Does My Breath Smell?

Ever feel like you’re talking to someone and all you can focus on is whether or not they can smell your breath? You are not alone. There can be many different reasons why you may feel your breath is more potent than normal. Bad breath or professionally known as halitosis is normal. The good news is that most causes of halitosis or bad breath come down to oral habits. Visit Peak Dental in Bartow, FL and we can talk about it! 

What’s the Reason?

The biggest underlying issue to your bad breath may be poor oral hygiene. Luckily for you, these can be easy changes in your everyday routines to help with the odor.

  1. Brush more. Brushing once in the morning and once before bed for at least 120 seconds is important. Also brushing your tongue as it can carry many odors just like the particles that can get stuck between your teeth. 
  2. Timing. When brushing your teeth, timing is everything. Many people will brush their teeth as the first step in their morning routine, but it’s important to remove odor-causing bacteria after eating breakfast. This is why you want to brush your teeth after eating or drinking anything in the morning so you can leave your house with minty fresh breath. 

How Does Eating Contribute to Bad Breath?

Everyone has enjoyed some pasta or pizza that had some garlic and onions and afterward thought your breath stinks and it’s that normal, afterward, you brush your teeth and floss and the smell goes away. This is a normal part of the congestion and digestion process; removing the leftover lodges and particles left in your mouth after eating will remove the smell that comes along with them. Some foods go further along, enter your bloodstream, carry to your lungs, and affect your breath. If a toothbrush is not readily available, we recommend avoiding these foods and beverages:

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol

Continue to eat the foods you enjoy, but be aware of the foods that affect your breath if it is becoming more and more of a concern. 

Is There A Bigger Issue?

Halitosis or bad breath can be caused by more than just food particles stuck between your teeth or on your tongue. Another reason for halitosis can be a result of gum disease and tooth decay. If you have some dental issues it can allow bacteria to find pockets or cavities to hide in and cause further damage such as gingivitis and periodontal disease.  There are short-term methods that can assist with masking the smell, but they won’t disappear. It is important that you work with your dentist to solve any underlying issues. 

If you are noticing your concern for your breath to become more apparent than normal, contact Peak Dental in Bartow, FL and we can work on it together.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

Dental implants have become many dentists’ go-to procedure for replacing missing teeth. Dental implant surgery replaces tooth roots with metal, screw-like posts and replaces damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function much like real ones. Peak Dental in Bartow, FL offers dental implants as a great alternative to dentures and can offer an option when a lack of natural teeth roots don’t allow building denture or bridgework tooth replacements.

What are the risks?

Like any type of surgery, there are a few risks to getting dental implants. However, the problems that come with dental implant surgery are rare and typically minor and very treatable. Risks include: 

  • Sinus problems, when dental implants placed in the upper jaw protrude into one of your sinus cavities
  • Injury or damage to surrounding structures, such as other teeth or blood vessels
  • Nerve damage, which can cause pain, numbness or tingling in your natural teeth, gums, lips or chin
  • Infection at the implant site

The advantages of using dental implants. 

Dental implants are one of the most reliable dental procedures with a 95% success. They also offer advantages that other missing teeth solutions do not, such as:

  • Appearance – Implants look and feel like your natural teeth.
  • Speech – No need to worry about slipping dentures or loose bridges that can cause slurred speech.
  • Comfort – Implants are permanent and stable, so no chaffing or discomfort will happen like with dentures.
  • Oral health – Implant placement does not require modifying surrounding teeth as a bridge does. Also, implants stop bone deterioration and stimulate healthy bone tissue growth.

Dental Implant Procedure

When considering having a dental implant procedure, a patient will typically go through the following steps: 

  1. First, the patient will go through a thorough exam and consultation with the dentist. The dentist will then make an individualized treatment plan. 
  2. At the next appointment, the team will place your implant, which acts as a substitute tooth root. 
  3. Then, the tooth is given time (about 2-3 months) to heal and integrate with the bone tissue. 
  4. Once the implant has bonded to the bone tissue, a small connector called an abutment is attached to the implant.
  5. Impressions are taken of your teeth to create either a custom crown to replace one tooth or an implant-supported bridge or denture for multiple missing teeth. Crown restorations are custom tinted, so they blend in beautifully with your natural teeth.
  6. The finished crown, bridge, or denture is attached to the implant(s).

