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What Causes Bad Breath and How Can I Treat It?

What Causes Bad Breath and How Can I Treat It?

Posted on Tuesday, September 8th, 2020 at 7:16 pm.

If you’ve been battling with not so fresh breath, you are not alone. Studies reveal that more than 50 percent of adults have dealt with bad breath (halitosis) at some point in their lives. The good news is that making simple lifestyle changes is usually all it takes to rid you of this embarrassing condition. However, a little help from your trusted team at May Conte D.D.S. Cosmetic, Implant, and Family Dentistry may be needed at times.

What Causes Bad Breath?

While there are various causes of bad breath, most cases result from poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, food particles left in your mouth promote odor-causing bacteria growth between your gums, around your teeth, and on your tongue. Other causes of bad breath include consuming foods such as onions or garlic, tobacco use, fasting, and very low-carbohydrate diet programs.

Persistent bad breath often results from dry mouth (xerostomia), periodontal (gum) disease, ill-fitting dental appliances, sores or mouth infections, or tooth decay. At times, the use of certain medications or illnesses, including diabetes, kidney or liver disease, chronic acid reflux, respiratory tract infections, or postnasal drip may be the underlying causes of halitosis.

Prevention and Treatment of Bad Breath

It all starts with maintaining meticulous oral hygiene practices. If you’re not already doing so, brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. Don’t forget to brush your tongue and to floss between your teeth. If you wear dentures, bridges, or mouthguards, make sure you clean them well before placing them in your mouth.

You may want to consider cutting down on foods that leave an unpleasant odor behind and refraining from smoking or using tobacco products. If you have a dry mouth, drinking plenty of water, chewing sugarless gum, and sucking on sugarless hard candy will help keep your mouth moist and stimulate saliva production, which helps flush bacteria and food debris away.

If your bad breath persists, visit our Valencia office for an evaluation. If we find that a dental problem is the cause, we will recommend the best treatment options to restore your oral health and fresh breath. However, if a health issue is behind the bad breath, we may refer you to your healthcare provider for further investigation.

Quality Dental Care in Valencia, CA

Visit May Conte D.D.S. Cosmetic, Implant, and Family Dentistry to learn more about the prevention and treatment of bad breath. We recommend keeping up with your preventive dental exams and cleanings every six months to maintain a clean and healthy smile and help keep halitosis and other dental problems at bay. Don’t let bad breath hold you back. Call us and schedule your appointment today!

Can Fluoride Help Adults?

Can Fluoride Help Adults?

Posted on Wednesday, August 5th, 2020 at 7:40 pm.

Fluoride treatments not only benefit children but can also help adults keep tooth decay at bay. When applied to the tooth enamel, fluoride helps prevent cavities, reducing the need for future dental treatments. At May Conte D.D.S. Cosmetic, Implant, and Family Dentistry, we believe in prevention rather than treating dental disease after it develops. We are all about maintaining healthy, cavity-free smiles!

What Is Fluoride and How Does It Help?

Fluoride is a natural mineral found in some foods and the water supply. It strengthens the tooth enamel and makes it more resistant to acid attacks. But how does it work? First, let’s examine your tooth enamel. The outer covering of your teeth is stronger than bone and is made primarily of calcium and phosphate. Your saliva is also very rich in calcium and phosphate, which helps keep your teeth healthy.

When you eat sugary or starchy treats, cavity-causing bacteria feast and produce acids that attack your tooth enamel. That strips the calcium and phosphate from the tooth enamel in a process called demineralization, which leaves you more susceptible to developing decay and cavities. While saliva works to disrupt the acid attacks by remineralizing your teeth or adding back calcium and phosphate, fluoride can provide much-needed help. Once in your enamel, the powerful mineral, combined with the calcium and phosphate, creates a robust defense system to strengthen your teeth. Fluoride not only prevents tooth decay, but it also reverses it in its early stages, along with any erosion or demineralization that has already taken place.

