Posts for: June, 2017
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.”
Invisalign offers a simpler way to straighten your teeth. Our Fort Worth, TX, dentist, Dr. Brad McConnell at Harris Parkway Dental Care, explains how this innovative brace system could change your smile.
Excellent results without wires
If you've decided that braces aren't for you, you may change your mind once you learn about the advantages of Invisalign. Clear, comfortable aligner trays straighten teeth, not metal wires. Dr. McConnell designs a series of aligners for you during your visit to his Fort Worth office. Aligners are worn for two weeks, then switched for a new pair. Each set of aligners gently presses on teeth, changing their position.
Invisalign is a good option for all types of bite problems and also helps resolve crowding and spacing issues. It offers effective results for teenagers and adults who have mild to moderate orthodontic issues.
A more comfortable, convenient orthodontic option
One of the things that people dislike the most about traditional braces is their appearance. There's no way to hide your braces or make them less noticeable when you wear metal or ceramic braces. Because Invisalign aligners are clear, they're much less noticeable.
Removable aligners offer several advantages, including:
- Convenience: Would you rather not wear your aligners to a wedding, prom or another event? Simply take them out before you leave and put them back in your mouth when you return. You'll also remove your aligners during meals, which means that you'll have no food restrictions. You can drink some types of beverages when you wear your aligners, although you'll want to avoid sodas and other acidic drinks that can damage the plastic.
- Comfort: There are no wires to irritate your gums with the Invisalign system. Aligners are made of comfortable plastic and are designed to fit your teeth snugly.
- No Changes to Your Oral Hygiene Routine: You won't have to buy special flossing tools or spend 10 minutes brushing and flossing when you choose Invisalign. Aligners are removed when you brush, making this task as simple as always.
Are you interested in learning if Invisalign will help correct your orthodontic issues? Call our Fort Worth, TX, dentist, Dr. McConnell at Harris Parkway Dental Care, at (817) 423-2223 to schedule an appointment.
Teeth grinding is one childhood habit that sounds worse than it usually is: often the most harm done is to your night’s sleep. That said, though, it’s still a habit to keep your eye on.
Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding is so common among children that it’s considered normal behavior by many healthcare professionals. As for causes, some suggest a child’s immature neuromuscular chewing control may trigger it, while others point to the change from deeper sleep to a lighter stage as a possible cause. Problems like airway obstruction, medications or stress also seem to contribute to the habit.
For most children, teeth grinding usually fades by age 11 with no adverse effect on their teeth. If the habit extends into adolescence, however, there’s an increased risk for damage, mainly tooth wear.
This can happen because grinding often produces chewing forces 20-30 times greater than normal. Over time this can cause the biting surfaces of the teeth to wear and reduces the size of the teeth. While teeth normally wear over a lifetime, accelerated wear can pose a significant health risk to your teeth. Any sign of tooth wear in a child or adolescent is definitely cause for concern.
If your child’s tooth grinding habit appears to be developing into a problem, your dentist may recommend a few treatment options. The most common is a thin, plastic night guard worn in the mouth during sleep that prevents the upper and lower teeth from making contact. If the suspected cause is airway obstruction, they may refer you to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist to seek treatment for that, as well as other professionals to help with managing stress or medications.
Like thumb sucking, the habit of teeth grinding usually ends with no permanent ill effects. But if you notice it continuing late into childhood or your dentist finds tooth wear or other problems, take action to avoid problems long-term.
If you would like more information on childhood bruxism, 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 “When Children Grind their Teeth.”