There are many diseases and conditions that have symptoms that occur in the mouth, and if you know a little about what they are it can help you to make better decisions about your health.
Bad Breath: If you brush your teeth, floss, and use mouth wash regularly but still have stinky breath it could be a symptom of a more serious condition. Indigestion and a few stomach disorders can cause halitosis, a.k.a. bad breath, but the scariest is liver disease. The good news is that bad breath is often an early symptom of liver disease, and if it is properly diagnosed you stand a better chance of getting healthy. If you are suffering from constant bad breath lets discuss this at your next visit.
Dry Mouth: There are many causes of dry mouth. If a person runs a lot, is dehydrated, smokes, or drinks too much alcohol they could experience dry mouth. However, it is also and early indicator of diabetes. In diabetics’ mouths the salivary glands thicken and slow down, and when this happens a host of new symptoms will begin to appear such as an increased risk of gum infections. If you think you are suffering from these symptoms be sure to contact your general practitioner.
Bleeding Gums: If your gums bleed after brushing your teeth or flossing, it could be a sign of gingivitis. The best way to prevent gingivitis is to simply brush and floss regularly. If you do get gingivitis, be sure to seek treatment for it. If left unchecked it can develop into periodontitis, which is a full blown infection of the tissues and bones that support your teeth. Your teeth will eventually become loose and begin to fall out.
Canker Sores: When a person is constantly developing canker sores in their mouth it could mean they have allergies they are unaware of. We also have a laser treatment to help with your canker sores so ask us at your next visit.
Aluminum Taste: If your mouth constantly tastes like you have been licking an aluminum can it is a give-away that you are not getting enough zinc in your diet. Make sure you eat foods high in zinc, such as beef, spinach, nuts, and mushrooms.
We have many patients ask if they have to stop chewing gum. If you can’t quite give up your love for bubble gum here are some things to keep in mind. And, as always, if you suffer from TMJ issues we never recommend gum chewing as it inflames your jaw muscles.
Which gums should I choose?The best place to start is with whether or not the gum you want has sugar. If it does, it will do more harm than good to your teeth. There are not exceptions. If it is sugar free, the next thing you should look for is the American Dental Association seal of approval. Products only get this seal after they undergo a basic level of scientific scrutiny, so as a consumer you can be sure that your gum does not contain anything that will harm your teeth. However, there are several areas, such as remineralization or the neutralization of acids, for which gum can earn the seal for, so if you are worried about on specific area then you should do a little more research into your chosen brand to see exactly why it earned the ADA seal of approval.
The good effects
When you chew you mouth naturally produces saliva, which is one of the most important factors in keeping your teeth healthy. Saliva is the body’s way of naturally controlling bacteria that are growing on your teeth, and the more of it you have the better off you will be.
Gum has also been shown to trap a small, but significant, number of bacteria as it comes in contact with your teeth. This means that when you spit-out your gum, it will be taking several million bacteria along for the rid.
So chewing can replace brushing and flossing?
Unfortunately, chewing gum alone is not nearly enough to protect your teeth, even if you pick sugar free gum. You still need to brush at least two times a day and make sure to floss at least once. However, popping a piece of dental gum after a meal is a great way to help clean up any of those leftover bits of food that like to hang around and cause trouble.
A recent study suggests “treating chronic gum inflammation might help people with diabetes control their disease.” The study of 264 people with type 2 diabetes and periodontitis found that “over the course of a year, patients who got intensive periodontal treatment from dentists saw improvements not just in their blood glucose levels but in the health of their kidneys and blood vessels, too.” Study leader Dr. Francesco D’Aiuto said, “While more research is needed to explore the exact mechanisms” by which treating periodontitis can help people with diabetes, “a reduction of systemic inflammation…is the most plausible link.” The findings were published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
As always, we firmly believe that oral health is systematic to the rest of your health. For those of you with diabetes we would love to discuss further with you how we can help you maintain great oral health. Call our office now to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mullaney.
