Family & Cosmetic Care in a Comfortable, Relaxed Environment.

Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

Are you planning a romantic evening with your loved one for Valentine’s Day?  When you know that you are going to be up close to someone you care about, fresh breath is important. Below you will find the best tips to maintain fresh breath for your valentine, and every day of the year.

Top Breath Freshening Tips

-Keep Hydrated. Water has a dual purpose in maintaining dental health. It can wash away bacteria and food particles that can lead to bad breath and also keep  tissues hydrated which reduces the buildup of malodorous sulfur compounds on the back of the tongue. Another good beverage for fresh breath is green tea. Green tea has an increased ability to lower the levels of oral bacteria’s sulfur compounds. These sulfur compounds are the cause of many oral malodors which can linger for hours.

-Chew Sugarless Gum (even better with Xylitol). Chewing gum with xylitol can stimulate salivary production and clean our teeth. Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from the fibrous parts of plants. It does not break down like sugar and can help keep a neutral pH level in the mouth. Xylitol also prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth.  The number of acid-producing bacteria may fall as much as 90% when chewing gum with xylitol. A decrease in plaque will result in a decrease in odor.

-Maintain A Balanced Diet Filled With The Right Foods. Enjoying crunchy, high-fiber foods like apples and raw vegetables can increase your mouth’s production of saliva, which will diminish odor-causing bacteria. Cinnamon has been shown to kill odor causing bacteria. Vitamin C-rich foods stop odor-causing bacteria from spreading and neutralize odors from stinky foods like garlic and onions. Greek yogurt lowers a waste product from bacteria called hydrogen sulfide in the mouth. Chewing fresh parsley can also help your breath.

-Do Not Avoid Carbohydrates. The latest diets, like the Atkins Diet, require you to eat little to no carbohydrates. If you are eating a mostly protein diet, your body could go into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is when your body burns fats for energy and produces molecules called ketones. A type of ketone called acetone is then excreted in the breath, and can be described as smelling “fruity” or “rotten.” To avoid ketosis, eat a moderate amount of healthy carbohydrates, such as whole-grain breads, rice or pasta.

-Use An Anti Bacterial Mouthrinse Or Spray. Mouth rinses have many great qualities like reducing plaque buildup on teeth and helping to prevent periodontal disease. They also are able to keep breath fresh. Use a mouth rinse at least once a day will help keep the number of odor causing bacteria down to a minimum. There are also breath sprays, Closys is a great oral spray which directly neutralizes sulfur compounds.

Fresh Breath Conclusion

Maintaining fresh breath should be a goal year round and not just for Valentine’s day. Taking a few extra steps can help give you the confidence you need in intimate moments. If your bad breath persists please seek the help of a dentist to ensure the cause is not a more serious health condition.

Periodontal disease is a progressive disorder that if left untreated will worsen over time. Many people simply ignore the warning signs or just do not know them. Educating yourself on the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease is a good first step to taking control of the disease and it’s progression.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease (or gum disease) is a serious and chronic infection of the gum tissue that can result in the staged breakdown of the tissue and the deterioration of bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. This infection process begins when bacteria and plaque form a sticky bio film on your teeth. Biofilm causes a chronic inflammation of the gum tissue.  Periodontal disease will continue to progress if the biofilm is not reduced or removed.   Maintaining proper dental care and hygiene are the most important steps in prevention and halting of the disease. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Studies show that somewhere between 75% and 95% of all adults are suffering some stage of periodontal disease.

The stages of periodontal disease include:

-Gingivitis ( inflammation of the gum tissues). This is the initial stage of periodontal disease. This is easily reversible and is the mildest form of periodontal disease. Symptoms include red, swollen (or puffy) and inflamed gums due to plaque-bacteria build-up. The gums may also bleed easily during brushing or eating of hard foods. During this early stage of periodontal disease, the process can be reversed with at home dental hygiene and professional cleanings to remove the biofilm, and tartar. Most of the people with this early form of periodontal disease, do not even know a dental problem exists. This is a crucial period for the patient, as the condition can be reversed (since the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place have not yet been affected) at this point if it is recognized and properly treated. Gingivitis is commonly seen during puberty, pregnancy, times of high stress, and menopause, as hormones can make you more prone to inflammation. As for the rest of the population, poor hygiene is generally the most common cause, followed by medication and certain medical conditions.

