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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Chronic Bad Breath: Can It Be Treated by a Dentist?

woman with mouth openThe majority of people wake up in the morning with bad breath. This is because the saliva production that washes away odor-causing bacteria slows during sleep. Simply brush your teeth when you awake, or follow these simple tips to avoid bad breath, and your fresh breath will be instantly restored.

But what if you have “morning breath” all the time – even after you brush your teeth? You may be one of the 80 million Americans who suffer from chronic bad breath, also called chronic halitosis. Cosmetic dentist Dr. Kevin B. Sands can treat chronic bad breath at his Beverly Hills practice, depending on what has caused the condition.

What causes chronic bad breath?

Xerostomia

There are many causes of chronic halitosis. Since a lack of saliva leads to oral odor, it makes sense that conditions such as acid reflux or postnasal drip, which cause chronic dry mouth (xerostomia), would lead to chronic bad breath. If your mouth is constantly dry and you do not have a treatable condition or disease, follow these tips for how to treat dry mouth.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Those who don’t regularly brush and floss their teeth often develop excess bacterial growth in their mouth. Dentures that are not properly cleaned can also become a breeding ground for bacteria. Gum disease, also called gingivitis, can develop from these poor habits and can lead to dreaded “dragon breath,” as well as bleeding gums.

Gingivitis often occurs when plaque, which can only be removed with dental tools, builds up on the teeth. Visiting your dentist for cleanings twice a year will definitely help to prevent gum disease and other odor-causing problems like cavities (also called “dental caries”). Knowing how to properly brush your teeth is also crucial to avoiding bad breath.

Internal Medical Conditions

Continuous mouth odor can also be caused by internal medical conditions, such as liver disease, diabetes, chronic bronchitis, and respiratory tract infections. If you suspect that one of these diseases is the cause of your offensive breath, consult your primary care physician.

Cracked fillings

If your dental filling becomes cracked, it can collect food particles that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush. These food particles can breed bacteria and cause infection and, consequently, poor breath. After Dr. Sands replaces the cracked filling and cleans the patient’s teeth, the problem of chronic bad breath will usually resolve.

There are so many causes of chronic halitosis, yet these are just a few. Be sure to read our previous post for more surprising causes of bad breath.

Dr. Sands can help prevent as well as treat chronic bad breath for patients in Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and the surrounding areas of Southern California. If you would like treatment for chronic bad breath, or if you are interested in cosmetic dental services provided by Dr. Kevin B. Sands, please schedule an appointment by calling (310) 273-0111 today. For your convenience, you may also fill out our online contact form.

 

How to Make Your Kiss Count this Valentine’s Day

cold weather kissWhether you’ve been on just a few dates or you’ve been married to your sweetheart for years, Valentine’s Day has granted us all the moral obligation to step up our romantic game. Come February 14th, men everywhere are frantically buying flowers, chocolates, jewelry, or booking last-minute dinner reservations – all to impress that special lady in their life.

Unfortunately, even with all the elaborate plans and gifts, a lot of people forget the most important part of the night: the kiss. Even if everything goes right on a Valentine’s date, a poorly planned kiss can put quite a damper on the romantic mood. To ensure the most memorable evening possible, we’ve gathered some of the top things to do to make your kiss count this Valentine’s Day.

1. Warm up

A great way to prepare your lips for a good kiss is to warm them up by smiling often. Smiling throughout the date will not only help alleviate any nervous tension for you, but it will put your significant other at ease as well. Plus, studies have shown that those who smile often are more successful in many areas of life compared to those who don’t. Why not put the odds in your favor?

2. Practice makes perfect

If you’ve ever heard of the 90/10 rule, you know that at the end of the date, in order to get that perfect kiss, the man should lean in 90 percent, and his date should meet his lips with the remaining 10. This tactic is not overtly forward, yet forward enough to let the lady know exactly what he’s after. It works like a charm. That is… unless he has terrible breath.

