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Archive for April, 2015

Bad Breath: What are the major offenders?

Monday, April 27th, 2015

dentist 60604Bad breath, also known as halitosis, isn’t only an embarrassing social issue. This condition can signify a problem with your oral health, so it’s important to know what factors can cause bad breath and when you may need to follow up with your dentist for further evaluation.

Food is often the culprit behind bad breath, as anyone who’s made the mistake of eating garlic bread on a first date could testify. If you’re struggling with bad breath, your dentist likely will ask about your eating habits and may recommend eliminating certain foods from your diet to see if the condition improves.

Inadequate oral hygiene also can contribute to bad breath. Oral bacteria produce an odor, so if you’re not brushing and flossing enough to reduce their presence, your breath’s aroma may be a tell-tale sign that you’re slacking at the sink. If you feel like you do maintain a good dental hygiene regimen, you may want to consider adding an anti-bacterial mouthwash to see if that helps eliminate the problem. 

Inadequate oral hygiene also can contribute to bad breath.

More serious dental problems are also associated with bad breath. Conditions like gum disease, abscesses and infections in the mouth may create a bad odor in the breath. If you’ve noticed that you’ve developed a problem with bad breath, tell your dentist, who can examine you to determine if any serious oral health issues are involved.

Smoking also influences how your breath smells, so if you want improvements in that area, consider giving up cigarettes. You’ll get a number of other health benefits, as well.

Dry mouth also may factor into halitosis, as there is insufficient saliva to wash away the oral bacteria, which then begin to stink as they build-up. This problem can be addressed by using an artificial saliva product or merely by drinking more water. Get your dentist’s advice on what strategy will be most effective for you.

Bad breath often can be addressed if you bring it to your dentist’s attention. Schedule an appointment to meet with a member of our team who can evaluate your case and make recommendations for techniques to keep bad breath at bay.

Who can benefit from teeth whitening?

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

teeth whitening ChicagoNearly any patient who is dissatisfied with the color of his or her teeth may benefit from teeth whitening. This treatment can be used to correct a variety of issues, ranging from teeth that have yellowed due to age or those that have been stained by food, beverages or medications.

Teeth whitening can make significant improvements to a patient’s smile when provided as a single treatment or when used in combination with other treatments, even in a smile makeover.

The basic premise of all whitening treatments is the same. Gels that contain bleaching agents are applied to the teeth and the bleaching agents get into the enamel to release any stains or discolorations that may be present.

While the mechanisms are similar, delivery methods can vary, however. Patients who work with a cosmetic dentist to brighten and whiten their smiles are likely to get more consistent and noticeable results than those who opt for over-the-counter whitening products.

A dentist has access to stronger bleaching agents, and many cosmetic dentists offer in-office systems such as Zoom!, which leaves the teeth up to 10 shades whiter in as little as an hour.

With Zoom!, the cosmetic dentist uses a specialized laser to activate the bleaching gel, helping it to remove stains more quickly.

Patients who are willing to wait a few days for the bleaching to become noticeable can also choose to whiten their teeth at home using custom-designed trays provided by their dentists. The patient fills these trays with the whitening gel provided and wears them according to the schedule recommended by the dentist.

Because patients have a number of options for professional-strength teeth whitening treatments, you should talk to your dentist to learn which treatment will best match your needs. If you need to get quick results, Zoom! may be a good fit. However, if you have less time and tighter finances, you may want to choose a conventional tray system instead.

Teeth whitening can make dramatic improvements to your smile. Ask your dentist what results can be reasonably expected in your case.

Harmful Dental Habits to Avoid

Monday, April 6th, 2015

dentist Wicker ParkIf you want to protect your smile, you should steer clear of a number of potentially harmful dental habits. Make sure that you’re properly caring for your teeth and don’t use them for jobs they weren’t designed to do.

One particularly common bad habit that can compromise your oral health is postponing or avoiding regular checkups with your dentist. These routine visits help to protect your smile because oral diseases can be identified in their earliest, most treatable stages. Additionally, the professional cleanings you get at these appointments help to minimize the presence of oral bacteria that can wreak havoc on your mouth.

Of course you shouldn’t just rely on the dentist to keep your smile clean and healthy. You need to put in effort on the home front. If you’re slacking on your home oral hygiene routine, your oral health may suffer. Don’t try to slide by with occasional flossing or brushing just once a day. Follow your dentist’s instructions for maintaining a healthy smile at home. 

Other unhealthy habits beyond the realm of oral hygiene can damage your teeth, too.

Other unhealthy habits beyond the realm of oral hygiene can damage your teeth, too.

Yes, tooth enamel may be the hardest substance in the body, but it’s still not indestructible. Don’t use your teeth for anything but chewing! Your teeth were not designed to open bottles or packages, so don’t try to use them as such.

Don’t chew on hard, non-food items either. Things like ice, fingernails and pencils can crack a tooth or even damage the soft tissues in the mouth.

Did you know that getting stressed out can be a bad habit for your mouth, too? Excess stress can cause patients to grind and clench their teeth – often subconsciously – leading to premature wear and tear that can weaken your teeth. When you learn how to manage your stress, your smile will benefit along with many other aspects of your health.

Patients who engage in any of these bad habits may be jeopardizing their oral health. Talk to one of our dentists to learn more about the steps you can take to protect your smile. Contact our team at Ora Dental Studio today to schedule your visit.