4 Ways to Beat Bad Breath

kissing under the mistletoe

Bad breath can be caused by any number of things. But it can be embarrassing, and gum or mints only go so far in covering it up. Instead of masking the issue, our dental office in Doylestown has a few tips on how to solve the problem once and for all.

The Best Ways to Fix Chronic Bad Breath

Occasional bad breath may be a result of something you ate, such as a super garlicky pasta dish. This type of bad breath is usually short lived and easily fixed by brushing your teeth. However, chronic bad breath, or halitosis, doesn’t disappear no matter how much mouthwash you swish. When this is the case, there are several things you can try to help you freshen up.

 

Back to Basics

The easiest way to start working on beating bad breath is to make sure you’re practicing proper oral hygiene by brushing twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing once a day.

Drink More Water

A hydrated mouth is a happy mouth. The more water you drink, the more bacteria is rinsed away before it has a chance to settle in and lead to decay or bad breath.

Stop Smoking

Smoker’s breath can linger around long after you put out your cigarette. Smoke particles can hang around in lungs for hours after smoking, and tiny amounts are released every time you exhale… hence the bad breath.

Visit Your Dentist in Doylestown

Twice annual dental visits are the best way to fight off bad breath and keep it away in the first place. Your dental team will deep clean your teeth removing stuck on tartar and freshening your entire mouth. They’ll also be able to notice and treat any other issues that may be contributing to bad breath.

Sometimes Bad Breath is More Than Simply Bad Breath

If you practice good oral hygiene at home, visit your dentist twice a year, drink plenty of water, and don’t smoke, yet you still suffer from chronic bad breath, there’s a possibility it may a sign of a larger problem. Bad breath can be a sign of:

  • Gum Disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Sinus Infection
  • Diabetes
  • Liver or Kidney Problems

If you’re been in the bad breath battle for some time and you’re ready to make a change, we welcome you to contact our Doylestown dental office to schedule an appointment. We’ll be happy to get you on the right track towards fresher breath.

Show Your Teeth Some Appreciation This Thanksgiving

woman expresses thanksThanksgiving is day dedicated to giving thanks for all that we have in our lives. The typical thankful sentiments of life, health, family, and friends usually top the list. This Thanksgiving, the team at our Doylestown dental office wants to give you one more thing to be thankful for, something that’s typically overlooked: your teeth.

We know it may sound silly to give thanks for your pearly whites, but trust us, after we list the top reasons you should appreciate your teeth, you’ll be praising them in no time.

Your Teeth Are One of Your Most Defining Features

According to a study conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), your smile is one of the first things someone notices about you. It can also impact your life and others’ perceptions of who you are. In fact, the same AACD study concluded that 74% of those who took the survey believe an unattractive smile can negatively affect someone’s career. But don’t worry, if you’re not proud to show off your grin, cosmetic dentistry from your Doylestown dentist will transform your smile and maybe even your life.

They Help Us Communicate

Teeth are an essential part of speaking. Without them, we’d have difficulty pronouncing certain letters and sounds such as ‘f,’ ‘v,’ ‘s,’ ‘th,’ and so many more. Go ahead and give it a try. Can you say a full sentence without touching your teeth together or bracing your tongue against them? We’re guessing it was a bit challenging. Those who struggle to pronounce sounds correctly can benefit from seeing a dentist, undergoing orthodontics, or working with a speech therapist.

Teeth Allow Us to Eat All of the Delicious Thanksgiving Treats

One of the teeth’s main purpose is to help us break down foods into more manageably sized pieces so that we can swallow easier. Different types of teeth have a different jobs when it comes to aiding in eating. For example, incisors (the front four teeth on top and front four on the bottom) help us bite bits of food while the molars and premolars are responsible for mashing and chewing the food.

They Can Improve Digestion

Also related to eating, there’s more that the mouth does to help prepare food for proper digestion other than simply chewing. As we chew, our saliva production increases to help further break down the food particles. The saliva contains enzymes that kick start the digestion process. If we don’t chew well or fully, proper digestion can’t happen.

We hope our few reasons to be thankful for your teeth this Thanksgiving, and all year around, makes you appreciate a healthy smile. If there’s any concern about your smile, whether it’s cosmetic or functional, we welcome you to call our dental office in Doylestown.

