Below you’ll find answers to some the most frequently asked questions regarding dental and oral health.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE BAD BREATH?
Bad breath (halitosis) can be embarrassing. What’s more, many of us may not realize that we have bad breath, but everyone does from time to time - especially in the morning.
There are a multitude of reasons one may have bad breath, but in healthy people, the main reason is bacterial deposits on the tongue, especially the back of the tongue. Some studies have shown that simply brushing the tongue reduced bad breath by as much as 70 percent. Our advice - don’t forget to brush your tongue!
What causes bad breath?
Keeping a record of what you eat may help identify the cause of bad breath. Also, review your current medications, recent surgeries, or illnesses with your dentist.
Ways to Prevent Bad Breath
In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath. If it is determined that your mouth is healthy, but bad breath is persistent, your dentist may refer you to your physician to determine the cause of the odor and an appropriate treatment plan.
WHAT IS PLAQUE AND WHY DO I NEED TO HAVE IT REMOVED?
Plaque is a film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums. The bacteria in plaque convert certain food particles into acids that cause tooth decay. If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). If plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone, causing periodontal (gum) disease. Brushing and flossing are your best weapons against plaque.
Recommendations for reducing plaque.
Tooth brushing – Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.
Flossing – Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gum line. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.
Trouble using conventional floss? Talk to Dr. Froeber about the latest is super simple electronic flossing options.
Rinsing – It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist on its appropriateness for you.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I HAVE A DENTAL EXAM AND CLEANING?
You should have your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year, though your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend more frequent visits. We go beyond the typical dental exam. Learn what makes our exams different here.
HOW CAN I TELL IF I HAVE GINGIVITIS OR PERIODONTITIS (GUM DISEASE)?
Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it.
Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages. Unlike tooth decay, which often causes discomfort, it is possible to have periodontal disease without noticeable symptoms. Having regular dental check-ups and periodontal examinations is very important and will help detect if periodontal problems exist.
Periodontal disease begins when plaque, a sticky, colorless, film of bacteria, food debris, and saliva, is left on the teeth and gums. The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that inflame the gums and slowly destroy the bone. Brushing and flossing regularly and properly will ensure that plaque is not left behind to do its damage.
Other than poor oral hygiene, there are several other factors that may increase the risk of developing periodontal disease:
Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Experiencing any of the above? If so, please contact us or request an appointment.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO USE DENTAL FLOSS?
Contrary to recent claims regarding the value of flossing, we cannot stress enough that it is an integral part of a good oral hygiene routine. Brushing our teeth removes food particles, plaque, and bacteria from all tooth surfaces, except in between the teeth. Unfortunately, our toothbrush can’t reach these areas that are highly susceptible to decay and periodontal (gum) disease.
Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gum line. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth and bone.
Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that cause cavities and irritate and inflame the gums.
When plaque is not removed above and below the gum line, it hardens and turns into calculus (tartar). This will further irritate and inflame the gums and also slowly destroy the bone. This is the beginning of periodontal disease.
DAILY FLOSSING = A HEALTHY SMILE
HOW CAN COSMETIC DENTISTRY HELP IMPROVE THE APPEARANCE OF MY SMILE?
If you’re feeling somewhat self-conscious about your teeth, or just want to improve your smile, cosmetic dental treatments may be the answer for you.
Cosmetic dentistry has become very popular in the last several years, not only due to the many advances in cosmetic dental procedures and materials available today, but also because patients are becoming more and more focused on improving their overall health. This includes dental prevention and having a healthier, whiter, more radiant smile.
There are many cosmetic dental procedures available to improve your teeth and enhance your smile. Depending on your particular needs, cosmetic dental treatments can change your smile dramatically, from restoring a single tooth to having a full mouth makeover. Ask your dentist how you can improve the health and beauty of your smile with cosmetic dentistry.
Some Common Cosmetic Procedures:
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT STAINED OR DISCOLORED TEETH?
If you have asked yourself this very question, you’re not alone. Teeth whitening has become the number one aesthetic concern of many dental patients. As a result, there are many products and methods available to help you achieve a brighter smile.
Professional teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel, and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile. Over-the-counter products are also available, but they are much less effective than professional treatments and may not be approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). Before proceeding with any teeth whitening efforts, consult with your dentist to determine if you are a good candidate bleaching.
As we age, the outer layer of tooth enamel wears away, eventually revealing a darker or yellow shade. The color of our teeth comes from the inside of the tooth, which becomes darker over time. Smoking, drinking coffee, tea and wine also contribute to tooth discoloration, making our teeth yellow and dull. Sometimes, teeth can become discolored from taking certain medications as a child, such as tetracycline.
Occasionally, tetracycline stains are difficult to bleach and your dentist may offer other options, such as veneers or crowns to cover up such stains. Since teeth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is also important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. following bleaching. Once the bleaching is done, your dentist can match the new restorations to the shade of the newly whitened teeth.
Since teeth whitening is not permanent, a touch-up may be needed every several years to keep your smile looking bright.
The most widely used professional teeth whitening systems are Home Teeth Whitening Systems.
At-home products usually come in a gel form that is placed in a custom mouth guard (tray), created from a mold of your teeth. The trays are worn for an hour a day or overnight. It usually takes two weeks to achieve the desired results depending on the degree of staining and the desired level of whitening.
Can’t find the answer to your question? Give us a call or request an appointment