Once you get the finished implant, your new teeth are ready to use! If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to our Bartow, FL dental office at (863) 533-9471. We want your implants to look and feel like real teeth and you smile looking its best!

Why Do My Gums Bleed When Flossing?

Do your gums bleed easily when you brush or floss your teeth? It could be because of something simple, like using the wrong technique when you brush or floss. Or, it could be a sign of a health condition you need to check out. Brushing too vigorously, injury, pregnancy, and inflammation can all contribute to bleeding gums. Bleeding gums can also be a sign of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is more commonly known as gum disease, and typically results from inadequate plaque removal over time. Join Peak Dental as we explore the causes of bleeding gums and what you can do to combat them.

Causes of Bleeding Gums

Identifying the cause of bleeding gums is key to determining the right treatment method. There are numerous factors that can be the reason for your gums bleeding while brushing or flossing.

  • Gingivitis, a disease that causes inflammation of the gums
  • Brushing too hard or your toothbrush isn’t soft enough
  • Began a flossing routine that your gums aren’t used to yet
  • Taking certain medications, like blood thinners
  • Having inflamed gums because you’re pregnant (pregnancy gingivitis)
  • Dentures that don’t fit well
  • Faulty dental restorations

Tips to Stop Gums From Bleeding

As with most oral health issues, the best way to combat them is by focusing on preventative dental care by following these tips:

  • Practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day.
  • Rinse with hydrogen peroxide after brushing to help reduce gum inflammation
  • Stop smoking. Smoking is a leading cause of gum disease, among putting you at a higher risk for lung cancer, heart disease, or stroke. According to the CDC, smokers are at twice the risk for gum disease, compared to someone who doesn’t smoke.
  • Increase your intake of vitamin C and Vitamin K by eating foods like red peppers, carrots, spinach, and kale.
  • Eat foods with less sugar and carbs. Carbohydrates and sugary goods encourage plaque and growth of bacteria which can accumulate on your gums.

Treatment Options

If you have actively focused on improving you oral health to reduce bleeding gums and haven’t seen improvement after 14 days, it is possible you have periodontal (gum) disease and need to see a dentist. Your dentist office can provide a deep cleaning to remove plaque build up and tartar. Learn more about periodontal disease using the link below, or schedule an appointment with Peak Dental in Bartow, FL today.

Learn More About Periodontal Disease Treatment Schedule Online

How To Prevent Cavities & Tooth Decay

Cavities, often referred to as tooth decay, are tiny holes that develop in the hard surface of your teeth. They are most common in children and teenagers, but they can affect everyone including infants and toddlers. Join Peak Dental as we take a closer look at what causes cavities and how you can prevent them.

Causes of Cavities

Cavities typically occur as a result of poor oral health habits but other various factors can increase the risk of getting a cavity, including:

  • Dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when there is a lack of saliva in the mouth. Saliva helps wash away food stuck on the teeth and it counters the acid produced from bacteria in the mouth, which reduces the chance for cavities.
  • Foods and drinks. Certain foods aren’t as easily washed away from saliva, making them more likely to cause decay. Foods you should limit include: ice cream, honey, sugar, soda, cake, chips, cookies, and hard candy.
  • Constant snacking or sipping. Drinking or eating frequently throughout the day results in increased bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria produce the acids that attack tooth enamel.
  • Lack of fluoride. Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps prevent cavities and can reverse the early stage of tooth decay. Use a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to help reduce your chance of cavities.