-Periodontitis. As the disease state progresses, it is now becoming harder to treat and manage. The difference between gingivitis and periodontitis is that gingivitis only infects the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth while the periodontal disease process also invades the bone that provides support and stability for the teeth. The bacteria eventually invades past the initial the gum line area and destruction begins to the point that gums may begin to separate or pull away from the teeth (taking away support and connective fibers with it). What results are called periodontal pockets. These pockets allow for bacteria to invade below the gum line.  They eventually become loaded with toxic plaque and bacteria that moves and works its way deeper. It begins to erode the bone and connective fibers below the gum line. A patient’s bite will be affected (as the teeth shift or loosen) by the lost support which then affects chewing and other functions.

-Advanced Periodontitis. As the periodontal disease process advances further, the fibers and bone that provide support for the teeth are destroyed. At least half of the bone support (if not more) will have broken down at this late stage of periodontal disease. It does not grow back naturally. Teeth may begin to loosen. Deep root cleanings and surgical intervention are typical at this stage. This may include cleaning with a periodontal microscope, (Perioscope), grafting of tissue, bone, placement of growth factors, (Emdogain), periodontal antibiotic regimen (Periostat), placement of antibiotics directly into pockets, (Arestin), open flap surgery, and, possibly tooth removal.

Periodontal Disease Warning Signs

-Puffy, Swollen Gum Tissue. This is a hallmark sign of gingivitis and periodontal disease in general. Your body’s natural response is to fight off this infection caused by excessive untreated debris. It does this by bringing healing components to the area through the blood vessels. The gums will remain this way until the irritant is removed namely the plaque and bacteria building up on your teeth and below the gum line.

-Bleeding Gums. Once the tissues are puffy and receiving extra blood flow to fight off the disease process. This leads to inflamed gum tissue that will bleed easily upon brushing or even eating.

-Presence Of Periodontal Pockets. As the disease process progresses and the bacteria and plaque build up the gum tissue will begin to separate from the teeth creating ever larger pockets where bone will be lost. These pockets become very difficult to clean on your own and necessitate further professional help.

-Infection And Pus. Once there has been significant advancement of pockets, bleeding ends, and infection begins. Pressing on the gums, flossing or probing by the hygienist tends to release pus into the mouth.

-Long Looking Teeth. As we lose bone support, the gum tissue falls back and exposes the root of the tooth. This gives the appearance of longer teeth.

-Persistent Bad Breath. While this can be a sign of other more serious medical conditions it is a hallmark of periodontal disease progression. Much of the odor has to do with the infection process, and tartar.

-Loose Or Drifting Teeth. Once periodontal disease has advanced, the support tissues are diminished. The further the advancement, the looser the teeth become.

Periodontal Disease Conclusion

Periodontal disease is a progressive disease. There are many signs and stages to help you to be aware of  it’s progression. The disease process involved in periodontal disease can be quite aggressive making it harder and harder to control and treat. It is best to stay ahead of that process by being diligent with at home dental hygiene and maintaining a regular schedule of professional cleanings.

Most people overlook the role of the general dentist in the success or failure of orthodontics. Generally, the dentist is the first line of defense in diagnosing crowding of teeth or a malocclusion. The timing of when to see an orthodontist is critical for many of our younger patients. This timing can ensure a smooth transition into orthodontic treatment as well as utilize phases of growth to help with tooth movement. A good general dentist will also be able to find a well trained orthodontist with the skills and personality to fit your child’s needs.

When To Refer To An Orthodontist?

Many children are ready for an orthodontic consult by age 7. This could be even earlier if the dentist or parent have further concerns regarding development. By age 7 enough of the permanent teeth have erupted to gauge the need for early orthodontic intervention. Luckily, most children do not need early orthodontic intervention but for those that do it makes the seemingly impossible possible again. Severe crowding of teeth can be difficult to fix without removal of teeth, so it is essential to get an early look. Many people see orthodontics as simply a cosmetic procedure but it most definitely is more than that. The benefits go beyond cosmetic as they effect our occlusion, periodontal health, and prevent trauma due to misalignment.

Top Reasons For An Orthodontic Referral

-Insufficient Space For The Eruption Of Permanent Teeth.

-Anterior Or Posterior Crossbite.

-Primary Tooth Loss Timing. Early or late loss can have its own unique implications.

-Thumb Sucking or finger sucking habits.

-Speech Difficulty.

-Extreme protrusion of teeth. This can leave them at increased risk of trauma.

-Open Bite. This occurs when the upper front teeth do not cover the lower front teeth.

-Facial imbalance or facial asymmetry.

General Dentist Role Once Orthodontic Treatment Begins

Once the general dentist refers the patient to the orthodontist the co-treatment begins. The patient will continue to see their general dentist for routine dental work including dental examinations and professional cleanings every 3-4 months. The dentist and orthodontist will confer on the case and keep the parents updated.Without proper oral hygiene maintenance, and teamwork between the dentist and orthodontist, the entire orthodontic treatment can be placed in jeopardy.