Are You a Candidate for Fluoride Treatments?

All children and adults can benefit from fluoride treatments. However, certain conditions make the procedure a necessary component of preventative dental care. We recommend regular in-office fluoride treatments for patients who do not get sufficient fluoride in their diets, those with poor oral hygiene practices, smokers, and patients with an elevated risk of tooth decay due to gum disease or dry mouth (xerostomia). If you have crowns, bridges, or braces, you should also consider fluoride treatments.

What Should You Expect?

Fluoride treatments are quick and painless. Generally, we place fluoride against your teeth for several minutes after your routine dental cleaning. You’ll need to avoid eating, drinking, or smoking for at least 30 minutes following treatment.

Quality Preventative Dentistry in Valencia, CA

Contact May Conte D.D.S. Cosmetic, Implant, and Family Dentistry to learn more about fluoride treatments for clean and healthy smiles. We are proud to offer outstanding preventative services designed to safeguard your oral health. Call us and schedule your appointment today!

Why Is Flossing So Important and How Often Should I Floss?

Why Is Flossing So Important and How Often Should I Floss?

Posted on Thursday, July 9th, 2020 at 8:56 pm.

When it comes to oral hygiene practices, many people don’t realize the importance of flossing. They regard it as an optional addition to brushing. While it’s crucial to maintain daily brushing, flossing is just as necessary. You may be wondering how flossing helps and how often you should floss. Read on to learn more about flossing for long-term healthy smiles.

Why Is Flossing Your Teeth Important?

Flossing is a critical component of preventive dental care. Millions of bacteria reside in the mouth, and regardless of how well you brush your teeth, food debris, plaque, and bacteria can get trapped between your teeth. Flossing helps remove plaque from the hard to reach areas and prevents it from hardening to tartar, which only professional dental cleaning can remove.

Plaque, if left sitting in your mouth, can lead to bad breath (halitosis), and unsightly tooth staining. Moreover, plaque bacteria produce acids that attack the enamel between your teeth, resulting in tooth decay and cavities. It can also irritate the gums and cause gingivitis (early gum disease), characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums.

The harm does not stop here. Gingivitis left untreated can progress to an advanced form of periodontal (gum) disease known as periodontitis, which can destroy the bone and tissue supporting the teeth, potentially leading to tooth loss. Moreover, there is increasing evidence suggesting that gum disease is a contributing factor to serious health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and more. The best way you can decrease your risk of gum disease is to maintain meticulous oral hygiene care at home, including brushing and flossing.

How Often Should You Floss?

It’s more important to focus on how well you floss rather than how often. Taking your time with flossing is key to removing plaque and tartar from your gum line and between your teeth. If you floss several times each day but do so quickly, you’ll miss some plaque and bacteria, defeating the purpose of flossing. So, for the best results, floss at least once a day, but do so slowly and thoroughly. Keep in mind that it doesn’t make a difference if you brush first or floss first, just make sure to take your time with both every day!

Quality Preventive Dentistry in Valencia, CA

Contact May Conte D.D.S. Cosmetic, Implant, and Family Dentistry to learn more about keeping your smile clean and healthy. We are pleased to offer quality preventive services designed to keep dental disease at bay. We look forward to caring for all your dental needs. Call us and schedule your appointment today!

Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

Posted on Wednesday, June 10th, 2020 at 10:39 pm.

Hearing you need a root canal is often unsettling. The good news is that advances in technology and techniques allow us to provide comfortable, gentle endodontic treatments. Root canals can preserve damaged teeth, restoring their function and allowing you to maintain your natural, confident smile.

Why Would You Need a Root Canal?

You may need root canal therapy if the soft tissue in the center of the tooth called the pulp is damaged by decay, infection, or trauma. If left untreated, an affected tooth is vulnerable to complications such as an abscess. In some cases, the damage progresses beyond repair, leaving us with no option but to extract the tooth.

