As we get older, time can take a toll on our teeth and gums. After a lifetime of wear and tear, our smiles can become stained and more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease. What can you do to protect your teeth and keep your smile beautiful? Thankfully, your Albuquerque dentist, Dr. Mark Miller, is here with some tips for maintaining a lifetime of bright, white smiles.
One of the leading complaints about dentures is how insecure they can fit in the mouth. Over time, the friction between the dentures and gum ridges will cause even the best-fitted set of dentures to become loose, forcing a never-ending series of denture refittings. However, there is an alternative. Instead of being placed on top of the gums, dentures can instead be attached to dental implants. Implant-attached dentures provide years of strength and stability. Your Albuquerque dentist, Dr. Mark Miller, explains the implant procedure and what that can mean for your dentures and quality of life.
For many people, halitosis can be worse than finding a lump of coal in the stocking. No one wants to be around people with foul breath, especially during the holidays. Your Albuquerque dentist, Dr. Mark Miller, discusses some common causes of and effective solutions for bad breath.
Causes of Halitosis
The top cause of bad breath is poor dental hygiene. Having bad breath may be the first sign that your mouth is not as healthy as it can be. Your mouth contains millions of microscopic bacteria that live on your teeth, gums, and tongue. These bacteria love feeding on leftover food particles after a meal or a snack. After feeding, the bacteria will release an acidic byproduct. Not only does this byproduct damage your teeth, but it also is foul-smelling. However, those bacteria are not the only cause. Sometimes, bad breath is a direct result of the food you eat. Foods such as onions and garlic can continue to smell even hours after digestion. The various acids and oils in these foods can end up being absorbed into your bloodstream and taken to your lungs, where they permeate the air that is being exhaled. Another cause might be an underlying health issue. There are a number of diseases and conditions that might cause halitosis, such as dry mouth, stomach ulcers, acid reflux disease, and sinus infections. If you are concerned that the reason for your bad breath might be medical, consult your primary care physician.
Ways to Improve Your Breath
Make sure you brush and floss regularly. By brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, you remove both the bacteria and the food particles they like to feed in, preventing the process that leads to bad breath and tooth decay. Don’t neglect to brush or scrape the tongue, since that is another source for breath-fouling bacteria. You can also use a mouthwash, but be aware that most mouthwashes only temporarily cover the bad breath odor, and do nothing about the cause. The exception is mouthwashes that contain peroxide, which can kill off bacteria. Drinking lots of water and chewing sugarless gum are also effective solutions. Both promote the production of saliva, which can help to wash away the bacteria. If you are a tobacco user, strongly considering quitting. Far better breath is among the many health benefits you will gain from kicking the habit.
Ask Your Albuquerque Dentist for Fresh Breath Advice
Are you concerned about your bad breath or any other aspect of your oral health? Make an appointment with your Albuquerque dentist office by calling Snow Park Dental at (505) 299-2979. Located in the 87112 area, we proudly serve patients from Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Edgewood, Corrales, Los Lumas, Tijeras, Mountain Air, Santa Fe, and Taos.
When most people think of periodontal disease, they probably imagine gums that are red and bleeding and maybe even loss of teeth. What many don’t realize is that left untreated, gum disease can also lead to bone degeneration. Your Albuquerque dentist, Dr. Mark Miller, discusses how gum disease leads to bone loss and what can be done to prevent that from happening.
Gum Disease and Bone Loss
Periodontal disease begins when the bacteria in the mouth are able to gain a toehold on the gums and begin to start eating away at them. The first symptom of gum disease is inflamed and bleeding gums. If the disease is allowed to go unchecked, the damaged gums will eventually recede all the way to the jawbone. The bone is also vulnerable to damage from these bacteria, and it too will start to degenerate over time. This will cause the teeth the bone is supporting to become loose and eventually fall out. Once bone is gone, it is gone. Nothing can be done to grow it back. However, the proper treatment can prevent the disease from becoming worse.
For cancer sufferers and the aging, bone loss is a serious concern. Patients being treated for osteoporosis and bone cancer face a fragile skeletal system and pain. Bisphosphonate therapy offers an effective treatment to replenish bone strength. However, some doctors believe the use of bisphosphonates could lead to bisphosphonate related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ). Albuquerque general dentist, Dr. Mark Miller, explains BRONJ and its possible origins.
Patients take bisphosphonates orally or with an IV. The drug attaches to osteoclasts, the bodies that dissolve bone. Osteoclasts are disrupted and more bone results from bisphosphonate therapy. Those with bone cancer experienced less skeletal problems with bisphosphonates when used with chemotherapy treatments. Treating bone ailments with bisphosphonates has been beneficial for many, but in some cases, BRONJ complicates health. For some, poor oral health contributes to BRONJ before bisphosphonate therapy takes place. BRONJ has a greater chance of occurring if oral surgery needs go unnoticed before treatment with bisphosphonates.
Symptoms of BRONJ
BRONJ is diagnosed when jawbone is dead and exposed for more than eight weeks. Doctors are still unsure of how it occurs, but blood flow to areas of jawbone stops, causing osteonecrosis. Those who take bisphosphonates intravenously have higher instances of BRONJ than those who take them orally. Although the numbers of BRONJ cases are relatively low, the symptoms are serious. BRONJ in stage 1 features exposed bone. Stage 2 includes inflamed or infected soft tissue in addition to bone exposure. At stage 3, bone is fractured along with the symptoms of stage 2 BRONJ. Patients can treat BRONJ at early stages, or before it begins, by closely watching their oral cavity and communicating with their dentist.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Albuquerque Dentist
If you plan to undergo bisphosphonate therapy, take care of any necessary oral surgery first. A routine checkup can help diagnose problems before they become complications. Call (505) 299-2979 to schedule an appointment with your Albuquerque dentist. Our 87112 dentist office, welcomes new patients of all ages from Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Edgewood, Corrales, Los Lumas, Tijeras, Mountain Air, Santa Fe, and Taos.
The holiday season can certainly lead to an uptick in stress and anxiety. Many people exacerbate their stress problems by self-medicating with caffeine. Although a cup of coffee or soda late in the afternoon can take the edge off, you might lead to more stress-related tooth grinding and clenching. Many people don’t know that they grind or clench their teeth until someone brings it to their attention.
Most people whom grind teeth will clench their jaw and mash teeth together during sleep. Bruxism refers to the act of grinding and clenching teeth. Your Albuquerque dentist, Dr. Mark Miller, discusses how to reduce and treat bruxism, and how to properly maintain care of a prescribed nightguard appliance.
Bruxism in Albuquerque
Although holiday stress can lead to bruxism, a nightguard can reduce many of the effects of tooth grinding. Patients could eventually fracture a tooth with excessive grinding. The jaw can exert an extreme amount of force on teeth. Signs of bruxism include lines and tiny cracks on teeth. In many cases, a dental crown can repair a tooth fractured due to bruxism depending on the severity.
Each November presents enormous challenges for people. Travel arrangements, crossing the country, and gathering with family all in the name of giving thanks and feasting. Although planning and traveling can cause stress and anxiety, your Thanksgiving feast could increase your risk for developing cavities or tooth decay. Luckily, a University of Rochester microbiologist and food scientists seeks to extract a compound from cranberries which can limit tooth decay by restricting harmful bacteria’s ability to cling to tooth enamel. Your Albuquerque dentist, Dr. Mark Miller, discusses the battle of Thanksgiving vs. teeth.