The most preventable issues with orthodontic care are periodontal disease (inflammation of the gingival tissues), decalcification of the enamel (also referred to as white spot lesions), and cavities. Maintaining good oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment requires special tools and training. Simple tooth brushing is not enough to get the job done. Some of these tools include:

-Electric toothbrush with an oscillating head. This will ensure good coverage around orthodontic brackets to remove plaque and food debris.

-Waterpik. This is a fabulous tool to clean in and around the teeth but also around the brackets and wires. It has been shown that water flossing in orthodontic patients can remove as much as 3x the plaque and bacteria vs traditional flossing.

-Floss Threaders. This can help make flossing easier, and thus be done more often.

-Mouthwash. A good antibacterial mouthrinse will help kill bacteria where the toothbrush doesn’t reach.

-Interdental Brushes. These work great to remove large particles of food from between larger spaces, they are also recommended for brushing around molars that have not yet come all the way through the gum tissue.

-Fluoride Rinses. Rinsing with fluoride should help lessen the possibility of white spots on the teeth and decay.

Orthodontic Treatment Conclusion

Communication between patient, parent, general dentist, and orthodontist should be an ongoing process. All should be intimately involved to ensure that everything is going smoothly and to head off any trouble issues as soon as possible. A team approach only works when all parties communicate their needs and issues so they can be addressed properly. Maintaining oral hygiene can be challenging during orthodontic treatment but it can be overcome with the proper tools, techniques, and more frequent professional cleanings.

 

Diet plays a big role in the maintenance of our teeth and gums. Many people are unaware of what foods are bad for our dental health. Did you know that carbohydrates are really just sugars in disguise? Luckily, our oral bacteria is unable to properly break down complex carbohydrates. However, simple sugars (monosaccharides) and links of simple sugars (disaccharides) can be broken down. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria break down these sugars producing acid as a byproduct. The acid sits on and between our teeth dissolving our teeth causing tooth decay.

Sugars That Cause Tooth Decay

-Sucrose. Also known as common table sugar (also sometimes called saccharose). Sucrose is found in most candy, is the sweetest of all the sugars, and is broken down by Streptococcus Mutans.  S.Mutans is able to uniquely break down sucrose into dextran. Dextran acts as the glue for the bacteria to stick to teeth as well as act as a reserve food source for the bacteria. This glue makes dental plaque stickier and harder to remove. Sucrose is found in sugar cane, maple trees, and sugar beets.

-Fructose. This sugar is found in nature in many fruits (berries, melons) and root vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes). Fructose is not as sweet as Sucrose. Where Fructose becomes a problem for our teeth is when it is concentrated as high fructose corn syrup. At that point it becomes far sweeter than sucrose, sticky, and easily broken down by bacteria to cause decay. High fructose syrup is widely used due to its cheapness and its liquid form. Low cost makes it far easier to use in many commercial products.

-Glucose. This is the main energy source of our body. All of the other sugars ingested are broken down into glucose by the body. Glucose is broken down by bacteria as well and will cause  our teeth to decay.

-Lactose. Also known as milk sugar. It is found in many dairy products (milk, yogurt, and cheeses). This is one of the rare sugars that is not sweet to the taste but it can still be broken down by our oral bacteria to produce acid in our mouths and lead to decay. In infants, milk left pooled in the mouth by sleeping with a bottle, can cause decay and thrush.

-Maltose. Commonly found in bread, rice, cereals, and beer. Beer is especially dangerous as it contains sugar and is acidic. A detrimental combination for our teeth. Maltose, like lactose, does not taste very sweet.

Avoid Sugars?

Avoiding sugar in today’s modern world is quite impossible for many. As you can see above, sugars come in many forms and in a variety of foods. The key as always should be to take in sugars in moderation, and use thorough oral hygiene techniques. It is important to note that sucrose, has little nutritional benefit. Sucrose (white table sugar) should be ingested in moderation. Lactose, natural fructose, and maltose are found in products important to a good healthy diet so they obviously will not be avoided if we wish to be healthy.

Tips to Minimize Dangers From Sugar

-Moderation. Ingest sugars in moderation.

-Maintain Good Oral Hygiene. If you are eating lots of sugar be sure to brush if you can immediately following to remove and dissolve the majority of the byproduct acids. If you cannot brush, rinse thoroughly with water following eating sugars, and chew sugar free gum.

-Drink Water. This will lessen effects of acidic attack on our teeth.

Conclusion

Let’s face it, most of us are not going to hold to a strict sugar free diet so it is important to maintain good oral hygiene. This is doubly important for children who tend to eat more candies than  adults. As always remember to visit your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings.