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Best New Years Resolutions for you and your teeth

“New year, new you!”

You may be considering saving some extra money, getting a better job or losing weight. Many people set new goals about having a healthier lifestyle in the new year.  Why not try adding some New Year resolutions for your teeth into the mix? Setting a goal to improve dental health is easy and it can benefit your overall health too.

Simple New Years Resolutions for you and your teeth

  • Schedule out your two dentist appointments – We all know that professional cleanings should happen twice a year, but most people have a hard time making it into the office for just one of the two appointments. We all have packed and growing schedules. So, make it a point to actually see the dentist twice in 2015, even if that means scheduling the appointments right now. You will be glad you did once you’re walking out with a healthy smile!
  • Diet Change (2 birds 1 stone) – Eating well is important for your dental health. Poor nutrition can affect the entire immune system making you more susceptible to a long list of mouth problems (including gum disease). Luckily, eating crisp fruits and raw vegetables like apples, carrots and celery help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath.  Antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts improve your body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, helping to protect your teeth and gums.
  • Quit smoking – Smokers experience twice the tooth loss of non-smokers, due to plaque and tartar buildup that encourages dental decay.  Your ability to fight infection throughout the body decreases significantly, including in the mouth and gums.  Lastly smoking causes bad breath (and it’s much more pleasant to kiss a non-smoker!)
  • Finally (possibly the hardest resolution) Pick up that FLOSS! – It’s been in the drawer for months just hoping to get it’s big break – why not make 2015 the year? Flossing is the only way to get between the teeth and all the way down in the gum line. The seemingly never ending list of benefits  might just be the kick you need.

So we’ve got you on the right path and hopefully you will think about your teeth while you plan out your New Year’s resolutions, and you will have a healthier, better-looking smile by the time the next year rolls around!

The first and easiest step is picking up the phone to make your appointments – Dr. Chauvin is waiting for your call!

Happy New Year!

How to get rid of bad breath

Understanding the causes can help you confidently get rid of bad breath. Generally, bad breath (also called halitosis) isn’t serious. In most cases it’s caused by poor dental hygiene but can also be caused by bits of food that get caught between the teeth and on the tongue or gum disease.

Reasons for Bad breath:

  •  Food and Drink – Strong smelling food such as garlic, onions, some milk-based products (cheese) and coffee may be detected on a person’s breath for up to 72 hours after digestion.
  • Not flossing – Small particles of food that get stuck between your teeth and around your gums. Hard to reach places that toothbrushes can’t reach. When food particles are left behind, they collect bacteria, which in turn causes bad breath and plaque.
  • Tongue Bacteria – Bacterial growth on the tongue accounts for 80-90 percent of all cases of mouth-related bad breath.
  • Smoking –  Smoking leaves particles in the throat and lungs. This  is typical of nearly any tobacco product that involves inhaling smoke or rolling it around in the mouth. The smell of a freshly smoked cigarette can linger in the lungs for hours, hence the stale scent associated with smoker’s breath

Getting Rid of Bad Breath

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • See you dentist twice a year  
  • Use Mouthwash 
  • Chew sugar-free gum
  • Brush your tongue
  • Floss 
  • Quit smoking 

If your bad breath persists after making such changes, see your dentist. If your dentist suspects a more serious condition is causing your bad breath.  They will likely smell both the breath from your mouth and the breath from your nose and rate the odor on a scale. Because the back of the tongue is most often the source of the smell, your dentist may also scrape it and rate its odor. If they find something more serious you will likely be prescribed a mouth wash to control the bacteria in the mouth.  If your dentist discovers that you have gum disease, you may be referred to a gum specialist (periodontist). Gum disease can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, leaving deep pockets that accumulate odor-causing bacteria. Sometimes these bacteria can be removed by a professional teeth cleaning. Your dentist might also recommend replacing faulty tooth restorations, which can be a breeding ground for bacteria.

 

After trying a few of these and you see that bad breath gets worse or is no improving contact Dr. Chauvins office today.

 

What you need to know about Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a severe problem, in which the gums have actually pulled away from the teeth. Pockets then form at the base of the teeth. These pockets fill with debris, which creates a breeding ground for bacteria. Once they get infected, the body begins to fight the infection. The bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place get caught in the crossfire, and begin to be destroyed. If left untreated, a person will begin to lose their teeth.

