Category Archives: Bad Breath

Should I Use a Mouthwash?

People use mouthwash for a variety of uses, from freshening breath to preventing tooth decay. Swishing daily with mouthwash can help you maintain great oral health by killing the germs and bacteria that linger in your mouth and between your teeth. Here are a few pointers about mouthwash and how it might help to improve your overall oral health.

Mouth washWhat is mouthwash?
Mouthwash or mouthrinse is an oral hygiene product that you can
use in addition to brushing and flossing.  Generally, these oral rinses are classified as cosmetic, therapeutic, or a combination of both.

Cosmetic mouthwashes can remove oral debris, temporarily suppress bad breath, and refresh the mouth with a pleasant taste. In addition to these benefits, therapeutic mouthwashes—including antiseptic, anti-plaque, and anti-cavity formulas—include ingredients to protect against oral disease. Antiseptic and anti-plaque mouthwashes can kill the germs that cause plaque, gingivitis, and bad breath, while anti-cavity formulas use fluoride to prevent and reduce tooth decay.

How do I use mouthwash?
First, make sure that you brush and floss your teeth well. Your teeth should be as clean as possible in order to reap the full benefits of your mouthwash.
Once you’re ready to rinse, measure the proper amount as specified on
the container, or as instructed by your dentist. With your lips closed and your
teeth apart, swish the liquid around your mouth. Many formulas suggest swishing for 30 seconds or more. Finally, thoroughly spit the liquid from your mouth. If you’re using an anti-cavity mouthwash, do not rinse, eat, or smoke for 30 minutes after use.

Does mouthwash have any side effects?
Side effects may vary, depending on which formula you use. If you experience
any irritating or adverse reactions to mouthwash, immediately stop using it
and speak with your dentist. Most anti-cavity rinses contain sodium
fluoride, which can lead to fluoride toxicity if taken excessively or swallowed. Because children tend to swallow mouthwash accidentally, they should not use anticavity formulas before age 6, and children older than age 6 should use them only with adult supervision.

Suffering From Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth (also called xerostomia) is caused by a decrease in the amount of saliva in the mouth when the salivary glands do not work properly. The salivary glands help keep your mouth moist, which helps prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems. Saliva helps wash away cavity-causing bacteria, provides enzymes to help digest food, protects teeth from decay by neutralizing harmful acids and keeps oral tissues healthy. Without saliva you would lose your teeth much faster

Dry mouthWhat causes Dry Mouth?
Prescription and over-the-counter medications are the most common cause. There are over 400 medications that can cause it, but the most common culprits are antihypertensives, antidepressants, painkillers, tranquilizers, diuretics and antihistamines. It can also happen when you are under stress or be a sign of a serious health condition. Other causes include radiation therapy and chemotherapy or diseases such as AIDS, diabetes or Sjogren’s syndrome.

Dry mouth can cause several problems including difficulty in tasting, chewing or swallowing. It also allows plaque to build up on your teeth faster leading to a high risk of cavities. It can also lead to bad breath, ulceration or soreness of the mouth, gum disease and difficulty in wearing dentures.

How do I treat dry mouth?Dry mouth relief
Many treatments can help ease the symptoms of dry mouth, including over-the-counter saliva substitutes. Remember to brush and floss twice a day. You may also chew sugar-free gum. Try to avoid alcohol and caffeine, smoking, acidic juices, dry foods, and overly salty foods. Drink plenty of water and maintain regular dental visits.

What is the Scoop on Xylitol?

Xylitol has been appearing more regularly in foods and candies and it claims it helps reduce cavities. What is it and is this true?

First, Xylitol is a sugar alcohol sweetener that is found in birch tree bark, beets,corncobs, raspberries, mushrooms, and other natural sources. Its sweetness is equal to that of sugar, but it has about 40 percent fewer calories, making it a popular sugarfree substitute. Xylitol not only cuts calories, it also cuts cavities!

How does xylitol prevent cavities?

Evanston Dentist xylitol

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, xylitol helps prevent Streptococcus mutans, the primary bacterium associated with dental caries, from attaching to teeth and tissues in the mouth. Xylitol cannot be metabolized by bacteria; as a result, the process that creates harmful, enamel-eating acids is drastically slowed. Regular use of xylitol has been shown to help reduce dental plaque—the first stage of cavity development, tartar formation, and tooth staining—and promote better oral health.

