Reva Dental Blog

Category Archives: Periodontal Treatment

Banish Bad Breath

Halitosis, more commonly known as bad breath, can be an embarrassing problem. If you are concerned about bad breath, first make sure that you are taking care of your mouth and gums by practicing good dental habits. The mouth is the source of over 90% of all malodours. If bad breath persists, your dentist at Reva Dental will identify the cause and develop a treatment plan to help you eliminate it. There are many causes of bad breath. The good news is that it can often be prevented with a few simple steps.

What causes bad breath?

Neglecting your brushing and flossing: If you don’t properly clean your teeth, gums, and tongue, particles of food and bacteria left in the mouth, especially at night-time, can cause an unpleasant odour.

The foods you eat: Certain foods, like garlic and onions, can cause bad breath because they contain pungent oils that are carried to your lungs and out of your mouth.

Dry mouth: Saliva is necessary to cleanse the mouth and remove odour causing particles and bacteria. It contains enzymes that break down food particles and other enzymes that kill bacteria. A condition called xerostomia (dry mouth) occurs when the flow of saliva is decreased and can cause bad breath. Decreased saliva flow also occurs naturally at night-time, so it is important to clean your mouth last thing at night.

Tobacco: Smoking not only causes bad breath, but can also stain your teeth, irritate your gums, and reduce your ability to taste foods.

Gum disease: Persistent bad breath is a warning sign of periodontal (gum) disease.

Medical disorder: In a small percentage of cases, bad breath could be a sign of a medical disorder, such as infection of the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance or a liver or kidney problem.

Good dental habits can banish bad breath

In most cases, embarrassing bad breath can be prevented by good oral hygiene.

  • Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day to remove food debris and plaque
  • Use floss daily to remove any food particles trapped between teeth. Any food particles left in the mouth can cause bad breath
  • Your tongue can harbour odour-causing bacteria. Be sure to brush your tongue with a toothbrush, or clean it with a tongue scraper
  • Use toothpastes containing zinc chloride/ triclosan/ baking soda for cleaning your tongue if you have malodour. This will give temporary relief for up to four hours
  • Visit your dentist for regular checkups. Professional cleanings will help to get rid of plaque and bacteria build-up that may contribute to bad breath. Your dentist may also be able to determine the source of persistent bad breath and formulate a plan for treatment. This may include a chlorhexidine spray for the pharynx (throat area behind the mouth), which is an additional source of malodour in a significant number of cases

Do I need to use a mouthwash or rinse?

Some antiseptic mouth rinses have exhibited therapeutic benefits in reducing plaque and gingivitis (gum disease). However, many mouthwashes or rinses are cosmetic and while these can be used to freshen breath, they do not generally have a long lasting effect on bad breath. If you choose to use mouth rinse, look for an over-the-counter antiseptic mouthwash containing zinc chloride or chlorhexidine. Mouth rinses should not be swallowed – follow the instructions on the bottle. If you find that you are constantly using a mouth rinse to mask odour, see your dentist.

Other solutions

Besides keeping your teeth, gums, and tongue clean and healthy, these are some other remedies that may help cure the problem of bad breath.

  • Quit smoking! Kicking the habit will go a long way to improving bad breath and your overall health
  • If you wear dentures or removable appliances, be sure to remove them at night and clean them thoroughly before replacing them in your mouth (more info here)
  • If you are experiencing problems with dry mouth, your dentist may prescribe artificial saliva. Other possible remedies for dry mouth include sucking a sugar-free sweet or a piece of sugar free gum to increase saliva flow, and increasing your fluid intake.

Call Reva Dental on 056 776 3786 to schedule your appointment. We offer a full Scale & Polish for just €50, and you may be entitled to a fee check-up; see www.revadental.ie

Gum Disease Symptoms & Cures

Do You Have One of These Gum Diseases?

Gum diseases, also known as periodontal diseases, are bacterial infections involving the gums and sometimes the bone that surrounds a tooth. Gum diseases can affect one tooth or many teeth, and they range from gum irritation (gingivitis) to severe infection (periodontitis).

Details on common and serious gum diseases:

Gingivitis: Gingivitis is the earliest and mildest form of the gum diseases, and it is characterized by redness and swelling of the gums. Unlike more serious gum diseases, gingivitis rarely requires surgical treatment, and it can usually be managed with a professional dental cleaning followed by attention to a regular oral care routine.

Chronic Periodontitis: Chronic periodontitis is the most common of the fully-fledged gum diseases. The primary symptoms include receding gums and the formation of pockets between the gums and the teeth. Chronic periodontitis occurs more often in adults than in children; a majority of individuals with this condition are older than 35 years.

