February 7th, 2018
Spilling soda on someone’s white shirt, telling an off-color joke at an inappropriate time, or sneezing chewed food all over the dinner table all pale in comparison to the socially unacceptable, embarrassing blunder of having ... bad breath!
Five Possible Causes of Halitosis
- Poor oral hygiene practices. Failing to brush your teeth encourages anaerobic bacteria growth, which involves a type of bacteria that emits volatile sulfur compounds (gases) responsible for smelly breath.
- If you have tonsils, you may have tonsil stones embedded in the fissures of your tonsils. Tonsil stones are hard, tiny pieces of bacteria, dead oral tissue, and mucus that form inside tonsil crevices. When accidentally chewed, they release extremely foul odors that others can smell and you can actually taste.
- You have a chronically dry mouth due to medications, allergies, or persistent sinus conditions that force you to breathe through your mouth. Anaerobic bacteria thrive in dry, stagnant environments where oxygen content is minimal. Consequently, a dry mouth tends to lead to smelly breath.
- You have acid indigestion or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). If you constantly belch stomach gases, this not only causes your breath to smell fetid but it can lead to enamel erosion and tooth decay.
- You have one or more oral diseases: gingivitis, periodontitis, or infections in the gums known as abscesses.
Improving oral hygiene practices may eliminate bad breath, but if brushing, flossing, and rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash twice a day doesn’t stop people from backing away from you when you open your mouth, it’s time to visit Southcenter Dental.
January 31st, 2018
Flossing is one of the most important parts of your oral care routine. Many patients know they need to do it but find it difficult to fit into their busy lives. Well, here's the good news: flossing once a day is enough if you're doing a good job!
Some patients like to brush before they floss and others like to floss before they brush. Some like to floss in the morning when they have more energy, others like to floss at night so they can go to bed with a clean mouth. Don't get hung up on any of this, the important thing is that you floss and floss effectively no matter when you do it.
Effective flossing contributes to oral health in these ways:
- It reduces the chance of cavities between teeth, since cavities can only form on teeth covered with dental plaque and you're scraping that plaque away when you floss.
- Along with brushing, it reduces the amount of time the plaque is left on your teeth, allowing them to be in a state of healing and remineralization for longer.
- It removes plaque that accumulates at or below the gum line, aiding in the prevention of gum disease.
As you can see, flossing offers many benefits for such a simple and inexpensive technique. So if you're still wondering how much to floss, don't worry about it. Don't mistake the frequency of your flossing with the effectiveness of it. Choose a dental floss that you like and one time during the day when you can floss thoroughly and just do it! If you need more tips on how to floss correctly, ask Dr. Jerome R. Baruffi and Dr. Austin J. Baruffi or any member of our Tukwila, WA team—we'd be glad to help you pick up this healthy habit!
January 24th, 2018
Dental veneers are a popular treatment to improve the appearance of your smile. Dr. Jerome R. Baruffi and Dr. Austin J. Baruffi and our team want to help you understand whether this dental option is right for you.
Veneers, also known as laminates, are custom-made shells that cover the front of your teeth. They can change the color, size, or length of each individual tooth. The process can require between one and three trips to our Tukwila, WA office to complete.
This treatment is usually done for people who want to change the appearance of their smile: they can get rid of stains, gaps, or chips. Here at Southcenter Dental, we know how getting veneers can dramatically change your smile and help improve your confidence.
Your initial appointment entails preparing the teeth and creating an impression. The impression will help us design each veneer to the exact shape and color you desire. You’ll come back in a week or two to have the veneers placed. Your veneers should last about ten years, as long as you practice proper care and hygiene.
There are plenty of benefits to getting veneers, but you should be aware of the potential downsides of this procedure. This process is irreversible and the veneers cannot usually be fixed. If they chip or crack, they’ll need to be replaced.
It is also possible for veneers to fall off due to excessive pressure from nail biting or chewing on ice. If you grind your teeth a lot, you’re more likely to expose your veneers to damage, which can be costly to repair.
In order to know whether veneers are right for you, schedule an appointment at our Tukwila, WA office for a consultation. We can decide what you’re looking to do with your smile and if this is the best option for you.
January 17th, 2018
Many studies over the past several years have focused on this question. Since we will all face stressful situations during our life, it is a good question to ask. This question also delves into the mind-body connection—the psychological having an effect on the physical and vice versa.
Studies were performed as far back as the 1940s and continue today. Many of them have shown that stress "downregulates" or hinders cellular immune response. The most common periodontal diseases related to this stress-induced downregulation are gingivitis and periodontitis.
It is believed that stress and depression contribute to a state of chronic inflammation within the body. Stress also raises levels of cortisol in your body, which has been linked in studies to higher levels of tooth loss and deeper pockets between the gums and teeth.
Perhaps the biological side of this equation makes sense, but an important factor is that people who are stressed and/or depressed tend to neglect oral hygiene and other health-promoting activities. The studies seem to support both the behavioral and biological effects as risk factors for periodontal disease.
Here are some things you can do to help prevent stress-related periodontal problems:
- Daily relaxation –You may consider meditation or yoga. Both have been proven effective at easing stress.
- Practice good oral hygiene – Don't let your oral hygiene fall by the wayside. Doing so will obviously have a detrimental effect on your oral health. You should also aim to quit smoking if you do smoke.
- Get regular dental checkups – Getting regular checkups will help you to spot anything that's amiss before it gets out of hand. You can speak with your dentist if you have any pain or concerns and have them take a look.
Stress is something that affects all of us but it can be managed. Each one of us may manage it in a different way. Find what works for you and always make sure to keep up with your oral hygiene routine. For more information about stress-related periodontal issues, schedule an appointment with Dr. Jerome R. Baruffi and Dr. Austin J. Baruffi at our Tukwila, WA office.