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Making Bad Breath Go Away

Where Bad Breath Comes From Most, but not all, bad breath comes from bacterial plaque and food accumulated mainly towards the back of the tongue. The problem is, there are all sorts of not-likely-but-possible other reasons for halitosis: upset stomach, anxiety, inflamed gums, saliva deficiency, infections and removable dentures are among them. What Not To Do Because nobody—but nobody!—wants bad breath, a billion-dollar industry has sprung up hawking a variety of mouthwashes, rinses, drops, pastes and mints to mask halitosis. But there's a huge difference between hiding the symptoms and treating the cause of Dragon Breath. Take mouthwash. It tastes and feels like it's solving the problem. But most mouthwashes are alcohol-based. Alcohol dries out the mouth, which can re-ignite [...]

By |2022-01-27T19:33:32+00:00July 26th, 2022|Restorative Dentistry|Comments Off on Making Bad Breath Go Away

The War on Germs: Are We Winning? Should we be?

Homicide: bad word. It means killing another human being. Germicide? For many, good word. It promises to kill what are hated and feared most in this super-sanitary era: germs. Germ is sort of a catchall that refers to any microorganism we can't actually see. That's sort of like referring to every non-human living thing as an animal: elephants, mosquitoes, salmon, vultures. Fact is, there are only a few bad actors in the world of microorganisms, and we pretty much know who they are. Take streptococcus mutans. It's a bacteria linked with tooth decay. But wait! That's only one strain of bacteria that live in the mouth, many of which are helpful. Saliva alone contains roughly a trillion bacteria. Humans couldn't [...]

By |2021-10-20T19:31:54+00:00December 28th, 2021|Patient Education|Comments Off on The War on Germs: Are We Winning? Should we be?

Tongue Brushing

An Old Habit Seems New Here's an idea that may be new to you. Did you ever think of brushing your tongue? Actually, tongue-brushing is an ancient practice. Our ancestors considered it part of their daily hygiene. Yet many people today aren't aware that their tongue needs brushing as much as their teeth do. In fact, it may be the dirtiest part of the mouth! Thousands of bacteria breed on the many tiny papillae (small bulges) of the tongue. And if they aren't brushed or scraped off daily, they can cause bad breath and re-infect your teeth with germs. So when you brush your teeth, brush your tongue, too—for a head start on a fresh breath.

By |2021-07-03T18:53:29+00:00October 26th, 2021|Preventative Dentistry|Comments Off on Tongue Brushing

What to Know About Gum Disease

It afflicts as many as nine in 10 adults at some point in their lives, as well as teenagers and children as young as five or six years of age. Yet, many suffer from it without even suspecting anything is wrong. "It" is periodontal, or gum, disease—in the minds of most dentists, Public Enemy Number one for teeth. Only for the last 30 years have researchers understood that gum disease is an infectious disorder, caused by many different species of bacteria. But even today, there is no cure. Fortunately, we have learned a good deal about what periodontal disease is and what can be done about it. Behind the Scenes The culprits in periodontal disease are the bacteria that thrive [...]

By |2021-07-03T18:49:33+00:00October 12th, 2021|Periodontal Dentistry|Comments Off on What to Know About Gum Disease

Test Your Toothbrush I.Q.

Did you know the toothbrush was invented by the Chinese in the 15th century? These first toothbrushes were made of hog bristles. Today, most toothbrushes are made from nylon monofilaments which dry quickly and resist breakage. Did you know a worn-out toothbrush is dangerous? Bent bristles can injure soft tissues. Worn, frayed bristles won't be effective plaque fighters, either. Did you know soft bristles are generally preferred to hard bristles? Soft bristles bend easily and clean better below the gum line. Hard bristles can damage teeth and gums. Did you know two toothbrushes are better than one? By staggering the use of your toothbrush, you give it a chance to dry out between uses and help it live longer. Did [...]

By |2021-07-03T18:47:59+00:00October 5th, 2021|Patient Education|Comments Off on Test Your Toothbrush I.Q.

Can You Catch a Cavity?

When you have a cold, we all know to cover your mouth before you sneeze and not to drink out of the same glass. We do this because we know that a cold is contagious. Now we know that chances are, so is tooth decay. Recent research suggests that the germs responsible for cavities may be "catchy." Likewise, scientists suspect that bacteria associated with gum disease may be transferable from husband to wife, or mother to child. Infants get the bacteria that come to inhabit the mouth and digestive tract soon after birth. These germs are usually transferred in the course of handling by the babies' mothers or other family members, and anything involving contact with saliva—parents kissing their babies [...]

By |2021-06-25T20:53:46+00:00September 7th, 2021|Preventative Dentistry|Comments Off on Can You Catch a Cavity?

The Basics of Flossing

One of the simplest preventive hygiene exercises you can do for yourself is something you've heard of before. It bears repeating: floss. Every 24 hours, bacteria contribute to a new batch of plaque. Brushing, no matter how well or how long, won't get all the "bugs," especially between teeth and where your teeth meet gum tissue. Flossing before or after brushing should be a part of everyone's home care program. The kind of floss—waxed, unwaxed, or tape—doesn't matter. Just choose what you're comfortable with and use it. Wrap about 18 inches of floss around your fingers. Give yourself an inch or two to work with. If the floss frays or builds up with debris, re-loop the floss and keep at [...]

By |2020-12-29T17:12:45+00:00February 9th, 2021|Preventative Dentistry|Comments Off on The Basics of Flossing

Can Kissing Cause Cavities?

Sorry to say, it can. In fact, anything involving contact with saliva—a kiss, parents tasting their babies' food, sharing of tableware, and toothbrushes—can transmit decay-causing bacteria. Soon after birth, infants start to get those bacteria that inhabit the mouth and cause cavities. These germs are usually transferred by the babies' mothers or other family members. When one so innocent can be SO susceptible, we need to provide our mouths with the best defense against the enemy. Brushing and flossing are a good beginning, as they interrupt the growth of bacterial plaque. Getting teeth straightened can help, because straight teeth are better able to resist cavities. Less frequent snacking and diets low in sugary foods reduce the amount of bacteria acids [...]

By |2020-06-27T20:32:42+00:00September 1st, 2020|Preventative Dentistry|Comments Off on Can Kissing Cause Cavities?

Scaling and Root Planing

What is Scaling and Root Planing? When You Need A Deep Cleaning... If you have periodontal (gum) problems, you'll probably become familiar with one of the primary therapies to treat gum disease: scaling and root planing. We also may recommend the procedure if it's been a while since your last appointment, and your mouth exhibits an extra buildup of plaque. The treatment is tried and true, with a simple goal—get the "junk" out of there! It's a certainty. Plaque, calculus, and bacteria, left to accumulate, will form pockets around teeth beneath the gum line. As pockets deepen and bacteria go to work, the tissue becomes infected. Without care, tissue, ligaments, and eventually bone is destroyed; then you're facing tooth loss. [...]

By |2020-06-27T20:32:15+00:00August 11th, 2020|Periodontal Dentistry|Comments Off on Scaling and Root Planing