What is causing it? The byproducts of bacteria are acidic and smell foul. If you don’t brush and floss daily, bits of food remain between your teeth, and give bacteria nutrients to grow. As these bacteria are allowed to replicate, the amount of byproducts increase and the smell becomes more and more detectable and bothersome.
How do we fix? There are a few reasons why you might have chronic bad breath. And you are not alone, it is the third most common reason people seek dental care (behind tooth decay and gum disease)! The major culprits of chronic bad breath are the tongue, periodontal disease, and dry mouth. Each have a different solution and we are happy to work with you to determine what solution will work best for your individual needs.
- The tongue has a large surface area and a protective keratin layer that allow bacteria to remain for long periods of time and replicate rapidly. We recommend using a tongue scraper daily!
- Periodontal disease occurs when different types of bacteria begin replicating underneath the gumline, causing damage to hard and soft tissue in the oral cavity. The bacteria attach to hardened plaque, called calculus, which gives them an ideal environment to replicate. The calculus under the gumline must be removed, which brushing and flossing alone cannot do effectively. We recommend regular professional cleanings!
- Dry mouth can be caused by medications or systemic health conditions that decrease the amount of saliva you are producing. Saliva functions to help in washing away food debris, and when we have less saliva, we get more food debris left between our teeth which give bacteria nutrients to proliferate. We recommend talking with us to determine the cause of your dry mouth so we can counsel you in remedies that will work for you!
What are they? A cavity is a permanently damaged hole in the hard surface of your tooth. This is caused by bacteria getting trapped in the tooth which then start to eat away at your tooth. This infection releases toxins, that if left untreated, can spread throughout your body and cause systemic issues.
How do we fix them? The cavity is repaired by removing the damaged areas of the tooth and filling the area with material.
How we treat them differently: It is our goal to not only repair cavities, but also try to prevent them because your health and wellbeing is important to us. Cavities start for a variety of reasons, and we want to figure out why you are getting them. Is it the pH of your mouth? Your diet? Genetics? Listening to you to uncover the underlying causes will help us address and prevent future infection.
Tooth Infection and Pain
What is it? A tooth becomes infected once bacteria have reached the inner pulp of the tooth by making their way through from the outer tooth structure, typically by beginning as a cavity or a crack in the tooth. The pulp of your tooth contains nerves and blood vessels that are connected to your entire body. Once these bacteria reach the pulp of your tooth, the bacteria are now in your blood stream and are given the opportunity to attach to other organs in your body and start infection there. Did you know that the spread of this infection has been directly linked to heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and other serious conditions?
What is an “abscess”? An abscess is a proliferation of bacteria at the tip of the tooth root located in your upper and lower jaw. This is very painful and will cause swelling and a feeling of lethargy as your body is sending all of its energy and immune cells to combat the bacteria and infection.
How do we fix this? The best way to prevent an infected tooth or abscess is to treat a cavity as early as possible to prevent the spread of bacteria. But if the infection has spread already to the pulp of the tooth, the tooth is now infected, and a filling cannot restore the health of the tooth’s pulp. There are a few options for an infected tooth, and it is best to seek professional care to determine the safest and best option for you and your health.
If you are experiencing swelling and pain or if it has been a while since you’ve seen a dentist, call us today to schedule an examination. We look forward to seeing you!
It is important to fix a chipped or broken tooth for appearances and to restore function in order to prevent further damage of the tooth or of surrounding teeth. Depending on the size and location of chip in your tooth – we have a solution for you.
Front teeth: If the chip is small, we can utilize surrounding tooth structure to bond a filling material in a color that matches the shade of your tooth.
If the chip is larger, there may not be enough surrounding tooth structure for us to bond a material to and would not be a successful long-term solution. A larger break in the tooth may require a porcelain crown or veneer.
Back teeth: Back teeth are different from front teeth because they function to chew and grind, so they experience greater forces compared to our front teeth.
Similar to front teeth, if the chip is small and there is adequate surrounding tooth structure for us to successfully bond our filling material, we can place a filling to restore the tooth.
If a larger portion of the tooth has broken off, a full coverage restoration, such as a crown, may be required to withstand everyday grinding and chewing forces, preventing further damage and cracking of the tooth.
What caused the chip? Sometimes chips are caused by accidents or trauma. But sometimes a chipped tooth could have been prevented, like if it was caused by malocclusion or grinding. It is important to us that we find out why your tooth is chipped and if we can prevent future broken teeth.
What is it? Dental anxiety or dental phobia are real problems that patients experience that should never be judged or taken lightly. Relieving anxiety is an important and necessary component of successful dental treatment. There are many reasons, causes, and degrees of dental anxiety. Reasons may include but are not limited to: fear of pain, embarrassment, feelings of loss of control, aversion to unpleasant sounds, and past traumatic experiences.
Why is it important? Dental anxiety is an important topic to address because sometimes it can prevent a person from seeking the dental care they need. This means dental anxiety can allow a straightforward and confined cavity to advance to a more serious problem and threaten whole-body health.
How can we help you? Since dental anxiety comes in many different forms and variations, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Solutions may include small changes in how we do our procedures or even sedation options such as nitrous oxide. The first step to finding a solution for your dental anxiety is communication with your dentist to uncover your main stressor.
We hope that you find us worthy of your trust and know that we recognize that relieving your anxiety is an important aspect of our duty to you. Call us today to schedule an appointment to talk about how we can relieve your fears or anxiety.
What is it? Gum disease is a general term for an infection in the gums. There are varying degrees of gum disease ranging from gingivitis, infection of the gum, to periodontitis, infection of the underlying bone. Periodontitis, being the more severe of the two, and is actually the most common reason why adults lose their teeth. Gum disease allows bacteria to access your bone and blood stream, which then can result in a systemic problem in your body. The presence of gum disease has a high correlation with serious illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, pre-term labor, and auto-immune diseases.
How do I know if I have gum disease? When you vigorously floss between your teeth, is there blood? If so, you have gingivitis and possibly periodontitis. Healthy gums do not bleed when your brush or floss your teeth. We recommend a complete oral examination as well as regular cleanings!
What is it? Malocclusion is the misalignment of the teeth or jaw that result in unfavorable positions of the teeth. It can be evidenced by visual spacing or crowding or teeth, a narrow arch shape, an uneven bite, or even a cracked or chipped tooth.
Why is it important? The teeth function optimally and have a greater resistance to wear and damage when they are in the most favorable position.
Malocclusion can result in decreased longevity of the teeth which will advance deterioration and threaten overall oral health. It can even cause tooth pain, jaw pain (TMJ), and headaches.
How can we help? A non-invasive solution to combat the effects of malocclusion is to wear a properly made night guard. A well-made night guard will prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your teeth and also allow your jaw to rest in its most optimal position.
A more permanent solution would be to properly align your teeth using aligner trays such as Invisalign®.