Monday, December 28, 2015

Cavities All Of A Sudden?

SOMEONE CAN GO THEIR WHOLE LIFE without having a cavity, and seemingly out of nowhere find themselves at the dentist for a filling or two. How does this happen?

Here are some reasons your dental status might be in sudden flux:

Changes In Your Daily Routine

The stress of changes in your daily routine, like starting a new job, starting school, or starting a new habit, can adversely affect your health—oral health included. It may even be the reason for the sudden appearance of a cavity.

Stress affects us all differently, but a common side effect is experiencing a dry mouth. When your mouth is dry, there is an absence of saliva, which helps neutralize the acids in your mouth that cause tooth decay and cavities. If you're experiencing some of these changes or exercising more than usual, make sure you’re getting enough water to drink throughout the day to prevent a dry mouth.

A New Diet

Another reason for unforeseen cavities may be a change in diet. Are you consuming more acidic foods or drinks? Some common culprits are citrus fruits, tomato sauce, and sports drinks. What about more frequent consumption of sugar or soda? The amount of sugar you eat matters less to dental health as the time of exposure does. Sipping on soda all day can be worse than eating a large chocolate bar all at once.


If you have a sore throat or the flu, sucking on cough drops all day long can easily cause cavities. Chemotherapy is also a common offender and in many cases results in dry mouth, making one more prone to cavities.

Changes In Dental Habits

Are you brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and with the proper technique? This one goes without saying. Make sure your home hygiene routine is up to par.

Avoid overbrushing as it can damage your teeth and may result in cavities. If you brush more vigorously than necessary, you risk cutting away the protective enamel of the tooth, making it more vulnerable to decay.

Gum recession is also a result of overly aggressive brushing. Receding gums expose the root of the tooth that is usually below the gumline. The root does not have the enamel covering like the rest of your tooth, which protects it from cavities.

Additionally, if you’ve recently gotten braces, you may have noticed that it’s harder to floss and brush than it used to be. Talk to us about how you can improve your technique so that braces don’t interfere with your dental hygiene.

We’re Here To Help

Getting to the root of the problem is the most important thing when it comes to your dental health. We’re here to work with you in treating and preventing tooth decay, so that you can have a healthy life and a cavity-free smile!

Thank you for being our valued patient and friend!

*Image by Flickr user Jeff Djevdet used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Cavity After Christmas

‘Twas the day after Christmas, elves and reindeer relaxed;

They worked hard this 25th, and the days before that.

While the North Pole snoozed, Santa sat wide-awake;

But why wasn’t St. Nick taking his much-needed break?

Mrs. Claus was nestled and snug in her bed,

While dreams of next Christmas danced in her head;

When out from Santa’s mouth screamed such a clatter,

Mrs. Claus sprang from bed to see what was the matter.

“What’s wrong my dear, do you need a candy cane?”

To which Santa replied, “No, my teeth are in pain!”

Mrs. Claus knew what to do, dialed the dentist in a flash;

She scheduled a visit and they were off in a dash.

“Now, Dancer! Now, Dasher! Now, Rudolph! Let’s go!

Get Santa to the dentist, so his tooth pain can slow!”

The sleigh got there quickly, with minutes to spare;

The dentist greeted Santa and rushed him to his chair.

With tools and his gloves, he could find St. Nick’s flaw

So the dentist told Santa, “Open wide and say, Ahhhh”

After using the mirror for careful inspection,

The dentist detected the site of infection.

On Santa’s back tooth sat a spot that was shocking;

Black as the coal in a naughty list stocking!

He took a deep breath and told St. Nick unhappily,

“I’m sorry to say that your tooth pain’s a cavity.”

Santa’s eyes lit up like a tree full of tinsel;

His smile went from jolly to a face full of wrinkles

“What did I do to deserve such a fate?

Could it be Christmas cookies left out on those plates?

“You have to cut down on the cookies and sweets

Sugar causes cavities and Ho, ho holes in your teeth!

Make sure to make time for your teeth in a rush

The holidays are busy, but remember to brush!”

Santa smiled at the dentist, it was clear he agreed

“I’ll cut down on sugar and brush to succeed!”

St. Nick was relieved the dentist had the answer

Good dental health is a sure smile enhancer.

The dentist filled the cavity and sent Santa on his way

Mr. Claus grabbed his Mrs. and they headed to the sleigh

With his cavity fixed, Santa echoed for miles,

“Happy brushing to all, and to all a strong smile!”

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

What Causes Bad Breath?

LET’S JUST SAY IT… bad breath is unpleasant. And yet we’ve all suffered from it. Sometimes, however, it’s worse than others. You may wonder, what causes bad breath? And perhaps more importantly, what is the best way to prevent it?

Bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by a number of things. Here are some reasons your breath may not be as fresh as you’d like:

Good Oral Hygiene Makes All The Difference

If you don’t brush and floss everyday, food stays in your mouth and collects bacteria. This bacteria causes bad breath. On top of that, food that remains in your mouth and in between your teeth will begin to rot and smell bad.

Brush and floss regularly and go to your biannual dental cleanings (or more, as directed). As bacteria that causes bad breath often congregates on the back of your tongue, make the tongue scraper your best friend!

Certain Foods Make Breath Worse Than Others

Watch out for foods such as garlic, onions, cheese, and soda, as they can be a major cause of unpleasant breath. Once food is absorbed into the bloodstream, it’s transferred to the lungs where it is expelled through your breath. Thus, foods with strong tastes or odors, like the ones mentioned above, can stick around longer than you’d like.

Consumption of tobacco products can also cause severe halitosis. If you use tobacco, ask us for assistance in helping you quit.

Bad Breath Can Be Linked To A Medical Disorder

Our oral health is strongly connected to other health conditions. In fact, bad breath could be the first sign of a medical disorder. Severe and persistent halitosis is a major symptom of dental diseases such as gum disease and cavities. Other maladies can negatively affect our breath as well such as diabetes, sinus infections, and liver or kidney ailments.

What’s Up With Morning Breath?

Morning breath seems to be an especially pungent offender. Morning breath gets to be so bad mainly because of dry mouth. During the day, saliva works to wash away food debris and keep bacteria in check.

When we sleep at night, our saliva production goes down, causing our mouths to become more dry and allowing bacteria to proliferate. Many people sleep with their mouths open as well, which can make dry mouth even worse.

Here’s what you can do to make your morning breath a little less offensive:
*Clean your teeth before bed. This is a given! The less food bacteria have to munch on, the less odorous your mouth will be in the morning.
*Keep water by the bed. When you wake up during the night, take a drink of water. Keeping your mouth moist will combat the spread of those smelly bacteria.

We’re Here To Help

For the most part, bad breath is manageable. However, chronic or extreme bad breath is not normal. If you are concerned about halitosis or have any questions, call and make an appointment with us. Our job is to find solutions for a healthier, happier you!

Thank you for being a part of our practice family!

*Image by Flickr user fiverlocker used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Oral Health Myths—Busted!

WE’VE ALL HEARD VARIOUS “FACTS” when it comes to our oral health—different ways to clean our teeth and gums, what is good or bad for them, etc. As your trusted dental professionals, we’re here to set the record straight about some of the most common oral health myths.

Myth #1: “If my teeth don’t hurt, they are healthy.”

In reality, many dental problems don’t hurt in their beginning stages, such as chronic gum disease and cavities. When they have progressed, however, to where treatment is quite extensive and expensive, you may begin to feel discomfort. Preventing a problem is always better than treating one. Visiting your dentist as frequently as recommended is key in maintaining a healthy body and mouth.

Myth #2: “Bleeding gums are normal.”

When you wash your body, does it bleed? No! It’s not normal for your gums either. In fact, bleeding gums are the first sign of infection. Gums will bleed because plaque accumulates where toothbrushes cannot reach to remove it. This is why flossing daily is so important! Flossing will help reach these plaque-ridden areas, which adds up to about 35 percent of your tooth surface. To heal bleeding gums, consistently brush and floss gently twice a day. If bleeding continues, come see us so we can evaluate your gums for possible gum disease.

Myth #3: “Always rinse your mouth out with water after brushing.”

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Spit, don’t rinse”? Keep this tip in mind while brushing. Toothpaste contains fluoride which helps protect our teeth from dental decay, strengthens tooth enamel, and even reduces the amount of cavity-causing acid that bacteria produce. So, when brushing, spit out excess toothpaste, but refrain from rinsing your mouth out with water. This will help your teeth remain protected far longer throughout the day!

Myth #4: “Mouthwash will solve my bad breath.”

There can be many causes for bad breath and mouthwash alone is not the solution. Bad breath can be caused by certain medications, illnesses, foods, and poor dental hygiene. The most effective way to fight bad breath is through regular brushing, daily flossing, and especially tongue scraping. Tongue scraping gets rid of any remaining bacteria on your tongue, which is the real culprit behind bad breath.

Myth #5: “Brush your teeth immediately after eating.”

We may think that brushing right after eating is good because it gets any food particles that are left behind in our teeth. But brushing within 30 minutes of finishing a meal can actually weaken tooth enamel, especially if you’ve consumed anything sugary or acidic, such as citrus. After a meal, it is best to thoroughly rinse your mouth out with water or chew sugarless gum to increase saliva production. After about 30 minutes, however, brush away!


We’ve loved busting these oral health myths so that you have the best and most accurate information out there. If you have any questions, call or come in to see us!

Thank you for reading our blog and placing your trust in our practice!