How often must I use xylitol for it to be effective?
Xylitol is a natural and convenient way to supplement daily dental care. Xylitol gum or mints used three to five times daily (for a total intake of 5 grams) is considered optimal. Because frequency and duration of exposure is important, gum should be chewed for approximately five minutes and mints should be allowed to dissolve. Dentists recommend using xylitol immediately after meals and snacks to help reduce plaque, inhibit adhesion of bacteria to the teeth, and reduce contact time of sugar on teeth.

Has xylitol been evaluated for safety?
Yes. Human consumption of xylitol has been confirmed for safety by a number of agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization’s Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives, and the EuropeanUnion’s Scientific Committee on Food. Pet owners should note, however, that xylitol is harmful to dogs. To prevent xylitol poisoning, dog owners should be aware of products that contain xylitol as a sweetener, and keep those products out of the reach of their dogs.

Evanston Dentist xylitol

What products contain xylitol and how do I find them?

Products containing xylitol have been available in the United States for a number of years. Only recently has its use become mainstream. Today, xylitol can be readily found in chewing gums, toothpastes, mouthwashes and other oral care products, candies, and some pharmaceuticals. On food labels, xylitol is classified broadly as a carbohydrate and more narrowly as a polyol.  Products containing xylito

l have been available in the United States for a number of years. Only recently has its use become mainstream. Today, xylitol can be readily found in chewing gums, toothpastes, mouthwashes and other oral care products, candies, and some pharmaceuticals. On food labels, xylitol is classified broadly as a carbohydrate and more narrowly as a polyol.

Add a Dental Visit to This Year’s Spring-Cleaning List.

Evanston Dentist CleaningA professional dental cleaning at least twice a year can improve your oral health, reports the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing dental education.

A prophylaxis, also known as a ‘prophy’ or professional dental cleaning, is an important part of your at-home oral health regimen.   It is designed to preserve the health of your teeth and gums, prevent the spread of disease and give the dentist an opportunity diagnose areas in the mouth that may need attention.”

According to the AGD it is strongly recommended that a dentist or hygienist perform a dental cleaning every three to six months. People who have healthy teeth and gums typically do not experience soreness after a cleaning.  Those with less-than-perfect oral hygiene habits may experience discomfort or heightened sensitivity during a dental cleaning. The dentist can use a topical anesthetic before the cleaning to alleviate pain.  It may also be beneficial for you to schedule more frequent hygiene appointments (every 3-4 months) until you are able to perfect your oral hygiene skills.

 

Xylitol – A Popular Sugar Free Substitute

XylitolXylitol is a sugar alcohol sweetener that is found in birch tree bark, beets, corncobs, raspberries, mushrooms, and other natural sources.  Its sweetness is equal to that of sugar, but it has about 40 percent fewer calories, making it a popular sugar-free substitute.  Xylitol not only cuts calories, it also cuts cavities!

How does xylitol prevent cavities?

Xylitol helps prevent Streptococcus mutans, the primary bacterium associated with dental caries, from attaching to teeth and tissues in the mouth.  Xylitol cannot be metabolized by bacteria; as a result, the process that creates harmful, enamel-eating acids is drastically slowed.  Regular use of xylitol has been shown to help reduce dental plaque – the first stage of cavity development, tartar formation, and tooth staining – and promote better oral health.

How often must I use xylitol for it to be effective?Xylitol gum

Xylitol is a natural and convenient way to supplement daily dental care.  Xylitol gum or mints used three to five times daily (for a total intake of 5 grams) is considered optimal.  Because frequency and duration of exposure is important, gum should be chewed for approximately five minutes and mints should be allowed to dissolve.  Dentists who recommend using xylitol immediately after meals and snacks to help reduce plaque, do so to inhibit adhesion of bacteria to the teeth, and reduce contact time of sugar on teeth.

Has xylitol been evaluated for safety?

