Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Daily brushing and flossing helps to prevent the buildup of food particles, plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Food particles left in the mouth deteriorate and cause bad breath. While certain foods, such as garlic or anchovies, may create temporary bad breath, consistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease or another dental problem. Speak to our hygienist about ways to maintain fresh breath.
Gum, or periodontal, disease can cause inflammation, tooth loss and bone damage. Gum disease begins with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Gums in the early stage of disease, called gingivitis, can bleed easily and become red and swollen. As the disease progresses to periodontitis, teeth may become loose, fall out or need to be removed by a dentist. Gum disease is highly preventable and can usually be avoided by daily brushing and flossing. One indicator of gum disease is consistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth. Our dentists and hygienists use a special periodental probe to check for gum disease.
Hot and cold food and beverages can cause pain or irritation to people with sensitive teeth. Over time, tooth enamel can be worn down, gums may recede or teeth may develop microscopic cracks, exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings. Just breathing cold air can be painful for those with extremely sensitive teeth. If you suffer from sensitivity please let our dentists or hygienists know. If tooth sensitivity is caused by gums receding and exposing the root surface – a sensitive toothpaste may be recommended.
A bite that does not meet properly (a malocclusion) can be inherited, or some types may be acquired. Some causes of malocclusion include missing or extra teeth, crowded teeth or misaligned jaws. Accidents or developmental issues, such as finger or thumb sucking over an extended period of time, may cause malocclusions. Our practice can arrange an orthodontic referral if needed.
Aphthous ulcers are small sores inside the mouth that often recur. Generally lasting one or two weeks, the duration of the ulcers can be reduced by the use of antimicrobial mouthwashes or topical agents. The ulcers have a white or grey base surrounded by a red border.