June 23rd, 2020
So what is the value of a radiograph (x-ray) anyway?
Allow me to explain. When patients come in for an exam, Dr. Griffith is evaluating what he can see with the naked eye. He is also using radiographs to see what could potentially be hiding underneath an old filling or crown, or even the root structure of a tooth within the bone. There are various types of radiographs we take to evaluate specific things. Here are a few examples:
- Intra-oral periapical radiographs are used to see the entire root structure of the tooth, including the apex (end of the root). These are useful in identifying decay, resorption of internal root structure, and any indication of infection at the end of the root.
- Bitewing radiographs are used to check between the teeth (where we floss) to check for decay and also to evaluate the bone levels, or the height of the bone, which may reveal boneloss indicating possible periodontal (gum) disease or vertical root fracture.
- Panoramic radiograph is used (this is the one where you stand in the machine and the machine slowly rotates around your head) to evaluate for any type of pathology in your jaw. We can see your jaw joints, a portion of your sinuses, the trigeminal nerve (a very important nerve bundle we need to see in dentistry), and all your teeth.
Sometimes when there is something in question on a tooth, we may be required to take another radiograph at a different angle to further evaluate a tooth. An example would be below. These two images are the same tooth on the same day and they both look completely different. Angles.
So if you feel like you might be overdue for your exam or radiographs, please give us a call. Even if you are not certain of when your last exam with us. We can look it up and let you know if you are due.
Thank you to Tiffany, one of Dr. Bryan's assistants for this informative blog.
June 16th, 2020
How To Reduce or Prevent Bad Breath
8 things you can do to get a better smelling mouth according to the May Clinic:
- Brush your teeth after you eat. Keep a toothbrush at work to use after eating. Always brush when you first wake up and make it the last thing you do before you hit the hay!
- Floss at least once a day. Proper flossing removes food particles and plaque from between your teeth, helping to control bad breath.
- Brush your tongue. Your tongue harbors bacteria, so carefully brushing it may reduce odors. People who have a coated tongue from a significant overgrowth of bacteria (from smoking or dry mouth, for example) may benefit from using a tongue scraper. Or use a toothbrush that has a built-in tongue cleaner.
- Clean your dentures or dental appliances. If you wear a removable partial or denture, clean it thoroughly at least once a day. If you have a retainer or mouthguard, clean it each time before you put it in your mouth and when you take it out.
- Avoid dry mouth. To keep your mouth moist, avoid tobacco and drink plenty of water -- not coffee, soft drinks or alcohol, which can lead to a drier mouth. Chew gum or suck on sugarless candy to stimulate saliva. For chronic dry mouth, your dentist or physician may prescribe an artificial saliva product to help stimulate the flow of saliva.
- Adjust your diet. Avoid foods such as onions and garlic that can cause bad breath. Eating a lot of sugary foods is also linked with bad breath.
- Regularly get a new toothbrush. Change your toothbrush when it becomes frayed, about every three to four months, and choose a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Schedule regular dental checkups. See your dentist on a regular basis -- generally twice a year to have your teeth or dentures examined and cleaned.
In addition to the above, consider starting a routine with a product like Phillips: Breath RX. Breath RX is a kit that comes with a mouthwash, toothpaste, tongue spray and tongue scraper. Just add flossing to the routine and you have a win-win for healthy gums AND Teeth! If you are concerned your breath is abnormal, please make an appointment today! We are here to help!
June 9th, 2020
Are you hiding more than germs under your mask?
Have you heard the new term "mask breath"?
Now that you're wearing a face mask, if you have noticed an unpleasant odor, it's likely caused by your own bad breath. This could have been something happening for quite some time but you never noticed because you weren't forced to notice. Now that your breath is "in your face" you can't ignore it.
How Can I Get Rid Of Bad Breath?
- Get on a solid oral hygiene routine:
- Brush at least twice a day
- Brush your tongue (especially toward the back)
- Gargle with antibacterial mouthwash (especially at night before bed)
- Floss daily
- Have your teeth and gums evaluated by Dr. Bryan and his hygienist. During your annual periodontal (gum) evaluation by your hygienist, they will check your gums for pocketing which can be the culprit of odor-causing build up in between the tooth and gum tissue.
- If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, treat it immediately to rid your mouth of smelly bacteria and germs. Periodontal disease treatment cannot be performed at home.
What If the above doesn't help? Sometimes bad breath (chronic halitosis) has many possible causes, including:
- Diseases of the teeth, gum, or tonsils
- Heart Disease
- Lung issues
- Smoking Regurgitating food
- Zenker diverticulum. A pocket in your espoghagus where food can embed and bacteria grow
- Tonsil stone: A crevice in your tonsils where debris can collect and harden, and bacteria can grow.
If you notice bad breath that doesn't go away with good oral hygiene, including a visit to the dentist...the next stop would be to see your primary care physician. Remember to keep all of your preventive care appointments with Dr. Bryan and his team to keep the bad breath bacteria away!
May 26th, 2020
Help for a cavity!
(USUALLY THIS IS WHERE WE SHOW A PICTURE OF OUR TOPIC...BUT WITH A COMPOSITE FILLING, THE AMAZING THING IS YOU CAN'T SEE THEM!)
Have you been told you have a cavity, crack or fractured tooth? Sometimes teeth can be repaired with a composite (tooth colored) restoration. If your tooth is decayed or fractured, the area of the tooth will be prepped for the new filling using several steps. The new filling will be placed and set with a light that hardens the material. Once the filling is placed, the bite is adjusted and polished for a beautiful, smooth result.
Common Questions about Composite fillings:
- How long do composite fillings last? Five to seven years.
- How do I take care of my new white filling? Brush and floss every single day.
- Can I eat right away once it is placed? No need to wait, your new filling is hard and ready to do its job.
Dr. Bryan can often fill your tooth with a composite restoration and the tooth will look just like it did before the cavity! Be sure to have Dr. Bryan evaluate each tooth at your next periodic exam to see if you should use a composite filling to make any repairs.