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Bad Breath: 6 Causes

Bad breath happens. If you’ve ever gotten that not-so-fresh feeling on a date, at a job interview or just talking with friends, you’re not alone. Studies show that 50 percent of adults have had bad breath, or halitosis, at some point in their lives.

What Causes Bad Breath?

There are multiple reasons that you may have dragon breath. While most of the causes are harmless, bad breath could be a sign of something more serious. 

Bacteria

Bad breath can happen anytime because of the many varieties of breath-causing bacteria that naturally live in your mouth. Your mouth also acts like a natural hothouse that allows these bacteria to grow. While you eat, bacteria feed on the food left in your mouth and leaves a foul-smelling waste product behind.

Dry Mouth

Feeling parched? Your mouth may not be making enough saliva. Saliva is very important as it works around the clock to wash your mouth. If you don’t have enough, your mouth isn’t being cleaned as much as it should be. Dry mouth may be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems or by simply breathing through your mouth.

Gum Disease

Bad breath that just won’t go away or a constant bad taste in your mouth is a serious warning sign of advanced gum disease, which is caused by a sticky, cavity-causing bacteria called plaque.

Food

Garlic, onions, coffee… The list of breath-offending foods is long, and what you eat affects the air you exhale. While strong-smelling foods do not necessarily have a bad effect on your teeth, make sure you brush frequently to keep your mouth fresh and clean.

Smoking and Tobacco

Smoking stains your teeth gives you bad breath and puts you in danger for a number of serious health issues. Tobacco reduces your ability to taste foods and irritates gum tissues. Tobacco users are more likely to suffer from gum disease. Since smoking also affects your sense of smell, smokers may not be aware of how their breath smells. 

Medical Conditions
Mouth infections will cause bad breath. However, if your dentist has ruled out different causes and you brush and floss on a daily basis, your bad breath could be the result of another problem, such as a sinus condition, gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease. In this case, see your healthcare provider.

Tips for Healthy Summer Smiles

Summer sun brings summer fun! Though summer vacations are great for spending quality time with your near and dear ones, they can throw you off your dental routine. 

Here are the 3 great ways to stop tooth decay during summer:

Stay on a routine

Resist the temptation to skip brushing before a late bedtime or let it slide to the next morning. It’s vital to consistently brush and floss during the summer. It also keeps the kids on track for back-to-school dental visits.

No matter how eventful the coming months become, make sure that your family is brushing twice a day for two minutes with a good quality fluoride toothpaste. Easy things like brushing calendars will help everyone to stay on track over the summer. Plus, it’s also an opportunity to spend more time together. Brushing alongside your children for 2 minutes, twice a day for the three months of summer gives you 6 extra hours together, so make the most of them! 

And don’t forget to clean between those teeth once every day. You should be flossing between any two teeth that touch. Many children don’t have the motor skills to floss until they’re over ten years old. If your child needs help, try different types of interdental cleaners or place your hands over theirs to guide them and get the job done at the same time.

Say no to sugary drinks and snacks 

As the temperature rises, it’s common for families to sip and snack during sports tournaments, festivals, or nearly any community event. Watch your family’s intake of lemonade, juice, and soda. Consider sugary drinks a once-in-a-while treat. Instead, drink water to beat the heat, or milk to drink with meals. Don’t let summer grazing damage your smile. Taking a break from snacking is also healthy for your teeth. It allows time for saliva to coat the teeth, wash away leftover food, and make them stronger.

If you discover yourself spending more time home, snack smarter, and let your kids tell you when they’re hungry rather than providing snacks throughout the day. Kids are not afraid to let you know when they want something to eat!

Make your back-to-school dental visit early 

Some schools need back-to-school dental visits for certain grades, and these check-ups can be a good way to ensure that your child’s teeth stay healthy. It’s a good plan to schedule your child’s back-to-school dental appointment early within the summer to avoid the rush and ensure you get the appointment time that works best for you. Visiting the dentist regularly can help your child’s smile stay healthy all year long.

5 Ways Diabetes Can Affect Your Mouth

Diabetes can take a toll on your entire body, and it may increase your risk of dental disease. In fact, one in 5 cases of total tooth loss is connected to diabetes.

Controlling your blood sugar, brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist often can go a long way to help decrease the likelihood of developing diabetes-related mouth problems.

Gum Disease

Do you notice bleeding after you brush or floss? That could be an early sign of gum disease. If the bleeding becomes severe, the bone that supports your teeth may break down, resulting in tooth loss. Early gum disease can often be reversed with correct brushing, flossing, and diet. Research has shown that gum disease will worsen if your blood sugar isn’t kept in check.

Dry Mouth

Studies have found that individuals with diabetes have less saliva, therefore you could possibly end up feeling parched or thirsty. Chewing sugarless gum and eating healthy, crunchy foods can get the saliva flowing. 

