H is for Halitosis

Halitosis, which is the scientific name for bad breath, happens to most all of us at one time or another. So what causes bad breath? Mostly it comes down to bad oral hygiene.

According to a recent article in Medical News Today, potential causes of bad breath can include the following:

  • Tobacco: Tobacco products cause their own types of mouth odor. Additionally, they increase the chances of gum disease which can also cause bad breath.
  • Food: The breakdown of food particles stuck in the teeth can cause odors. Some foods such as onions and garlic can also cause bad breath. After they are digested, their breakdown products are carried in the blood to the lungs where they can affect the breath.
  • Dry mouth: Saliva naturally cleans the mouth. If the mouth is naturally dry or dry due to a specific disease, such as xerostomia,  odors can build up.
  • Dental hygiene: Brushing and flossing ensure the removal of small particles of food that can build up and slowly break down, producing odor. A film of bacteria called plaque builds up if brushing is not regular. This plaque can irritate the gums and cause inflammation between the teeth and gums called periodontitis. Dentures that are not cleaned regularly or properly can also harbor bacteria that cause halitosis.
  • Crash diets: Fasting and low-carbohydrate eating programs can produce halitosis. This is due to the breakdown of fats producing chemicals called ketones. These ketones have a strong aroma.
  • Drugs: Certain medications can reduce saliva and, therefore, increase odors. Other drugs can produce odors as they breakdown and release chemicals in the breath. Examples include nitrates used to treat angina, some chemotherapy chemicals, and some tranquilizers. Individuals who take vitamin supplements in large doses can also be prone to bad breath.
  • Mouth, nose, and throat conditions: Sometimes, small, bacteria-covered stones can form on the tonsils at the back of the throat and produce odor. Also, infections or inflammation in the nose, throat, or sinuses can cause halitosis.
  • Foreign body: Bad breath can be caused if they have a foreign body lodged in their nasal cavity, especially in children.

What can you do to avoid bad breath?  Brush at least twice daily especially after a meal. Floss at least once a day to remove food particles and plaque left after brushing.  Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months. Brush your tongue where bacteria and dead cells  can develop. Drink plenty of water to avoid dry mouth and avoid onion, garlic, spicy and sugary foods that are all linked with bad breath.

Above all, call our office at Brogdon Dental to set up an appoint for your annual cleaning and to discuss your concerns.  We look forward to hearing from you.

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F is for Floss

Floss! Is flossing important? Sure it is! Using floss (which is a thin piece of string, usually waxed) between your teeth can help remove food particles and plaque from in between teeth and around your gum line. There are places that your toothbrush just can’t reach and that’s where flossing comes in.

It is recommended that you floss once a day, at bedtime, to help remove what you haven’t been able to do with your toothbrush.  It is really more important than brushing alone.

There are various types of “floss” you can use if you don’t want to use the traditional string floss.  “Dental Flossers” look like a toothpick with a bristled end.  Interdental brushes which are thin, round or cone-shaped, these brushes have a small head with bristles held on by wire and a Water Flosser, which is an oral health appliance designed to removed plaque by the use of jet stream water, such as a WaterPic.

What ever you decide to use, the key is continual use every day. By finding the method best for you, you will be more apt to floss on a daily basis and that’s what’s important.

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E is for Enamel

Have you ever wondered about your tooth enamel. What is it? Should you protect it? Is it important?

Enamel is the hardest material in your body.  It covers the outer layer of your tooth and is what you see when you look at your teeth.   Enamel is made up mostly of minerals, primarily hydroxyapatite.  Hydroxyapatite is defined as a natural calcium mineral and  an essential ingredient of normal bone and teeth. It can be various colors from light yellow to a grayish white.

Enamel is very important in protecting your teeth from decay, so it’s important to do all you can to keep your enamel from eroding.  It helps protect your teeth from sensitive things, such as hot and cold foods or beverages.

Your body cannot make more enamel to replace it if it is destroyed. Enamel does not contain any living cells, so unlike your bones, cannot regenerate. That’s why it’s important to do all you can to protect it.

Avoiding hard candies or those with lots of sugar and high acidic foods are a couple of ways to help.  Also, regular brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and visiting Dr. Brogdon for regular cleanings and check ups.

 

A is for Anxiety

Do you dread going to the Dentist? Does your palms start to sweat and your heart starts beating faster when you walk in the door?  Do you find yourself avoiding making an appointment because of your fears?  If this describes you, you are not alone.  Somewhere between 9% and 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear.

According to WebMD here are some of the most common reasons for dental anxiety:

  • Fear of pain. Fear of pain is a very common reason for avoiding the dentist. This fear usually stems from an early dental experience that was unpleasant or painful or from dental “pain and horror” stories told by others. Thanks to the many advances in dentistry made over the years, most of today’s dental procedures are considerably less painful or even pain-free.
  • Fear of injections or fear the injection won’t work. Many people are terrified of needles, especially when inserted into their mouth. Beyond this fear, others fear that the anesthesia hasn’t yet taken effect or wasn’t a large enough dose to eliminate any pain before the dental procedure begins.
  • Fear of anesthetic side effects. Some people fear the potential side effects of anesthesia such as dizziness, feeling faint, or nausea. Others don’t like the numbness or “fat lip” associated with local anesthetics.
  • Feelings of helplessness and loss of control. It’s common for people to feel these emotions considering the situation — sitting in a dental chair with your mouth wide open, unable to see what’s going on.
  • Embarrassment and loss of personal space. Many people feel uncomfortable about the physical closeness of the dentist or hygienist to their face. Others may feel self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth or possible mouth odors.

If you suffer from any of these anxieties, the best thing you can do is talk about your fears with Dr Brogdon. He can discuss ways to make you feel less stressed and more comfortable.  Ask him to explain all he is doing, when he is doing it.  Knowing what to expect can help you relax. If you have any pain or just need to catch your breath, you might raise your hand or give him some signal to stop what he’s doing.

Dental Anxiety doesn’t have to keep you from having the best smile possible.  We are here to help.  Give us a call and set up that appointment.  Don’t be one of those 20%.

February Heart Month

Since February is known as Heart Month is there a relationship between your oral health and your heart health?

Heart Disease is defined as cardiovascular disease, and occurs when blood vessels either narrow or become completely blocked, a condition that can lead to a heart attack, stroke or chest pain.  So what does this have to do with your Oral Health?

Recent studies show that if you have gum disease in a moderate or advanced stage, you’re at greater risk for heart disease than someone with healthy gums.

According to colgate.com, patients with chronic gum conditions such as gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease have the highest risk for heart disease caused by poor oral health, particularly if it remains undiagnosed and unmanaged. The bacteria that are associated with gum infection are in the mouth and can enter the blood stream, where they attach to the blood vessels and increase your risk to cardiovascular disease. 

So what should you do? Regular dental exams and good oral hygiene are two ways to protect yourself against developing gum disease. Visit our office at Brogdon Dental for regular professional teeth cleanings.  We want to keep your heart and your smile healthy as well as beautiful!

New Year Resolutions

Here we are almost at the end of January. So how are you doing with your new years resolutions? Did you vow to set up that dental cleaning in January but never got around to it?

It’s never too late to start keeping those resolutions! We are here waiting to hear from you. Give us a call at 423-870-5698. Don’t wait for another month to pass you by…

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2017 in Review

As 2017 comes to an end, we at Brogdon Dental would like all our patients to know how much we have appreciated the opportunity to be of service to you and your families. If we have put a smile on your face where you didn’t have one before we are truly thankful.

We look forward to more smiles in 2018!

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