your tongue, and see if it looks whitish. Ew! That’s accumulated bacteria, which produces the sulfur compounds that create halitosis.

Why do I have bad breath? (The dirty!)

The most common reason people have bad breath is decaying food particles and bacterial growth in the mouth, especially on the tongue. If you have poor oral hygiene habits, the accumulation of food and bacteria will make your breath smell like you ate gym socks for lunch.

There are other reasons for bad breath. Gum disease and cavities can produce halitosis, and so can systemic illnesses such as diabetes, acid reflux (GERD), and sinus infections. In fact, if you have chronic bad breath that doesn’t respond to any of your freshening and cleansing attempts—you may have a larger health concern, and should make an appointment with your dentist.

How do I avoid bad breath? Details…!

Keeping a daily oral hygiene routine can go a long way to prevent halitosis. Brushing and rinsing in the mornings and evenings, and flossing at least once a day, can remove the food and bacteria that are the main causes for bad breath. And you can brush after meals, too, to ensure any strong-smelling foods you’ve eaten are eradicated from your teeth and gums. Other measures you can take to prevent halitosis are:

Drink plenty of water. Water loosens and rinses away food particles and also encourages saliva production.

Eat grains!  High Liquid diets, diets high in cheese, diets high in protein milk shakes- they all leave phlem on the back of your tongue- thus a great place for that nasty stinky bacteria to grow! Eat toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch or bread at dinner.  The very back of your tongue you can not get to with anything- but toast does a great job cleaning it off.

Chew gum that’s either sugar-free or sweetened with Xylitol.Chewing also encourages saliva production, and minty flavors help freshen breath.

Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash. Your dentist may have suggestions for the best over-the-counter mouthwashes, and may also give you a prescription oral rinse. One of the VERY best mouthwashes for bad breath is Breath RX.  It has a special formula to target the VOC’s that cause that horrible stinky breath!  Rinse 2x/day and by all means- scrape your tongue- THEN rinse and gargle.

Use a tongue scraper. These devices are designed to remove the bacteria and food debris that cling to your tongue’s surface. They do exceptionally better than a toothbrush which pushes it around and leaves it on your tongue (blech!).

Invest in an electric toothbrush. Studies have shown that electric toothbrushes are better at removing plaque, and since most of them are designed to turn off after a specified time, people tend to brush for a longer period.

Go to your regular checkups. Attending your regular exams with both your dentist and your medical doctor ensures your health issues will be addressed at their earliest appearance.  There are medical issues that show themselves through bad breath- so after you do all that and you still have issues- don’t be shy! That’s what we’re here for! Let us help you feel great about yourself again!

Bad Breath = Bad News!

 

Embarrassing and unsociable, bad breath is a common condition that many people suffer from needlessly.

 

Bad breath, or halitosis as it’s professionally known, can be caused by a number of everyday causes.

 

What you eat – or don’t eat.
Once garlic, onions and certain spices are absorbed into your bloodstream, their odors are transferred to the lungs, where they are expelled through your breath. You can mask the odors by brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash, but until the food has been eliminated from your body, you won’t fully get rid of the smell.

 

Bad breath can also be a nasty side effect of today’s popular low carbohydrate diets. The reason for this is that low-carb diets force the body to burn stored fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. As the excess fat gets burned away, the body releases ill-smelling chemicals called ketones through the breath and urine. In addition, the high-protein component of low-carb diets can also contribute to halitosis since many cases of bad breath result from the breakdown of food particles that produce sulfur compounds, and high-protein foods are known producers of these compounds.

 

Your brushing and flossing habits.
It’s essential that you brush and floss your teeth daily in order to get rid of the food that can collect between your teeth, on your tongue and around your gums. If food particles are not removed, they can rot, leaving an unpleasant odor in your mouth.

 

Gum disease.
Persistent bad breath can be a sign of gum disease. If you notice that you have red, swollen or tender gums that bleed when you brush your teeth, or gaps in-between your gums and your teeth, you may be experiencing the first signs of gum disease. Talk to us about steps you can take to halt or even reverse the indications of this preventable disease.

 

Dry mouth.
Dry mouth, or xerostomia, occurs when the flow of saliva decreases. Dieting, fasting and the use of diet pills and other medications can slow down the production of saliva, which is known as “nature’s mouthwash” due to its function in washing away bacteria and sulfur compounds in the mouth that cause halitosis. Dry mouth can also be caused by salivary gland problems or from continuously breathing through the mouth. In addition to bad breath, dry mouth can also put patients at risk for cavities and gum disease. When saliva is not present in the mouth to continuously flush foods away, food particles may adhere to teeth and begin the decay process.

 

Tobacco.
Tobacco use leads to bad breath, amongst other medical problems. Talk to your dentist and doctor about tips to help you cut down or eliminate your tobacco habit.

 

Medical disorders.
An infection in the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, liver or kidney ailments are some possible medical sources of bad breath. If we determine that your mouth is healthy and that your oral hygiene is on track, we may suggest a visit to your family doctor to determine alternate causes of bad breath.

 

If you have any concerns at all about your breath, please ask us us to help diagnose the cause of your bad breath! We’d love to help you! 734.485.2200

 

Understanding Morning Breath

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Here’s a mystery – if we floss and brush before we go to bed and settle down to sleep with a fresh mouth every night, why is it that just mere hours later, we wake up with dreaded “morning breath”?

The simple answer is that during the day, saliva works as nature’s mouthwash by washing away bacteria and the volatile sulfur particles that cause bad breath. When we go to sleep, saliva production decreases and our mouth dries out, providing the perfect environment for odor-causing bacteria to thrive.

Bad breath (or “halitosis”, as it’s officially known) can come from a number of different sources such as a dry mouth, bacterial decomposition of food particles in and around your teeth, and foods (such as garlic and cabbage) that contain certain sulfur compounds. Halitosis may also reflect medical conditions, from chronic infections in the lungs to kidney and liver failure. Even dieting and fasting can slow down the stimulation of saliva flow and result in offensive breath, while talking for long periods of time will dry out your mouth with the same result. Most everyday bad breath, however, can be controlled by following these four simple steps:

  1. Floss between your teeth to remove any hidden food particles;
  2. Brush your teeth after every meal, and brush or better yet, scrape your tongue too.  Afterwards gargle with an antiseptic mouthwash that targets VOC’s like Listerine, Breath Rx or Crest Pro Health – up to 50% of the bacteria in your mouth can be found hiding on the surface of your tongue;
  3. Keep your mouth moist with frequent sips of water;
  4. Maintain regular dental checkups so that your dentist can check for periodontal disease – a treatable cause of bad breath – during your routine gum exam.
  5. Eat yogurt! Health bacteria actually helps to minimize the VOC’s that build up on your tongue and eating crunchy toast in the morning can help to clean off the back of your tongue as well to get the area clean that you can’t get to!

Talk to us if your concerns go beyond morning breath. We’d be happy to give you some “fresh” oral hygiene tips.