Change in Taste

Your favorite flavors might not taste as good as you remember if you have diabetes. Take the chance to experiment with completely different tastes, textures, and spices to your favorite foods. Just take care not to add too much sugar to your food in an effort to add flavor as this can have a negative effect on the quality of your diet and it also can result in cavities. If you have a persistent bad taste in your mouth, see your dentist or doctor.

Infections

Diabetes affects your immune system leaving you more vulnerable to infection. One symptom common among people with diabetes is a yeast infection called oral thrush (candidiasis). The yeast thrives on the higher amount of sugar found in your saliva, and it looks like a white layer coating on your tongue and the insides of your cheeks. Thrush is more common in those who wear dentures and might leave a bad taste in your mouth. See your dentist if you think that you have oral thrush or any other mouth infection.

Slow Healing

Have you ever noticed a cold sore or a cut in your mouth that doesn’t quite seem to go away? This could be another way that diabetes may affect your mouth. Poor control of blood sugar can keep injuries from healing quickly and properly. If you have something in your mouth that you feel isn’t healing as it should see your dentist.

Root Canals: FAQs about treatment that can save your Tooth

If you have a severely damaged tooth or a genuine tooth infection (abscess), your dentist may suggest a root canal treatment. Root canals are used to fix and save your tooth instead of removing it. 

What is a Root Canal?

During root canal therapy, the pulp (or the nerve tissue on the inside canal of the tooth) is removed, the inside of the tooth is cleaned, and then the space inside the tooth is filled and sealed. 

What is the pulp and Why does it need to be removed?

The pulp is soft tissue inside your tooth that contains nerves and veins, which provides blood flow to the living tooth structure.

Pulp can become damaged due to: 

·         A profound cavity 

·         Repeated dental procedures that disturb this tissue

·         A cracked or fractured tooth

·         Damage to the tooth 

When pulp is damaged, it breaks down, and bacteria begin to multiply within the pulp chamber. The bacteria and other dying pulp remnants can cause an infection, pain, swelling, and ulcers inside the tooth. If the damage is untreated, the tissues around the base of your tooth can form an abscess, a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of a tooth’s root. 

Damaged pulp needs to be removed to eliminate the infection, and to prevent it from spreading, which can put you in danger of losing your tooth totally because bacteria can harm the bone that holds your tooth in place in your jaw. Hence, damaged pulp needs to be removed to avoid infection and other more serious consequences.

Can I get this Treatment done during my regular check-up visit?

No, your dentist will need to schedule a separate follow-up appointment, or they might refer you to a dentist who specializes in root canals and similar procedures dealing with the pulp and tissues surrounding the teeth. This specialist is known as an endodontist.

What should I expect?

A root canal treatment usually takes 1 or 2 office visits to finish. Your dentist will utilize local anesthesia so you don’t feel the procedure. Root canals are used to treat seriously damaged teeth that are often already causing pain. During the procedure you won’t feel any more discomfort than having a regular cavity filled. When the procedure is finished, you should never again feel the torment you felt before having it done.

What will happen before treatment begins? 

Your dentist will take X-rays to get a clear perspective on your tooth and the encompassing bone. Then, he/she will numb the zone around your tooth so you are comfortable during the treatment. Finally, they will put a slight sheet of latex rubber over your tooth to keep it dry, and clean during the procedure, protecting the tooth from bacteria and fungus that are normally in the mouth.

What will happen during treatment?

First, your dentist will make an opening in the exposed surface of your tooth. Then, they will take out the pulp, or the tooth’s nerve from inside the tooth and in the regions of the root, known as a root canal. Then, they clean inside the tooth and the root canal. Your dentist may treat the tooth with a germ-killing drug, and fill the root canal with a rubber-like material to seal them against future contamination. Finally, your dentist will place a temporary filling on the tooth to protect it until a definitive restoration like a permanent filling or crown that can be placed at the earliest opportunity.

What will happen after root canal treatment?

Your tooth and the area around it might feel delicate for a couple of days, similar to having a cavity filled. You can request your dentist to prescribe painkillers for pain and discomfort. Your dentist may recommend antibiotics to prevent a risk of infection spread. If so, make sure to use as directed, and follow-up with your dentist if you have any problems taking it.

Your dentist will likely schedule a subsequent visit after the root canal treatment. At this visit, your dentist will take off the temporary filling on the tooth and replace it with a permanent filling or a crown to shield your tooth from further harm. A metal or plastic post may also be placed in the root canal to help make sure the filling materials stay in place. This helps support a crown if you need one.

How long can a root canal filling last?

With proper care, root canal treatments have a high success rate, and your restored tooth can last forever. Make it a point to brush two times every day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste, clean between your teeth once per day with floss, and see your dentist regularly to make sure your teeth are strong and healthy.

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