Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Brushing and flossing daily helps to prevent the buildup of food particles, plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Food particles left in the mouth deteriorate and cause bad breath. While certain foods such as garlic or anchovies may create bad breath temporarily, consistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease or another dental problem.
Halitosis typically comes from volatile sulfur bacterial compounds that reside on the tongue and around the gumline of teeth. Chlorine dioxide, the active ingredient in prescription rinses and toothpaste, oxidizes the compounds, thus eliminating bad breath. A toothpaste and rinse regimen using chlorine dioxide products can improve your breath, overall oral hygiene and may help prevent gum disease.
Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are small sores inside the mouth that often recur. The canker sore has a white or gray base surrounded by a red border. Generally lasting one or two weeks, the duration of canker sores can sometimes be reduced by the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents.
Cavities also known as tooth decay or dental caries, is a preventable disease. While tooth decay might not endanger your life, it may negatively impact your quality of life.
When your teeth and gums are consistently exposed to large amounts of starches and sugars, acids may form that begin to eat away at tooth enamel. Carbohydrate-rich foods such as candy, cookies, soft drinks and even fruit juices leave deposits on your teeth. Those deposits bond with the bacteria that normally exist in your mouth and form dental plaque. The combination of accumulated food deposits and plaque forms acids that can damage the mineral structure of teeth, resulting in tooth decay.
PLAQUE + SUGAR = ACID
ACID + TOOTH ENAMEL = TOOTH DECAY
Gum, or periodontal, disease can cause inflammation, tooth loss and bone damage. Gum disease begins with the formation of dental plaque. Gums in the early stage of disease, or gingivitis, can bleed easily and become red and swollen. As the disease progresses to Periodontitis, teeth may fall out or need to be removed by a dentist.
Gum disease is highly preventable and can usually be avoided by daily brushing and flossing. Indicators of gum disease include consistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth, teeth that feel “loose” or appear “longer”, or receding gums.
Our Doctors and Hygiene Team can help treat and prevent periodontal disease.
Orthodontic (Bite) Problems
A bite that does not meet properly (malocclusion) can be inherited, or some types may be acquired. Some causes of malocclusion include missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth, or misaligned jaws. Accidents or developmental issues such as sucking fingers or thumb for an extended time may cause malocclusion. Solutions for malocclusion may include orthodontic appliances, space maintainers, or habit appliances to prevent behaviors such as thumb-sucking.
Your teeth expand and contract in reaction to changes in temperature. Hot and cold food and beverages can cause pain or irritation to people with sensitive teeth. Over time, tooth enamel can be worn down, gums may recede, or teeth may develop microscopic cracks, exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings. Just breathing cold air can be painful for those with extremely sensitive teeth. Common solutions include desensitizing treatments, tooth fillings or other restorative procedures.
Sucking is a natural reflex that relaxes and comforts babies and toddlers. Children usually stop thumb sucking when the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt, typically between the ages of two and four years. Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of primary teeth can cause improper growth of the mouth and misalignment of the teeth. If you notice prolonged and/or vigorous thumb sucking behavior in your child, give us a call.
Here are some ways help your child outgrow thumb sucking:
- Don’t scold a child when they exhibit thumb sucking behavior; instead, praise them when they don’t thumb suck.
- Focus on eliminating the cause of anxiety—thumb sucking is a comfort device that helps children cope with stress or discomfort.
- Praise them when they refrain from the habit during difficult periods.
- Place a bandage on the thumb or a sock on their hand at night.