Aggressive Periodontitis: In general, gum diseases are rare in children, but some children (and adults) develop aggressive periodontitis, even if they are otherwise healthy. Aggressive periodontitis can occur in children as young as 3 years, and sometimes even younger. By age 20, individuals with especially aggressive gum diseases can lose teeth. Gum diseases that are subtypes of aggressive periodontitis include a condition in adolescents (sometimes referred to as localized juvenile periodontitis) that involves an over-colonization of bacteria. Another less common condition, sometimes referred to as prepubertal periodontitis, affects young children shortly after their primary teeth appear. Children with gum diseases might not complain of tooth pain, but common symptoms of gum diseases in children include excess plaque; red, swollen, or bleeding gums; and the presence of pus and unpleasant breath.

Necrotizing Periodontitis: Of all the gum diseases, this type may be the most severe. Also known as acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis, the condition can destroy tissues, ligaments, and bones in the mouth. Necrotizing periodontitis is most common in people who smoke or in individuals who are malnourished or who have conditions that compromise their immune systems, such as HIV/AIDS.

Treatment of Gum Diseases

The treatment of gum diseases may be surgical or non-surgical, depending on the severity of the disease and the patient’s preferences.

Non-surgical: Non-surgical options for the treatment of gum diseases include antibiotics and a non-surgical deep-cleaning procedure called tooth scaling and root planing that removes tartar and plaque from below the gum line.

Surgical: Surgical treatments for gum diseases include procedures to reduce pockets that have formed at the gum line, procedures to regenerate lost bone and tissue, procedures to remove excess gum tissue to expose more of the tooth surface, and procedures to graft soft tissue onto the gums to cover exposed bone and prevent tooth loss.

The successful treatment of any gum diseases depends in part on getting regular dental checkups and following a complete oral hygiene routine. And if you smoke, quit. Tobacco use can interfere with the recovery from gum diseases and increase the risk of recurrence.

Call Reva Dental on 056 776 3786 to schedule your appointment. You may be eligible for a free check-up; see www.revadental.ie

Causes of Bad Breath

The medical name for bad breath is halitosis, and usually results from poor dental habits.

Keeping your mouth and teeth clean is important to avoid cavities, gum problems and bad breath. Brushing and flossing should be part of your daily routine, and if your gums have become sore, a timely trip to Reva Dental will minimise damage.

Poor Oral Hygiene

As food is chewed, small pieces lodge between the teeth-some are obvious and may be removed easily; but microscopic food particles remain in the mouth. As these begin to decay they encourage growth of bacteria over the tongue, teeth and gums.

These bacteria cause an unpleasant smell, giving an odour to your breath that you may not notice yourself, but others find distasteful at close quarters.

Brushing your teeth twice a day will help dislodge the food particles, cleaning the mouth. Flossing between teeth is also important to remove food remnants from the nooks and crannies of teeth to eradicate the bacterial breeding ground.

A mouthwash containing an antibacterial agent is an excellent way to finish your dental home care regime to ensure fresh breath.

Dry Mouth & Gum Disease

Occasional bad breath is usually the cause of strong foods like garlic, coffee or onions, but persistent bad breath is often the result of gum disease or an unusually dry mouth (xerostomia) where decomposing cells from food build up in the mouth.

Chewing a sugar-free gum will help stimulate saliva to keep the mouth moist. In the case of possible gum disease, your dentist will examine and evaluate your gums and suggest a care plan to address the issue.

Bad breath may be a possibly be a symptom of a more serious medical issue in the stomach or throat, and your dentist will identify whether this is the case or if the issue is indeed a dental one.

Smoking

Smoking leads to increased levels of gum disease, risk of a huge array of cancers, and stains your teeth. It also irritates the inside of your mouth and causes inflammation of the palate. All tobacco products cause bad breath, as particles linger in the lungs and lead to stale breath.

Tobacco smoke contains aromatic hydrocarbons, (most of which are carcinogenic) which are pungent; permeating the saliva and leading to ‘Smoker’s Breath’.

Smoking dries out the palate; repeated inhalation of hot gases parches the tongue and gums to leave a dry mouth where bacteria gather. It also causes tartar build-up on the teeth, which increases the risk of periodontal disease.

Reva Dental Can Help

At Reva Dental your dental examination will assess your particular issues, ensuring any concerns are addressed properly. An oral exam will be able to identify any periodontal disease, and stop it from worsening.

A professional cleaning called a scale and polish, along with good home care, makes a large difference to your breath.  Brushing after meals may be recommended, and using a special little interdental toothbrush will help to ensure the whole mouth remains clean if there is an ongoing issue with food lodging between teeth.

Fluoride toothpaste and an antibacterial mouthwash (not just one that masks unpleasant odour) complete your arsenal in the fight against bad breath.

At Reva Dental our dentists also recommend gently brushing your tongue, as much of the bacteria in the mouth gathers on top of the tongue and can be removed with a tongue scraper or toothbrush.

Drinking plenty of fluids will keep the mouth moist; avoiding coffee where possible. Your dentist will suggest a plan for quick, efficient home care to establish healthy dental habits.

Call Reva Dental on 056 776 3786 to schedule your appointment. You may be eligible for a free check-up; see www.revadental.ie