Top 7 Ways to Protect Yourself This Flu Season

couple with the flu

 

Nobody enjoys the threat of the flu lurking everywhere this time of year. But with the right precautions you can protect yourself and your family and reduce your risk of contracting the flu. Our dental office in Doylestown has put together a guide to help you avoid the flu and keep you healthy all year long.

Wash Your Hands Often

Using warm water and soap, scrub your hands before preparing food, after eating or using the restroom, and after shaking hands. If soap and water are unavailable use an alcohol-based sanitizer.

Keep Your Hands Away From Your Face

Germs spread easily through the eyes, nose, and mouth. If your hands get in contact with flu germs and you rub your eye, itch your nose, or bite your fingernail, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll get sick.

Drink Plenty of Water

Your body functions optimally if it’s hydrated. This includes its ability to fight off germs. Not to mention, a well hydrated mouth is a healthy mouth, and that’s sure to make your dentist in Doylestown happy.

Eat a Well Balanced Diet

Fueling your body with fruits, veggies, whole grains, and proteins is crucial in helping your body stay healthy. Proteins, in fact, have been proven to support the immune system so make sure you’re getting your fair share.

Clean Your Home and Your Office

Sanitize the areas you or others use most. Think about the items that get touched often like doorknobs, toilets, elevator buttons, or your computer mouse. A good rule of thumb to follow is to clean it even it doesn’t look dirty.

Take Care of Your Toothbrush

Toothbrushes can hold a lot of bacteria and if not taken care of properly could make you sick. Make sure you rinse the bristles thoroughly after each use, store family members’ brushes far away from each other, and consider sterilizing them once a week in hot water.

Avoid People Who Are Sick

Although this seems obvious, it’s not always simple. If a co-worker comes to the office sniffling and sneezing, it’s difficult to avoid them and everything they touch. Try to communicate via email instead of face-to-face meetings, carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you, and again, always wash your hands and avoid touching your face.

If you do happen to get sick, try your best to stay home to help prevent the illness from spreading to others. Our dental office in Doylestown also encourages you to find sugar-free medications so as you’re working on feeling better, you’re not doing damage to your oral health.

Are Root Canals as Scary as they Sound?

root canal model

Root canals have an unnecessarily bad reputation of being painful, which causes many people to be afraid of the treatment. However, the team at our dental office in Doylestown wants to ease any concerns you may have about root canals and hopefully relieve any apprehension.

Do Root Canals Hurt?

There’s been a lot of talk surrounding just how terrible a root canal is when, in fact, advancements in dental technology have made them virtually pain free. If your dentist in Doylestown recommends a root canal, it’s most likely because you’re experiencing pain caused by deep decay or a severe infection. A root canal treatment can actually make that pain go away so you can finally get relief.

So, What Exactly is a Root Canal?

The name of the treatment itself isn’t necessarily descriptive of the actual procedure, so let’s take a look at how a root canal is typically done. Your dentist will:

  • Numb the area to reduce any discomfort.
  • Make a tiny hole in the tooth.
  • Gain access to the inside of the tooth. This is where the the pulp chamber and canals are located. Inside the canals, nerves, pulp, and blood vessels are found.
  • Clean out all of the canal contents.
  • Seal the pulp chamber and canals.
  • Place a dental crown restoration to protect the tooth.

Signs You May Need a Root Canal

Besides the obvious sign of tooth pain, there are other symptoms that may warrant a root canal including:

  • Gum pain and swelling
  • A pimple-like bump on the gums by the painful tooth
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Worse pain when chewing or applying pressure
  • Hot/cold sensitivity that doesn’t go away once the food or drink is removed

Notice any of the symptoms listed above? We encourage you to call our dental office in Doylestown to schedule an appointment. A thorough examination by our caring and gentle dental team will help us identify the cause of your problem and recommend the best treatment for you. If the appropriate solution is in fact a root canal, we assure you that you have nothing to fear.

The Halloween Candy Guide for Those with Braces

halloween teensWith Halloween just around the corner, we hope all of our patients and neighbors are ready for a night of ghouls and ghosts, witches and wizards, and tricks or treats. When it comes to those treats, the team at our dental office in Doylestown has a few pointers for what may be best left behind, especially for those who wear braces. Check out our guide to braces-friendly candy below.

