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Posts for: January, 2016


Exchanging passionate kisses with big-screen star Jennifer Lawrence might sound like a dream come true. But according to Liam Hemsworth, her Hunger Games co-star, it could also be a nightmare… because J.Law’s breath wasn’t always fresh. “Anytime I had to kiss Jennifer was pretty uncomfortable,” Hemsworth said on The Tonight Show.

Lawrence said the problem resulted from her inadvertently consuming tuna or garlic before the lip-locking scenes; fortunately, the two stars were able to share a laugh about it later. But for many people, bad breath is no joke. It can lead to embarrassment and social difficulties — and it occasionally signifies a more serious problem. So what causes bad breath, and what can you do about it?

In 9 out of 10 cases, bad breath originates in the mouth. (In rare situations, it results from a medical issue in another part of the body, such as liver disease or a lung infection.) The foul odors associated with bad breath can be temporarily masked with mouthwash or breath mints — but in order to really control it, we need to find out exactly what’s causing the problem, and address its source.

As Lawrence and Hemsworth found out, some foods and beverages can indeed cause a malodorous mouth. Onions, garlic, alcohol and coffee are deservedly blamed for this. Tobacco products are also big contributors to bad breath — which is one more reason to quit. But fasting isn’t the answer either: stop eating for long enough and another set of foul-smelling substances will be released. Your best bet is to stay well hydrated and snack on crisp, fresh foods like celery, apples or parsley.

And speaking of hydration (or the lack of it): Mouth dryness and reduced salivary flow during the nighttime hours is what causes “morning breath.” Certain health issues and some medications can also cause “dry mouth,” or xerostomia. Drinking plenty of water can encourage the production of healthy saliva — but if that’s not enough, tell us about it: We may recommend switching medications (if possible), chewing xylitol gum or using a saliva substitute.

Finally, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is a great way to avoid bad breath. The goal of oral hygiene is to control the harmful bacteria that live in your mouth. These microorganisms can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath — so keeping them in check is good for your overall oral health. Remember to brush twice and floss once daily, stay away from sugary foods and beverages, and visit the dental office regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.

So did J.Law apologize for the malodorous makeout session? Not exactly. “[For] Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, yeah, I’ll brush my teeth,” she laughed.

Hemsworth jokingly agreed: “If I was kissing Christian Bale I probably would have brushed my teeth too. With you, it’s like, ‘Eh. Whatever.’”

If you would like more information about bad breath and oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath: More than Just Embarrassing.”

By Golden Dental
January 19, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: mouth sensitivity  

If you experience pain in your teeth when you drink or eat hot or cold beverages or foods, you may have mouth sensitivity. Sensitivity is a common problem that can be treated by your dentist. Roland Markarian, DMD, your Lanchester dentist, shares information about the Mouth Sensitivitycondition.

What causes sensitivity?

Mouth sensitivity can occur when you have a cavity or fractured tooth or when the dentin, the layer of a tooth located under the hard enamel coating, is exposed to the air. Without the protection of the enamel, pain can occur when you consume hot or cold foods or beverages, when you chew or brush your teeth, or when you breathe through your mouth or expose your teeth to cold air. The tooth root is often affected because roots are only covered by a thin layer of cementum, rather than the thicker, tougher enamel. If the roots are exposed due to vigorous tooth brushing or gum disease, the fluid contained in the tiny tubes in the dentin stimulate the nerves, causing pain.

Mouth sensitivity can also occur due to:

  • Vigorous brushing that causes receding gums
  • Eating or drinking acidic foods or beverages that erode tooth enamel
  • Using abrasive toothpaste that damages tooth enamel
  • Acid reflux
  • Using teeth whitening products without protecting teeth roots

How is mouth sensitivity treated?

Treatment of sensitivity varies depending on the cause of the problem. If tooth decay is the cause, a filling or root canal will probably solve the problem. If sensitivity is due to a fractured or cracked tooth, a crown or inlay will seal the tooth and prevent extremes in temperature from affecting the dentin and nerves.

Using toothpaste made for sensitive teeth can be helpful. If the toothpaste doesn't help decrease pain, your dentist may recommend a fluoride gel treatment. The gel strengthens the enamel and reduces pain. Gum grafts can reduce mouth sensitivity if you have severely receding gums due to gum disease or other causes.

Are you concerned about mouth sensitivity? Call Roland Markarian, DMD, your Lanchester dentist, at (661) 948-8100 and schedule an appointment today. Pain doesn't have to be a part of your life!


By Golden Dental
January 06, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease  

If you have periodontal (gum) disease, you’ve no doubt experienced red and swollen gums. If, however, you notice an especially inflamed area next to a tooth, you may have developed a gum abscess.

An abscess is a pus-filled sac that develops as a result of chronic (long-standing) gum disease, an infection caused by bacterial plaque that’s built up on tooth surfaces from inadequate oral hygiene or from a foreign body (food debris) getting stuck below the gums. The abscess, which typically develops between the tooth and gums, may be accompanied by pain but not always (the affected tooth may also be tender to bite on). Abscesses may grow larger, precipitated by stress or by a general infection like a common cold, and then abate for a time.

As with other abscesses in the body, a gum abscess is treated by relieving the pressure (after numbing the area with local anesthesia) and allowing it to drain. This is often followed by cleaning any infected root surfaces of bacterial plaque and then irrigating the area with a saline and/or antibacterial solution. We may also prescribe antibiotics afterward and some form of pain control (usually a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen) to help with discomfort.

Although the results of this procedure can be dramatic, it’s just the first step in treating the overall gum disease. After a few days of healing, we continue with a complete examination and recommend further treatment, usually starting with removing bacterial plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits), the underlying cause for the infection and inflammation, from all tooth and gum surfaces. This may take several sessions before we begin seeing the gum tissues return to a healthier state.

The key to preventing an abscess recurrence (or any symptom of gum disease) is to remove plaque everyday through proper brushing and flossing, and visiting us twice a year (or more if you’ve developed chronic gum disease) for cleanings and checkups. Doing so will raise your chances of avoiding an uncomfortable and often painful gum abscess in the future.

If you would like more information on gum abscesses, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Periodontal (Gum) Abscesses.”

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