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What’s Causing That Bad Breath?

March 13, 2011

SO, YOU’RE DEALING WITH A NOT SO NICE SMELL? Yes, we get that comment in our office quite frequently. Many times the complaint is not from the offender but from a long-suffering spouse or family member.

There are many causes of bad breath (which we call “halitosis”). Some are serious and some aren’t. And while many people have decided to just hold their breath and live with it, the good news is diagnosing and treating bad breath is something that can easily be done at our office.

We’ve complied a list of a few main causes for that unpleasant smell:

Your Diet

Garlic and onions are very healthy, but they also contain oils which may cause an unhealthy reaction to those around you. Odors like these start in your lungs, and can last for up to 72 hours, making them much harder to cover up. Mints, gum, or mouthwash can be helpful… Or make sure to share your food with everyone around you!

Smoking can also cause bad breath for numerous reasons. Not only does it carry it’s own unpleasant smell, it makes your mouth dried out, which only fuels bad smells.

Dry Mouth

A dry mouth lets dead cells accumulate on your gums, tongue and cheeks. And while morning breath is a perfectly normal phenomenon due to lowered salivary activity at night – it shouldn’t last all day. Those who snore, take certain medications, or even have lasted into middle age are more likely to deal with dry mouth. Even if these things are the case for you, don’t lose hope, we may have suggestions to help lessen your dry mouth issues.

Routine Illnesses

Colds, sore throats, coughs and sinus infections all cause yucky smelling mucus (or snot, depending on your age), to get trapped in your mouth, throat and nose, which causes foul breath until the illness is taken care of. Of course, if you have one of these highly contagious problems you shouldn’t be that close to someone anyway! If a sinus infection, sore throat , cough or cold doesn’t clear up in a few days to a week, you should probably see your physician to make sure there isn’t something more serious happening.

Chronic Diseases or Conditions

Many serious diseases such as lung infections, kidney failure, diabetes, cancer, GERD, anorexia, bulimia and others can cause very specific types of halitosis. The good news is that these conditions are on the rare side. During your visit with us, let us know if you suspect any of these problems, and we will look into it further for you.

Poor Hygiene

Although we don’t want anyone to have poor hygiene or gum disease, this happens to be the easiest one to treat for bad breath. The important thing to remember is not to wait too long! Gum disease, which usually starts with poor brushing and flossing habits as well as a lack of routine dental visits, can do much more than make your mouth stinky.

In just a short period of time, gum disease can advance and eat away at the gums and bone which hold your teeth in place. The result? Loose, unstable teeth which will eventually be lost if not treated.

Bad breath is not normal!

Visit with Drs. Boswell and Bradley and on a routine basis for your best bet for making sure your teeth and gums stay healthy, your smile stays bright, and your breath doesn’t cause others to run in the opposite direction.

At Lake Oconee Dental, we are always here for you! Please make sure you are getting the most up-to-date information on your dental health and other great stuff as well by Liking us on Facebook. We love having conversations and answering any questions you might have there.

We look forward to seeing you during your next visit!

Dental Care While Pregnant

January 23, 2011

YOUR ORAL HEALTH IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT when you’re pregnant. Not only are there links between gum disease and premature/smaller babies, but pregnant women often have other oral health issues of their own during those important nine months.

Because of the radical hormone changes, the reaction of your gums (and the potential for gingivitis) is exaggerated. This causes many pregnant women to experience heightened issues with gingivitis and gum problems. In addition, gums can be more easily irritated, causing inflammation and/or bleeding.

Remember… although hormones change the outcome and increase the potential for problems, plaque is still the underlying cause of most gingivitis problems. That means continuing your careful oral care and maintenance can significantly reduce potential problems—and constant attention better insures a healthy mouth during your pregnancy.

So, what can you do to keep your oral care, and your baby’s health, the best all throughout pregnancy? One thing Lake Oconee Dental recommends is probably exactly what your doctor has been advising you about—eat healthy! Consuming foods high in sugar can cause plaque and gingivitis for anybody, but the effects can easily be exaggerated during pregnancy.

Because gingivitis and gum problems can be accelerated during pregnancy, it’s also important to keep your scheduled dental checkups to be sure problems don’t arise. The very best time for these appointments is during your fourth thru sixth months of pregnancy. This window is an important time in the baby’s development—and because of added stress during the last trimester, it’s suggested that dental appointments be done before then.

Everyone wants to stay healthy during their pregnancy to help ensure their baby’s health. Let us know if you have any concerns about your health during any part of your pregnancy. If you’d like to schedule a check-up let us know that you’re pregnant when you contact us so we can best assist you. Be comfortable in knowing that your oral health and your baby’s health are in the best hands.

And, as always, thanks for being our valued patient! Remember that we are always available to be part of any discussion you have about your oral health, that’s one of the reasons we have our Facebook and Twitterpages.

How Do Dental Check-ups Help Your Budget?

January 14, 2011

HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT THE ECONOMIC IMPLICATIONS of regular dental checkups? We know that some people think of routine exams and cleanings as an expense. But, in reality, studies show that this type of preventive care saves money over time by helping you avoid far more serious (and expensive) treatment.

Let’s think about our cars for a minute. We all know the value of keeping up our regular oil changes, right? While it’s a routine expense, it can help our vehicle run smoothly for years longer than it would otherwise—and help us avoid major, costly repairs.At Lake Oconee Dentistry, we can make it possible for you to keep your teeth for life. Depending on what stage your teeth are in now, that might not seem like anything relatable, but just ask anyone who’s been living with dentures to tell you how remarkable that possibility is. Although it wasn’t possible for people generations ago, the key to keeping your teeth for life is regular maintenance. It takes a tiny bit of preventive care.

Your Typical Six Month Check-up:

  • Checking for Gum Disease – Gum disease is the #1 reason people lose teeth. It is sometimes called the “quiet destroyer”, because it progresses slowly causing inflammation and regression in your jawbone that supports your teeth. Without checkups, by the time you notice something wrong it is often too late.
  • Looking for Tooth Decay – The more dental restoration that’s been done in the past on a specific tooth, the more attention it will need over time. Old fillings and root canal treatments need more frequent examination and x-rays than untouched teeth. Even the very best fillings can have a limited life. If there’s microscopic space between the tooth structure and the filling it can result in decay. Catch this early to avoid losing the tooth.
  • Examining Your Bite – Your bite should be checked to be sure that teeth are in harmony with each other. An unbalanced bite can not only damage your teeth, but also wear on your joints and cause arthritic problems and unnecessary pain.
  • Your Breath – While many people feel uncomfortable talking about it, bad breath is a problem a good number of us live with. And plaque (not what you eat) is the most common cause of this condition. If you are worried about this, let us know. We can check into what might be causing it and offer suggestions to help.
  • Changes in Soft Tissue – Checking for signs of oral cancer is a huge part of your routine checkup. Did you know, according to the oral cancer foundation, that the death rate for oral cancer is higher than cancers such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid, or skin cancer (malignant melanoma)? The death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered so late in its development. Don’t take the risk… Especially when Drs. Bradley and Boswell are trained to help through early detection.

Six-Monthly Checkups Can Help Save You Time, Money, Discomfort, Hassle (and teeth). Period.

Don’t wait until something hurts to think about your teeth. Come visit our Greensboro, Georgia office today. Your mom was right—an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Spending a little time with our team not only makes sense for your health and appearance, but also for your bank account.We look forward to your next visit! Call us at 850-267-3313 or stop by for a virtual visit on our Twitter or Facebook pages.