Best Choices

  • Chocolate Bars – You can’t go wrong with some pure, delicious chocolate. Whether you choose a candy bar or perhaps a Hershey’s Kiss, chocolate dissolves quickly and is safe for braces. If you’re lucky enough to score a full-size candy bar, we encourage you to cut it up into smaller pieces to reduce the risk of damaging the braces on your front teeth as you bite into it.
  • Peanut Butter Cups – Another scrumptious yet safe option for braces are peanut butter cups. Their smooth consistency makes chewing very easy with really no concern of breaking a bracket or wire.
  • Milky Ways Although these candy bars contain caramel (more on that in a bit), Milky Ways are still soft enough for braces wearers to enjoy.

Important Note: All of these options are safe as long as they’re not frozen. Frozen chocolate bars and peanut butter cups make the texture too hard to bite and chew safely.

Worst Choices

  • Hard Candy – Candy that falls under this category can be both all right for braces and potentially damaging. Hard candies that allow you to suck on them over time, reducing their size and making them less dangerous for braces, may be ok to enjoy. However, it increases the time your teeth are exposed to the sugar which may put you at greater risk for decay.
  • Gooey Gum – When you first got your braces you were probably told to avoid gum. That rule doesn’t change during Halloween. Chewing gum can bend your wires, and that’s particularly concerning. When a wire is placed by your doctor, it’s put on in such a way that gently moves your teeth into the desired position. However, if the wire bends, your teeth tend to follow the direction of the wire instead of its original path. This can actually prolong treatment.
  • Sticky Sweets – Things like caramels, gummies, taffy, and similar candies are almost sure to cause some trouble. Sticky sweets and their tacky consistency not only tend to bend wires, they’re also bad for your teeth in general. The stickiness allows the sugars to stay attached to teeth longer, again increasing your risk for decay.

Important Note: When in doubt, if it’s sticky, hard, or super chewy, it’s best to choose another option.

In order to keep your braces in tip-top shape and to avoid any broken brackets, bent wires, or other complications, it’s wise to listen to your dentist in Doylestown about which foods are safe for braces. Halloween candy is no exception. Following the guide of braces-friendly candy can protect your braces and help you avoid an emergency dental appointment.  

What You Do At Work May Be Harming Your Teeth

workspace covered with snacks

When we spend as much time as we do at work doing similar responsibilities every day, we are bound to develop habits. Some workplace habits like diligently checking emails or reserving a block of uninterrupted time to get work done can be beneficial and make for an efficient employee. However, other things we tend to do at work can be harmful to our teeth. Our dental office in Doylestown would like to highlight a few of the most common workplace habits that may be damaging your smile.

Taking Smoke Breaks

Smoking, as well as using smokeless tobacco, can lead to very serious health problems. Some of which can be life threatening. These habits can also contribute to several oral health concerns ranging from minor problems like tooth discoloration and bad breath to very serious issues including gum disease, tooth loss, and oral cancer. Smoking can be a very difficult habit to break, but instead of stepping outside to light up, consider chewing sugarless gum and talk with your doctor about ways to quit.

Not Brushing Your Teeth

We believe that everyone should keep a toothbrush and toothpaste in their desk drawer for use in between snacking and lunchtime. When we eat, the bacteria that live in our mouths begin to feed on the tiny foodstuffs left behind. As a result, these bacteria release acid. When the acid isn’t rinsed away by either saliva or through a proper brushing, it’s left to eat away at enamel. Enamel is designed to protect teeth from decay and once it’s gone, we’re left at increased risk for cavities.

Chewing on Pens

Chewing on the tips of pens or pencils is incredibly common among office employees and even children in school. We typically put pens in our mouths during times of intense thought, boredom, or stress. Sometimes we aren’t even aware we’re doing it. But nibbling on these tough writing utensils can cause some serious damage. Biting on pens or pencils has a tendency to lead to cracked, chipped, or broken teeth that will require restorative dentistry treatment from your Doylestown dentist to fix.