Cavity Prevention

Regular dental visits and daily brushing and flossing are the best protection against cavities. If you get a cavity, it should be treated right away. But, cavities left untreated get larger and larger, affecting the deeper layers of your teeth. Deeper cavities result in higher chances of experiencing severe toothache and infection. So, when it comes to cavities, prevention is key. Below are some of our cavity preventions tips:

  • Brush with fluoride toothpaste. Brush and floss twice a day, ideally after each meal.
  • Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Professional teeth cleanings remove plaque that builds up overtime which isn’t removed by regular brushing and flossing. Going to the dentist twice a year is one of the best cavity prevention options.
  • Dental sealants. Sealants protect the tooth enamel from harmful plaque and bacteria.
Learn More About Fillings and Sealants

If you think you have a cavity or are experiencing tooth decay, call our Bartow, FL dental office at (863) 533-9471 as soon as possible.

What Is The Best Teeth Whitening Option?

Teeth can become discolored for a variety of reasons and many people want their teeth to be bright and white, so they look into teeth whitening. When it comes to getting a brighter smile, you can whiten your teeth at home or get a professional treatment. At home whitening typically includes over-the-counter products like whitening strips, pens, or toothpaste. Professional whitening includes custom-made whitening trays you take home or an in-office appointment. What might work best for some, might not necessarily work best for another. Peak Dental wants to help you choose the best teeth whitening option for you.

Both over-the counter and professional treatments use peroxide bleaching agents as the main active ingredient. The difference between each option is the amount of peroxide it contains. Over-the-counter solutions use 3 – 20 percent where professional solutions contain 14 – 43 percent. Solutions with higher amounts of peroxide should be left on for a shorter amount of time. Keeping the solution on longer will dehydrate your teeth and make them more prone to sensitivity.

Professional Whitening

Professional teeth whitening options are much safer and more effective. Additionally, it ensures that all of the proper precautions are taken. So, when it comes to protecting your gums, the whitening agent only gets on your teeth.

At-Home Whitening Products

Over-the-counter products are cheaper, generally take longer to see results, and have limitations depending on your tooth color and health prior. If used incorrectly, at-home teeth whitening kits can lead to burned gums, tooth sensitivity, or pain. It’s always best to talk with your dentist to decide the best treatment option for you.

If you choose to go for an over-the-counter solution, we recommend that you use one from the list of bleaching products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. If you have any questions about teeth whitening, call our Bartow, FL office at (863) 533-9471.

Bleaching Products with ADA Seal of Acceptance

 

Learn More About Teeth Whitening

Tooth Extractions: 4 Steps to an Easy Recovery

There are more than seven billion people in the world, and every one of them has a set of teeth—32 of them, in fact. Unfortunately, from time to time, some of them have to go. It’s not something anyone’s looking forward to. After all, your teeth have all been with you for years, reliably chewing anything you asked them to. Most of us are pretty attached to them!

Many patients dread the recovery period after an extraction, but as long as you know how to take care of yourself, an extraction can be one of the least troublesome medical events of your life. Today, we’ll tell you what you can expect, and what you can do to make your recovery as comfortable as possible.

The main concern in the period after a tooth extraction is the possibility of a dry socket. This is when a blood clot fails to form over the extraction site, or when the clot comes loose and exposes the wound, possibly even leaving the bone underneath exposed. Fortunately, it’s not incredibly common (it occurs in less than 5% of routine dental extractions).

The pain of a tooth extraction can be avoided by following these steps from Peak Dental.

Step 1: Clear your schedule

The most important thing you can do to prepare for this procedure or any other is to make sure you’re ready for the recovery period. If you were thinking about going on a ten-mile bike tour or pushing a new one-rep-max at the gym, you’ll have to postpone it. Clear your schedule of strenuous physical activity for a few days after the extraction, so you don’t risk loosening the clot before it has a chance to heal.

Step 2: Stock up on soft foods

Avoid eating anything you’ll have to chew or suck. Stock up on soft foods like yogurt and applesauce. Or you could make a smoothie—but be careful not to use a straw. Sucking up any liquid may dislodge the clot and leave the wound exposed. Eggs can work too, if you’re craving something a little more substantial.

