Posts for: June, 2015

By Wilmington Dental Associates
June 25, 2015
Category: Oral Health

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 Wilmington Dental Associates
June 16, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Six-Month Cleaning  

Find out how much your smile is impacted whenever you don’t see your Wilmington family dentist regularly.

Your schedule is overloaded! So you decide to skip your routine dental cleaning. You think, “How bad can it really be to miss one visit?”Cleaning If you think it’s okay to skip out on seeing your Wilmington family dentist you may want to think twice before doing it. After all, research has found a link between oral health and our overall health. Health problems such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease have been connected to how well we care for our smiles. So what really happens when you miss a dental cleaning at Wilmington Dental Associates?

Gum Disease

Gum disease is known to affect up to 50 percent of the American population and is one of the leading causes of adult tooth loss. However, this condition is completely preventable by seeing Wilmington Dental Associates every six months.

Even if you brush your teeth twice a day you may not be getting into all those hard-to-reach areas. Any plaque left on your teeth turns to tartar quickly, which your toothbrush can’t remove. The only way to have tartar moved is to see us for a professional cleaning. Furthermore, gum disease symptoms don’t always manifest until the condition has progressed significantly, so you may never even know you have it until you see your dentist.

Tooth Decay

Whether from poor hygiene or a bad diet, decay can happen to anyone. In fact, about 92 percent of adults will deal with cavities at some point in their lifetime. Therefore, it’s important to protect your smile by seeing your Wilmington family dentist.

Even if we do spot decay, we can find it when it’s still small and doesn’t require more invasive treatment like a root canal or even an extraction. Don’t let something as preventable as decay cause you tooth loss.

Poor General Health

Since your risk for certain health problems like heart attack, lung disease, stroke or diabetes is linked to your oral health, this alone is a major reason why you should be seeing your Wilmington family dentist every six months. We may be able to tell your risk for developing these problems just by checking the severity of inflammation in your mouth.

These are only some of the issues you may face if you don’t visit us every six months for routine cleanings. If it’s time to schedule your upcoming visit don’t put it off. Call Wilmington Dental Associates today!

By Wilmington Dental Associates
June 10, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: TADs  

As a basic orthodontic appliance, braces are what allows us to move teeth into better positions to improve a person’s bite. In certain cases, though, this treatment application gets a little assistance from Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs) to improve accuracy and reduce treatment time.

Braces take advantage of our teeth’s natural ability to move. Teeth are held in place within the bone by the periodontal ligament, an elastic tissue that attaches to the teeth with microscopic fibers secured by a hardened substance called cementum. The periodontal ligament is constantly remodeling in response to changes in the mouth. As pressure is placed on a tooth, new bone, ligament and cementum are formed on the “pulling” side of the tooth; on the other side, the bone and ligament dissolve (resorb), allowing the tooth to move in that direction.

Braces allow this natural process to occur with controlled forces applied by thin flexible wires threaded through the small brackets attached to the front of the teeth and then affixed or “anchored” to other teeth. By attaching the teeth to the other teeth by wires running through all the brackets, “anchorage” is created to allow teeth to be moved where the dentist wants them to go. By adjusting the tension on the wires, we can apply light but constant pressure on the “unanchored” teeth to move them into a new desired position.

Teeth we do not want to move are referred to as the anchorage for teeth we do want to move. If, however, the situation calls for more precise isolation of teeth to be moved, TADs can be very useful. TADs are mini-implants imbedded in the bone to serve as anchorage at strategic locations in the mouth. In this way, the group of teeth to be moved receives forces that are applied through the additional anchorage provided by the TADs. That “tension” or “pressure” is applied only to them and not to adjacent teeth that should not move. This increases efficiency for tooth movement and helps reduce the treatment time.

TADs can be placed using local anesthesia and with little discomfort, and are removed when orthodontic treatment is completed. Although the procedure is pretty straightforward, it does require collaboration between orthodontist and surgeon to ensure correct positioning.

In the end, TADs increase our ability to control the forces that move teeth during orthodontic treatment. This lessens discomfort for the patient and helps ensure the end result — a more functional bite and a transformed smile.

If you would like more information on the use of TADs and other orthodontic appliances, 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 “What are TADs?

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