Yes. Human consumption of xylitol has been confirmed for safety by a number of agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization’s Joint Expert DogCommittee on Food Additives, and the European Union’s Scientific Committee on Food.  Pet owners should note, however, that xylitol is harmful to dogs.  To prevent xylitol poisoning, dog owners should be aware of products that contain xylitol as a sweetener, and keep those products out of the reach of their dogs.

What products contain xylitol and how do I find them?

Products containing xylitol have been available in the United States for a Xylitol sweetnernumber of years, but only recently have its use become main stream.  Today, xylitol can be readily found in chewing gums, toothpastes, mouthwashes and other oral care products, candies, and some pharmaceuticals.  On food labels, xylitol is classified broadly as a carbohydrate and more narrowly as a polyol.  To learn more about xylitol products, talk to Dr. Marinic.

To Floss or Not to Floss – THAT is the Question

Do I really need to floss?

dental flossYes.  Floss removes plaque and debris that sticks to teeth and gums in between teeth, polishes tooth surfaces, and controls bad breath.  Flossing is the single most important weapon against plaque and, in some ways, more important than the toothbrush.  By flossing your teeth daily, you increase the chance of keeping them for a lifetime and decrease the chance of getting gum disease.  Many people don’t spend enough time flossing and many never have been taught the proper way to floss.

Floss at least once a day and spend at least two or three minutes.

Which type of floss is the best?Types of floss

Dental floss comes in many forms: 

  • Waxed and unwaxed
  • Flavored and unflavored
  • Wide and regular

They all clean and remove plaque.  Wide floss, also known as dental tape, may be helpful for people with a lot of bridgework and is usually recommended when the spaces between teeth are wide.  Waxed floss might be easier to slide between tight teeth with very little space between.  The unwaxed floss, however, makes a squeaking sound to let you know your teeth are clean.  Bonded unwaxed floss does not fray as easily as regular unwaxed floss, but does tear more than waxed floss.

How should I floss?

Woman c-flossingThe spool method:  Take an 18-inch piece of floss and wind the bulk of the floss lightly around the middle finger.  (Don’t cut off your finger’s circulation!)  Wind the rest of the floss similarly around the same finger of the opposite hand.  This finger takes up the floss as it becomes unusable.  Maneuver the floss between teeth with your index fingers and thumbs.  Bring the floss up and down several times forming a “C” shape around the tooth being sure to go below the gum line.

The loop method: This method is suited for children or adults with lessLoop floss nimble hands, poor muscular coordination or arthritis.  Take an 18-inch piece of floss and make it into a circle.  Tie it securely with three knots.  Place all of the fingers, except the thumb, within the loop.  Use your index fingers to guide the floss through the lower teeth, and use your thumbs to guide the floss through the upper teeth, going below the gum line forming a “C” on the side of the tooth.

Do I need a waterpick?

Waterpicks should not be used as a substitute for brushing and flossing.  They are effective, however, around orthodontic braces that retain food in areas a toothbrush cannot reach.  Unlike flossing, waterpicks do not remove plaque. Dentists frequently recommend waterpicks for people with gum disease.

 

Bad Breath? We Can Help!

Bad breathBad breath – which is also known as halitosis – is a worrying problem that can also be embarrassing, but there is no need to put up with it.  If you suffer from bad breath, Dr. Marinic will be able to suggest a range of solutions.

Dr. Marinic will be able to spot problems such as gum disease, dry mouth or other disorders.  That’s why its important to Dorothy cleaningmaintain good oral hygiene, schedule regular visits to our office and have a professional cleaning done by our hygienist at least every 6 months.

Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day and clean between your teeth each day using floss or interdental cleaners.  Don’t forget to brush your tongue, too!

If your dental check up shows that your mouth is healthy, Dr. Marinic may refer you to your family physician as sometimes bad breath can be a sign of Periodontitisother health problems.

If the odor is due to periodontal (gum) disease, sometimes a professional periodontal cleaning is needed to remove the bacteria and plaque that accumulated.  Dr. Marinic may also recommend a special antimicrobial mouth rinse.

Keeping your mouth healthy and stopping periodontal disease are essential to reducing bad breath.  So make sure you schedule regular dental visits for a professional cleaning and checkup with Dr. Marinic and our hygienist.