Not Using the Right Tools for the Job

Whether you’re trying to open packaging that may be sealed a bit too well, or you need to rip a piece of tape off the roll, you should always use tools meant for these purposes like scissors, not your teeth. Teeth are meant to help us chew food to make it easy to swallow and digest. They aren’t designed to grab and rip or cut. Using teeth as tools can result in damage like cracked or broken teeth.

Recognizing the habits that can lead to tooth damage can help us realize when we’re putting our smiles at risk. If you find yourself doing any of the habits, our Doylestown dental office is here to help you stop or fix any problems you may have as a result.

Top 5 Causes of Tooth Pain

woman with tooth pain

We all know the feeling associated with tooth pain. You take a sip of your hot morning coffee and immediately feel a zing of pain. You clench your teeth and get a sharp jolt that makes you wince. Or perhaps you have a constant toothache that just won’t go away. No matter which type of tooth pain you have, you want to know what’s happening and, more importantly, you want to fix it. The team at our dental office in Doylestown is here to provide you with some of the main causes behind tooth pain.

 

Before we dive into some of the possible reasons your teeth hurt, it’s important to note that any tooth pain is usually a sign that something isn’t quite right in your mouth. It’s best to see your Doylestown dentist sooner rather than later to get a proper diagnosis and recommended treatment plan for your individual needs.

Cavities

The first thing you probably consider when experiencing tooth pain is a cavity. And you may be right. Cavities can cause tooth sensitivity to hot or cold foods or sharp pain when biting down. Treatment is usually an easy filling. While a cavity is probably the most obvious culprit behind tooth pain, it’s definitely not the only possible explanation.

Gum Infection

Not all tooth pain is a direct result from something in your actual tooth. Some tooth pain can be caused by a problem with the gums. For example, a gum infection can cause pain, swelling, a pimple-like bump on the gums, and may even include pus. Get to your dentist quickly to treat the infection to limit the risk for an abscess.

Gum Recession

Gum recession occurs when your gum tissue starts to pull up and away from your teeth, leaving tooth roots at risk for exposure and pain. Gum recession can be caused by a number of things, but most commonly is a result of brushing too hard. Always brush in gentle, circular motions to reduce your risk of receding gums.

Chronic Tooth Grinding

When someone grinding their teeth, also known as bruxism, they’re placing a lot of constant pressure on both their teeth and their jaw. The repeated grinding motion can wear down teeth and increase risk for decay. It can also lead to severe jaw pain and headaches. Your dental team will be able to recognize the signs of grinding and may recommend a custom nightguard to help reduce grinding impact.

Dental Restorations

You may be thinking to yourself, “Aren’t dental restorations supposed to fix a problem, not cause pain?” And you’d be right. However, occasionally you may experience some mild tooth pain following a dental procedure. Minor sensitivity for a few weeks is normal, but pain when biting may require a minor adjustment in the restoration.  

If you’re experiencing tooth pain, you don’t need to live in agony. In fact, we discourage it. Instead, give our dental office in Doylestown a call to schedule an appointment and start getting relief today.

Can Probiotics Help Keep Your Mouth Healthy?

woman wearing probiotics tshirt

When we think of probiotics, we typically think of how they can aid in keeping the stomach healthy. But at our dental office in Doylestown, we became aware of how some probiotics can assist oral health, too. Let’s take a closer look at the research that supports the idea that probiotics can help keep mouths healthy.

What Are Probiotics?

Before we dive into learning how probiotics may be beneficial to oral health, we should first identify what probiotics are. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that have historically been noted as being good for gut health. Even though we usually associate bacteria with being bad, there are both good and bad types of bacteria. Probiotics are the good guys.

Not All Probiotics Are the Same

The type of probiotics that are most commonly discussed are ones often found in certain types yogurt and various foods. These probiotics are meant to help the digestive system and can help the body replace beneficial bacteria that the body loses after taking antibiotics. But the probiotics researched in relation to oral health are different.

Oral probiotics, which doesn’t have anything to do with how you ingest them but rather describes the area of the body they help, have been researched to see if they have impact on oral health. Several studies support a positive correlation between specific types of probiotics and reducing the risk of gum disease, plaque, and bad breath.

