Posts for: June, 2016
Exchanging passionate kisses with big-screen star Jennifer Lawrence might sound like a dream come true. But according to Liam Hemsworth, her Hunger Games co-star, it could also be a nightmare… because J.Law’s breath wasn’t always fresh. “Anytime I had to kiss Jennifer was pretty uncomfortable,” Hemsworth said on The Tonight Show.
Lawrence said the problem resulted from her inadvertently consuming tuna or garlic before the lip-locking scenes; fortunately, the two stars were able to share a laugh about it later. But for many people, bad breath is no joke. It can lead to embarrassment and social difficulties — and it occasionally signifies a more serious problem. So what causes bad breath, and what can you do about it?
In 9 out of 10 cases, bad breath originates in the mouth. (In rare situations, it results from a medical issue in another part of the body, such as liver disease or a lung infection.) The foul odors associated with bad breath can be temporarily masked with mouthwash or breath mints — but in order to really control it, we need to find out exactly what’s causing the problem, and address its source.
As Lawrence and Hemsworth found out, some foods and beverages can indeed cause a malodorous mouth. Onions, garlic, alcohol and coffee are deservedly blamed for this. Tobacco products are also big contributors to bad breath — which is one more reason to quit. But fasting isn’t the answer either: stop eating for long enough and another set of foul-smelling substances will be released. Your best bet is to stay well hydrated and snack on crisp, fresh foods like celery, apples or parsley.
And speaking of hydration (or the lack of it): Mouth dryness and reduced salivary flow during the nighttime hours is what causes “morning breath.” Certain health issues and some medications can also cause “dry mouth,” or xerostomia. Drinking plenty of water can encourage the production of healthy saliva — but if that’s not enough, tell us about it: We may recommend switching medications (if possible), chewing xylitol gum or using a saliva substitute.
Finally, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is a great way to avoid bad breath. The goal of oral hygiene is to control the harmful bacteria that live in your mouth. These microorganisms can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath — so keeping them in check is good for your overall oral health. Remember to brush twice and floss once daily, stay away from sugary foods and beverages, and visit the dental office regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.
So did J.Law apologize for the malodorous makeout session? Not exactly. “[For] Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, yeah, I’ll brush my teeth,” she laughed.
Hemsworth jokingly agreed: “If I was kissing Christian Bale I probably would have brushed my teeth too. With you, it’s like, ‘Eh. Whatever.’”
If you would like more information about bad breath and oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath: More than Just Embarrassing.”
Do you need to replace a missing tooth but aren't sure if dental implants are worth the cost? Dr. Joseph Reed, your Arlington, TX, dentist at Arlington Dental, shares several important benefits of this innovative tooth replacement option.
Implants are extremely comfortable because they actually become a permanent part of your mouth, unlike bridges or dentures. Dental implants, which look like tiny screws, are placed in openings in your jawbone by your Arlington, TX dentist. Over the course of three to six months, implants bond to the surrounding bone during a process called osseointegration. When the implants have fully bonded, they provide a strong foundation for the crowns that will replace missing teeth above the gum line. Because dental implants are firmly rooted in your jawbone, you never have to worry that they'll slip and irritate your gums.
Oral health advantages
Dental implants offer several valuable oral health benefits, including:
- Fewer cavities: Losing one tooth might seem like a minor problem, particularly if the gap in your smile can't be seen, but the loss of that tooth can increase your cavity risk. When a tooth is lost, the teeth on either side begin to lean toward the gap, which may cause them to overlap. Removing plaque from those overlapping areas can be difficult or impossible. Unfortunately, if you don't remove plaque, it combines with the sugars in foods to create acids that attack your tooth enamel.
- Stronger jawbone: The roots of your teeth keep your jawbone strong by providing constant stimulation. Even though bridges and dentures restore your ability to bite and chew, they can't stimulate the bone. Eventually, the jawbone begins to weaken and shrink, which can threaten the health of other teeth and cause facial sagging.
- No effect on surrounding teeth: If you choose a bridge to replace a missing tooth, the teeth on either side of the gap will need to be filed down to ensure that the bridge fits correctly. Filing the teeth destroys a portion of your healthy tooth structure and weakens teeth. When you choose an implant, surrounding teeth aren't affected.
- Improved biting: Implants help you bite and chew normally without any restrictions. When you choose dentures, your biting power is reduced, which can make it difficult to eat hard foods.
Are you interested in improving your smile with a dental implant? Call Dr. Reed, your Arlington, TX, dentist at Arlington Dental at (817) 303-5700 and schedule an appointment to find out if implants are a good choice for you. Restore your smile with dental implants!
Home whitening kits are a popular way to turn a dull smile into a dazzling one. But these self-applied products only work for teeth with outer enamel stains — if the discoloration originates inside a tooth, you’ll need professional treatment.
Known as “intrinsic staining,” this type of discoloration most often occurs within a tooth’s pulp or dentin layers. There are a number of causes like tooth trauma or tetracycline use at an early age. A root canal treatment used to remove infection from deep within a tooth can also cause discoloration: sometimes blood pigments left after tissue removal or the filling materials themselves can stain a tooth’s interior.
Intrinsic staining can often be treated by placing a bleaching agent, usually sodium perborate, into the tooth’s pulp chamber. But before undertaking this procedure on a tooth that’s undergone a root canal treatment,Â we want to first ensure the filling is intact and still adequately sealing the tooth from infection. We also want to make sure the supporting bone is also healthy.
If all’s well, we access the pulp in the same way as the root canal treatment, and preferably through the same access hole. We then clean out the pulp chamber of any stained matter and then ensure the root canals remain filled and sealed off from the pulp chamber.
We can then place the bleaching agent into the pulp, a process that will need to be repeated every three or four days to achieve the desired level of brightness. After each session we place a cotton pellet over the opening and held in place with a temporary adhesive; we can easily remove and re-apply this covering during subsequent sessions. Once we’ve achieved the desired color change, we seal the tooth with a permanent filling and restore the access cavity with a tooth-colored composite resin material bonded to the enamel and dentin.
There are other options for an intrinsically stained tooth like veneers or crowns that outwardly cover the discoloration. Internal bleaching, however, is a more conservative approach that causes less alteration of the tooth. If successful, it can restore a stained tooth to a brighter, more attractive shade.
If you would like more information on internal bleaching, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Whitening Traumatized Teeth.”