Luckily, this isn’t an overnight process. Periodontal disease is actually the second stage of gum disease, the first being gingivitis. No bone loss or irreversible damage happens until the late stages of periodontitis, so as long as it is caught and diagnosed early, it can be reversed.

Symptoms of periodontal disease:

  • Swollen, tender, reddened gums
  • Gums that bleed easily when teeth are brushed
  • Gums pulling away from the teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • If your bite feels different
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Pain while chewing
  • Smelly breath that doesn’t go away after brushing

Can periodontal gums be corrected?

Yes they can. You have to discover it early and be diligent. Complex periodontal gum conditions can also be treated, but they need a special cleaning, which your dentist can provide.

Green mouthwashAdopting an intense oral hygiene routine can go a long way to improve periodontal gums. Brush thoroughly once you get up each morning and prior to going to bed every night. Brushing, or at the very least, rinsing with drinking water after meals and snacks may also help remove germs trapped between teeth, assisting in slowing down periodontitis. Rinse the mouth with an excellent antibacterial mouthwash for a complete thirty second cycle, twice every day. This can help reach germs trapped in pockets below your gum collection, aiding in reversing periodontal gum illness. Floss each day, and pay special focus on flossing just underneath the gum line for reversing periodontal gum illness.

While a diligent dental hygiene program can go quite the distance in assisting the treatment of periodontal gum disease, sometimes that’s not enough, and it’s time for professional help.

Your dentist can perform periodontal cleaning, if x-rays show heavy pockets of germs surrounding all of your teeth below the gums. There are several treatment options, but they are all focused on removing bacteria from below the gum line. You may be prescribed a special antibacterial mouthwash, or have to have a very in depth cleaning.

If necessary, he might perform actual periodontal medical procedures. These involve lifting the flaps of the gum, making it possible for heavy cleaning, and then suturing them back in place. Following the procedure, you should have several appointments to be sure of the achievement of the cleaning. This type of treatment is very successful, and most regain normal use of their teeth when everything has healed.

The important thing is to seek help once you notice any signs of trouble with your gums. Periodontal gum illness can be absolutely corrected when it’s found early. If you need to get your gums checked out, give us a call!

How often do I need to get a teeth cleaning?

One of the best things a person can do for their health is take care of their mouth.  If you have good oral hygiene habits and a healthy mouth, your dentist and dental hygienist will probably suggest professional teeth cleaning at least twice a year.  For patients with gum disease it can be every three months.

Tartar and plaque form in the mouth at different rates and can lead to periodontal disease that can cause inflammation of the tissues or gums (gingivitis) or the bones (periodontitis) that surround and support the teeth. Once these conditions have developed, they can be challenging to treat. The best protection is prevention, with regular teeth cleanings, avoiding smoking and practicing good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly at home.

dental-cleaning-lafayette-dentist

What Can I Expect During a Teeth Cleaning?

During a teeth cleaning, the dentist or hygienist will evaluate your overall health and oral hygiene.  They will check for any tooth decay, root decay, and gum or bone disease.   Any stains or deposits on your teeth are removed with tools including a tooth polisher and a scaler. Tooth polishers buff teeth and eliminate tiny pieces of plaque. Scalers look a bit like metal hooks and are used to remove hard plaque, especially between teeth. 

 

What you can do to prevent bad news:

There several things you can do to improve your mouth’s health and decrease your chances of dental problems.

  • Regular teeth cleaning
  • Brushing 2-3 times a day
  • Flossing once a day
  • Using mouthwash once a day
  • Not brushing too hard
  • Using the correct type of toothbrush

Every day, your mouth has to battle the forces of tooth decay. As you eat, food particles are smashed in-between your teeth, and are immediately food for any harmful bacteria hanging out in your mouth. Acidic drinks such as orange juice or sodas can wear away enamel over time. Brushing too much can damage your enamel, and brushing too little can allow plaque to build up. Every person’s mouth is different, so it’s important to see your dentist regularly. Need a teeth cleaning but don’t have a regular dentist? Give us a call, we’re taking new patients!