Bifidobacterium & Lactobacillus

While difficult to say, the benefits of these two probiotic strains are easy to explain. Both Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are naturally found in the human body and, more specifically, in the mouths of mammals. Several studies have identified a possible positive effect of these probiotics. While not absolutely conclusive, there is strong evidence that an increase of both Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus can help the treatment of periodontal disease and halitosis, and may even reduce the risk of cavities.

Since this research is still in the early stages and no concrete claims have been made, we don’t recommend starting yourself on a probiotics before discussing it with your medical team, including your dentist in Doylestown.

If you have questions regarding your oral health, whether those questions include probiotics or not, we welcome you to schedule an appointment at our Doylestown dental office.

Why Dental Hygiene Visits are About More Than Clean Teeth

female dentist in dental chairThere’s no surprise that your bi-annual dental hygiene visit is about getting your teeth a deeper clean than you can get alone at home. The hygienists at our dental office in Doylestown are dedicated to removing plaque, flossing in between each and every tooth, and polishing your pearly whites for the ultimate clean. But your visits are about more than just getting your teeth clean. In fact, they’re about much more…

Checking Out Those X-Rays

Sometimes at your cleaning appointment, you’ll receive digital, low-radiation dental x-rays that are used to see what the human eye cannot. Both your hygienist and dentist in Doylestown will review these x-rays and check for cavities that are just forming and are still too tiny to see without the help of digital images. X-rays can also help your dental team see problems below the gum line like an abscess or bone loss in the jaw that holds your teeth in place.

Taking a Peek at Your Gums

We already know that your hygienist is taking a good, long look at your teeth during your visits, but she’s also paying quite a bit of attention to your gums. Gum health is critical to keeping mouths and bodies in their best shape. If your gums bleed when you brush or floss, you may be in the beginning stages of gum disease, which, if left untreated, can lead to other whole-body health issues including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Keeping an Eye on More Than Teeth

While your hygienist is working on cleaning your teeth, she’s not only looking for decay, cavities, or gum disease, she’s also searching for any signs of a larger concern. Since there is a correlation between oral health and several serious systemic diseases, some early warning signs of these health issues often first appear in the mouth. Your hygienist is trained to look for any areas of concern in order to catch any problems early when treatment tends to be more successful.

At-Home Care is Important, Too

One of the best ways you can keep your smile healthy in between appointments is to maintain a proper oral hygiene routine at home by brushing and flossing every day. Brushing should be done twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush and flossing should be done once a day to remove food particles and plaque buildup from between teeth.

The team at our Doylestown dental office wants to encourage our patients and neighbors to visit their dentist at least twice a year. And if you’re family is looking for a dentist, we always welcome you to give us a call.

Why Do I Care About iCat?

Sometimes we dentists just can’t help ourselves. We are enthralled with the technology that becomes available to us. And sometimes our patients have to remind us that the benefits of a 3D, soft and hard tissue scan of the jaw, head, and neck aren’t immediately clear to them. I usually think of myself as a good educator, but when I get my hands on a tool like this, I get so excited, I completely geek out! Let me take a second to remedy that.

The Big Deal

CT scanning has been used in the medical field for years. Instead of the single beam traditional x-rays emit, a CT scanner emits a series of narrow beams. The images produced are far more detailed and actually three-dimensional. This advantage allows doctors to distinguish tissues inside a solid organ. But getting the scan can be inconvenient and cost prohibitive. Here’s what a traditional CT experience was like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx-0emi4m8s

Now, there is a CT scanner specifically designed for use in dentistry, and that is wonderful news.

The iCat FLEX is the newest and best in x-ray technology. It takes a precise, three-dimensional – and even two dimensional panoramas– for a clear picture of your head, not your entire body.

That’s cool on a number of levels.

First, because it has a smaller footprint, we can keep and use this device right here in our office – you don’t have to go to a hospital to have it done.

Second, you don’t have to lie down or get undressed for us to get a great image. All you have to do is sit on a stool while the machine does its work.

Plus, there are all these other terrific benefits:

Since the images are digital, and getting them is super fast,  you’ll be exposed to significantly lower radiation levels than with traditional x-ray technology.
We have increased insight to relieve discomfort associated with TMJ.
We can choose what we look at most closely, so you’ll have results you can trust absolutely.
To find out more about how the iCat CT technology can benefit you, give us a call today, or ask us about it at your next appointment.