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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Why Dental Cleanings are Essential

Do you ever wonder why your dentist recommends you come back to see them every six months? Not only to we enjoy seeing you, but regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums.  It’s also up to you to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy between those visits. Plaque and tartar can build up in a very short time if good oral hygiene is not practiced. If not treated, plaque can lead to gum disease.

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After your dental exam we will perform a dental cleaning which consist of:

  • Checking the cleanliness of your teeth and gums
  • Removing any plaque and tartar
  • Polishing your teeth
  • Flossing between your teeth
  • Reviewing recommended brushing and flossing techniques

Once we are finished with your cleaning, we’ll tell you more about the health of your teeth and gums and make any recommendations we feel is warranted.  Remember, by seeing our staff at Brogdon Dental on a routine basis (at least every 6 months) and following our recommendations of good, daily oral hygiene practices, you can be sure that you will keep your teeth and gums healthy. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

 

 

 

 

What about Dental Floss?

Did you ever think about where dental floss came from or when it was invented?

According to Wikipedia…

Levi Spear Parmly, a dentist from New Orleans, is credited with inventing the first form of dental floss. In 1819, he recommended running a waxen silk thread “through the interstices of the teeth, between their necks and the arches of the gum, to dislodge that irritating matter which no brush can remove and which is the real source of disease.” He considered this the most important part of oral care. Floss was not commercially available until 1882, when the Codman and Shurtleft company started producing unwaxed silk floss. in 1898, the Johnson & Johnson Corporation received the first patent for dental floss that was made from the same silk material used by doctors for silk stitches.

Nylon floss was developed during World War II by Dr Charles C Bass. He found it to be better than silk because of its texture which was more resistant and that it could be produced in various lengths and sizes.

Today, variety of dental flosses are available. Waxed, unwaxed monofilaments and multifilaments are most popular. Thicknesses and widths vary. Some waxed types of dental floss are said to contain antibacterial agents.

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No matter what type or size of floss you choose, it’s important to floss once a day before or after brushing to allow the fluoride from the toothpaste to reach between the teeth.

 

 

May is National Smile Month

May 16th begins National Smile Month, a national campaign to promote good oral health in children and adults. Here are some key points from nationalsmilemonth.org to maintain a health smile:

  • Brush your teeth last thing at night and on at least one other occasion with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
  • Visit your dentist regularly.
  • Change your toothbrush every two to three months or sooner if it becomes worn.
  • Clean in between your teeth at least once a day using floss.
  • If you are nervous about visiting the dentist, make sure they are aware of why so they can improve your treatment.

A great smile can improve your self-confidence, create a positive mind set and can change not only your mouth, but your body too.

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We at Brogdon Dental want you to get your smile on. Call us today to make an appointment.

 

 

Healthy Gums – Healthy Heart

Did you know that brushing and flossing your teeth can help you avoid heart disease? Having clean teeth and healthy gums could reduce your chances of atherosclerosis.

So how does bacteria in your mouth affect your heart? The bacteria could possible enter the bloodstream through your gums, traveling to the rest of the body.  This bacteria could create inflammation, resulting in the clogging of arteries.

According to WebMD,

Gingivitis is an infection of the gums usually caused by poor oral hygiene. Gums become inflamed, swollen, and bleed. Bacteria within plaque (which forms on teeth) lead to chronic inflammation of the gum line and tooth loss. Chronic inflammation caused by periodontal disease has been linked to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease.

Every day, an estimated 2,600 people in the U.S. die of heart disease, says the American Heart Association. That’s an average of one death every 34 seconds. Every 45 seconds, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke – or about 700,000 people this year.

Heart attack and stroke can strike anyone. Each year, heart disease kills 150,000 people younger than 65, says the AHA.

There are lots of ways to prevent heart disease. Diet, exercise, handling stress better, and keeping your blood sugar and blood pressure under control are all good. Brushing and flossing are not a substitute for these measures, but they are two of the simplest things you can do to help your heart.  If you haven’t had your teeth cleaned in the last 6 months you need to call us at Brogdon Dental to set up an appointment.

October National Dental Hygiene Month Part 2

October is National Dental Hygiene Month.  Two things important to good dental hygiene is brushing and flossing. Today’s blog will focus on flossing.

We all know how important brushing your teeth twice a day is, but do you give as much thought to flossing? Brushing cleans the teeth on three sides, but it is equally important to get between the teeth where it is difficult to reach.

According to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, daily flossing should be part of our daily dental hygiene routine.

Daily flossing removes plaque and food particles that cannot be reached by a toothbrush, particularly under the gum line and between teeth. Failure to do so can allow for plaque buildup in these areas – which in turn can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Getting into the routine of daily flossing can be a challenge. Making flossing easier can improve compliance with recommendations for daily flossing. If you resist flossing, try to determine why and tell your dental hygienist. Knowing the precise reason you are not flossing will enable them to recommend floss with the right thickness, coating or filaments so you might be encouraged to floss more often.

If you are unsure how to floss here are some tips from toothwisdom.org:

Floss once per day before or after brushing.

  • Use about 18 inches of dental floss wrapped around one of your middle fingers, with the other end wrapped around the opposite middle finger.
  • Hold the dental floss tightly between the thumbs and pointer finger and gently insert it between the teeth.
  • Curve the dental floss against the side of the tooth in a ‘C’ shape.
  • Wipe the floss up and down against the tooth.
  • Repeat on the next tooth with a fresh section of the floss until the whole mouth is complete.

Good habits only happen with repeated use. Remember to brush 2 times a day for 2 minutes and floss daily for good dental hygiene.