Just this week it was announced that US Tennis Pro Nicole Gibbs was diagnosed with Oral Cancer in a salivary gland. Nicole admitted that this grow had been on the roof of her mouth for many years and she didn’t think anything of it until her Dentist ordered a biopsy and it came back malignant. Oral Cancer is one of those cancers that is not discussed very often but the statistics of those being diagnosed each year continues to rise. Our team checks at each visit for anything suspicious and yearly we conduct a more in-depth Oral Cancer screening with our Velscope machine. The Velscope emits a light that can show anything suspicious under the skin. If we see anything the next step would be to biopsy the area. In our practice we have diagnosed oral cancer. This yearly check is painless and can be so helpful in early detection. This is so important to us! If you ever have any questions about a lump, bump or sore give us a call and we would be happy to schedule you for this Oral Cancer Screening!
During the month of April we will be collecting items for Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. This great local rescue finds homes for dogs and cats rescued from low-income, rural animal shelters or whose owners can no longer care for them. We will be collecting the following items at our office- please feel free to drop by any donation during our business hours.
Dog Leashes Bath & Beach Towels Cat Litter
Martingale Style Collars High Quality Dog & Cat Food
Laundry and Dish Soap Paper Towels
White Copy Paper #10 Envelopes Postage Stamps
Gas Station Gift Cards Target & WalMart Gift Cards
The AP (8/7, Donn) reported that although the ability of fluoride to help prevent cavities “has been widely accepted for decades,” the “internet is dotted with claims” that “fluoride-free toothpaste also prevents cavities.” However, a recent review published in the journal Gerodontology found that oral hygiene efforts without fluoride do not reduce cavity rates. ADA spokesperson Dr. Matthew Messina said, “The study is important,” adding, “The study is supporting what we’ve been contending for a long time.” The article notes that “the ADA recommends using fluoride toothpastes.” Combining fluoride dental products with fluoridated water offers additional protection, added a professor at New York University.
We suggest Fluoridex toothpaste with a higher concentration of fluoride as well as sensitivity relief. We would be happy to discuss the benefits of this toothpaste with you at your next visit!
Flossing helps to remove food particles and bacteria from between your teeth and along your gumline. When this bacteria builds up, it forms plaque, a sticky, colorless film that can threaten your oral health by contributing to tooth decay and ginigivitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, which can then evolve into periodontitis, the full-blown form of this health condition. “Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums around your teeth, which will progress to periodontitis, which is inflammation of the gums in combination with bone loss. When left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.
Bleeding gums, a high rate of cavities, bone loss, and bad breath” are prevalent in people who don’t make flossing a habit.
Here are tips for flossing more effectively:
When using traditional floss instead of another type of interdental cleaner, use a long piece around 18 inches so there’s enough clean floss to get in between all your teeth.
Tie the floss around your middle finger on both hands and pinch it with your thumbs.
Keep the distance between your two hands small and go between each tooth in your mouth. Do this gently to avoid harming your gums.
To clean both teeth, make a C shape, hugging one tooth and sliding up and down, then make a C shape around the adjacent tooth and repeat the motion. Don’t forget the back sides of your last teeth!
Consider using a mouthwash, such as Therasol, after flossing to rinse your mouth and remove as much bad bacteria as possible.
The bottom line: When combined with brushing your teeth, flossing every day is a great way to keep your mouth healthy.
So you have been told you need a crown and you are not even sure what that means- here is a brief description of a crown.
“A crown, sometimes known as dental cap, is a type of dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant. Crowns are often needed when a large cavity threatens the ongoing health of a tooth. They are typically bonded to the tooth using a dental cement. Crowns can be made from many materials, which are usually fabricated using indirect methods. Crowns are often used to improve the strength or appearance of teeth. ”
Crowns are nothing to be scared of, we make the procedure painless with proper numbing techniques and walking you through each step. If you have been told you need a crown call us today for your consultation.
Does bad breath worry you, have you noticed a persitant bad taste in your mouth or bad breath? This could be a warning sign of gum disease called periodontal disease. Gum disease can be caused by many things like the buildup of plaque on the teeth, poor brushing techniques, lack of flossing, just to name a few. Untreated gum disease can damage the gums and cause bone loss which can mean the loss of teeth.
Other dental causes of bad breath include poorly fitting dental appliances, yeast infections of the mouth, and dental caries (cavities).
The medical condition dry mouth (also called xerostomia) also can cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten the mouth, neutralize acids produced by plaque, and wash away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. If not removed, these cells decompose and can cause bad breath. Dry mouth may be a side effect of various medications or continuous breathing through the mouth.
If you have bad breath call us now to schedule an exam with Dr. Mullaney so we can help you have the best breath around for Valentines Day!