Step 3: Manage your pain

After the procedure, your poor gums are going to need a bit of babying. You’ll probably want a painkiller of some kind. The extraction site might not hurt badly right away, but you can manage the pain best by taking a Tylenol or similar drug early. The pain likely will increase for the first three days or so, but don’t worry, that’s normal. If pain continues to increase after the third day or doesn’t decrease, it’s possible you have a dry socket. Contact your dentist, and they’ll decide how to handle things from there.

Step 4: Be gentle with your teeth

Your nighttime routine will have to change, too. For the first two days, avoid rinsing out the extraction site so the wound can heal. After that, you should rinse gently with warm salt water to encourage healing. Brush your teeth gently, but avoid teeth right next to the extraction site for the first couple of days. Even after the first couple days, be very careful not to brush the site itself. When it’s time to go to bed, it’s best to prop your head up with an extra pillow or two.

Tooth extraction is a little uncomfortable for the first few days. But with just a little care, you can minimize the pain, and your teeth will be chewing reliably for you once again in no time. The key is to be patient with the healing process and gentle with your mouth for a few days. Putting up with the pain and inconvenience of an extraction is much better than living with the pain and infection risk of a cracked or impacted tooth!

 

Peak Dental is here to support you through extractions and all your dental needs. If you’re having tooth pain, or if you have questions about tooth extraction or any other procedure, call our Bartow, FL office at (863) 533-9471, and we’ll do everything we can to help.

4 Signs You Need Emergency Dental Care

Damage to teeth and gums can’t be ignored. It’s always important to act quickly if something is wrong, but some dental issues are more pressing than others. How can you know the difference between a dental problem that needs to be solved soon and a problem that needs to be solved now?

At Peak Dental, we never want our patients to put off a dental procedure when it could lead to lasting harm, so we’ve compiled a list of important warning signs that mean you should get your teeth checked out as soon as possible. After all, you’ve only got so many teeth — it’s best to keep them all in good shape.

1. Broken or missing teeth

It goes without saying that obvious physical damage to your teeth is one of the most urgent dental emergencies you can experience. If your tooth has been damaged, rinse your mouth with warm water immediately and call us as soon as possible. If your tooth has come out, gently try to put it back into the socket (without touching the root!) or keep it in your mouth to protect it until we can see you.

2. Dental abscesses

A dental abscess is a small collection of pus inside of a tooth or gums that is caused by a bacterial infection. If your symptoms include shiny red swollen gums, a fever, or pain that spreads to your jaw or neck, you may have an abscess, even if you don’t see it. Try to see us as soon as possible, but, in the meantime, you can reduce the pain of the abscess by avoiding cold drinks. Use a soft toothbrush to very gently clean the area until we can get you into the office.

3. Lost filling or crown

A crown or filling can become loose or even fall out for a variety of reasons. If you lose a crown or filling, it’s important to try to save it — we may be able to reuse it. Rinse the area with warm salt water and continue to brush the damaged tooth (gently!) until we can see you.

4. Significant pain or swelling in the teeth, gums or jaw

Constant pain or swelling in your mouth is never normal! This symptom may seem vague or common, but it could be a sign of major damage or an infection that could have nasty results if left untreated. Don’t tough it out. Call us and we will decide together whether you need to come in for an appointment.

 

Ignoring any of these four dental problems could result in the permanent loss of teeth. Infections can even spread to other parts of your body and cause serious general medical issues, so it’s extremely important to get your teeth examined if you experience any dental emergency on this list!

We want your tooth pain or mouth pain to stop.

First and foremost, if you are in pain, we want to help you get some relief. Then we can address any underlying causes to solve the problem using dental best practices. If you believe you’re experiencing a dental emergency, give Peak Dental a call at (863) 533-9471 as soon as possible. We’ll get you an appointment in the near future, so you can go back to your life and leave tooth pain behind.