Missing a tooth will require additional restorative procedures such as bridges or implants to prevent the surrounding teeth from shifting out of alignment and causing a host of dental problems. Root canal therapy allows us to restore a damaged tooth’s form and normal function. The procedure is very successful and sustainable. Proper oral hygiene habits and a healthy diet will help avoid the recurrence of decay and infection.

Signs You Need a Root Canal

Signs and symptoms that you need a root canal include a raised pimple-like bump on the gums indicating an abscess, a persistent toothache, prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold, swelling and tenderness in the area, and tooth discoloration. At times there may be no symptoms, so we encourage you to schedule your regular dental exams to allow us to identify any problems and address them before they progress.

What Is the Procedure?

Root canals are routinely performed by general dentists or endodontists, which are dentists that specialize only in root canals. The procedure starts with numbing the area and placing a rubber dam around the tooth to keep it dry and to protect the rest of your mouth from the dental material used. A small opening is made on the top of the tooth to access and remove the infected pulp and nerve tissue. The canals in the tooth roots are cleaned and disinfected then sealed. If the infection is extensive, a medication may be placed in the root canals.

Once the inflammation resolves and healing begins, any pain or sensitivity will subside. A week or two following your root canal procedure, a crown is placed on your treated tooth to protect it, prevent its breakage, and to restore its function.

Gentle Dentistry in Valencia, CA

Contact May Conte D.D.S. Cosmetic, Implant, and Family Dentistry.  We are committed to providing you with care and service that exceed your expectations. Call us and schedule your appointment today!

How Safe Are Digital X-Rays and How Often Does My Dentist Need to Take Them?

How Safe Are Digital X-Rays and How Often Does My Dentist Need to Take Them?

Posted on Friday, May 8th, 2020 at 3:35 pm.

Dental x-rays have long been an integral component of diagnostic and preventive dentistry. The good news is that modern technology provides improved and safer imaging using digital dental x-rays. Many patients wonder how safe digital x-rays are and how often they are needed.

What Are Digital X-Rays?

Digital radiography is the latest technology used to capture dental x-rays. It involves the use of electronic sensors instead of traditional x-ray film to capture and store high-quality digital images on a computer. We can instantly view and enlarge these images, allowing us to detect potential problems with ease.

How Safe Are Digital X-Rays?

Digital x-rays are far safer than their traditional counterparts and are even considered safe for children. They reduce radiation exposure by about 90 percent as compared to the already low exposure of traditional x-ray equipment. Even though your exposure to radiation is minimal, we take precautions, including taking x-rays only when necessary and using lead apron shields to protect your body.

Why Do You Need Digital X-Rays?

Dental X-rays are essential preventive and diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a dental exam. They allow us to create effective and accurate treatment plans to prevent any potential issues from progressing. Detecting and treating dental problems in their earliest stages can save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and can potentially prevent tooth loss down the road.

Digital x-rays can reveal decay between teeth, abscesses, bone loss, abnormalities in the jawbone, cysts, cancerous and noncancerous tumors, problems inside a tooth or below the gum, poor tooth and root positions, and more. When it comes to children, digital x-rays allow us to assess the development of the mouth and teeth. Any issues uncovered during this young age can be addressed to ensure long-term healthy smiles.

How Often Do you Require Digital Dental X-Rays?

The frequency of digital x-rays will depend on your unique dental health needs, your dental history, oral hygiene practices, your age, and your risk of dental disease. In general, a full mouth series of x-rays is recommended for new patients and once every three years, and bitewings once or twice a year to detect new dental problems. If, however, you are experiencing pain or have signs and symptoms of a problem, you may need additional x-rays to diagnose your condition.

Digital Dental X-Rays in Valencia, CA

Contact May Conte D.D.S. Cosmetic, Implant, and Family Dentistry to learn more about our cutting-edge x-ray technology designed for precise, targeted, and comfortable care. We look forward to providing you with service that exceeds your expectations. Call us and schedule your appointment today!