A mint will surely help disguise that garlic broccoli dish you just enjoyed, but taking care of your oral hygiene on a regular basis will set you up for success in the long-term. Be sure to brush your teeth twice daily (and once more before the date for good measure). Floss regularly, and visit your dentist every six months to lower your chances for chronic bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease, and causing your damsel to faint when she’s in close proximity to your mouth.

3. Don’t be shy

If you’re embarrassed about the way your smile looks, you shouldn’t cover it up with a napkin or clench your lips together. Kiss or no kiss – if you begin a relationship with something to hide, it’s a recipe for disaster. There are so many procedures available that can give you the most confident, charming smile that no doubt will lead to the perfect kiss – as well as many subsequent perfect kisses! Here are a few of the most popular treatments at my practice:

Teeth Whitening: Teeth whitening is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve the appearance of your smile overall. Zoom!™ is offered in-office for same-day results that can make your teeth appear up to eight shades whiter. We also offer customized bleaching trays for patients to take home. Results can be seen within a couple of weeks of continued use.

Bonding: Dental bonding can repair any cracks or chips in the teeth. The procedure is quick and painless, and many patients are surprised at how much their smile and overall confidence improve when even a small area is corrected.

Porcelain Veneers: Porcelain veneers can do what teeth whitening and bonding can, plus much more. Thin sheets of porcelain are applied over the teeth to mask discoloration, chips, cracks, gaps, and crooked teeth. They are usually applied to the front upper teeth that show when you smile. When it comes to impressing your one-and-only, these are the teeth that count the most!

If you are interested in one or more of the many dental services offered at our Beverly Hills practice, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Kevin B. Sands. Call (310) 273-0111 today, or fill out our online contact form for more information.

What Dental Work Can Be Undone?

hopeful smiling woman crossing fingersWhile permanent dental treatments can definitely be a positive thing, many people are intimidated by the idea that their procedure cannot be reversed if they are unhappy with the result. Especially when the treatment is for cosmetic purposes only, the patient should do their homework and understand what they can expect with the procedure. Choosing a dentist that has plenty of successful experience can also put your mind at ease.

Reversible Procedures

Here are a couple of procedures that can be reversed:

Tooth Extraction

As we mentioned in a previous post, if you lose a tooth or get one extracted, there is a window of time that your tooth can be reinserted into the gums to function as if it had never been missing. However odds are, if you visit the dentist to have a tooth removed, there was a good reason to do so. A crown with a dental implant can replace the missing tooth to function and look just like its natural predecessor.

Bonding

Bonding is used to repair chips in the teeth. Since dental bonding can slightly become discolored over time, many wish to get it replaced or removed. This can easily be done with a drill. A very small amount of surrounding enamel may be removed as a result, but high magnification of the area helps to avoid this. Any enamel that is removed can be easily replaced with the new bonding.

Non-Reversible Procedures

Many dental procedures cannot be reversed because they are meant to have long-lasting or permanent results. However, these treatments may be improved or modified if anything goes wrong or if regular wear and tear has compromised the prior results.

Crowns

Because a significant amount of the tooth must be removed in order to place a crown or “cap” over its basic structure, crowns should not be removed without being replaced. If the patient gets a chip in their crown, many times the dentist can “smooth out” the chipped area rather than replacing the entire crown. Crowns are long-lasting, but sometimes, usually after a period of many years, the cement that holds the crown in place can deteriorate from constant exposure to saliva. This will weaken the bond and may require a replacement if the prior crown cannot be used for any reason.

Implants

Dental implants are titanium rods that are inserted into the gums and are capped with a crown. The implants literally fuse with the jaw bone, creating a bond that can be even stronger than a natural tooth root. The need to remove an implant is very rare, but possible if necessary. Most often if a problem occurs with an implant, the problem really exists with the crown that is secured on top of it, which can be easily corrected. Implants, on the other hand, are more difficult to remove. Older techniques involve cutting the jawbone, and therefore removing a small amount (about 1 mm) of surrounding bone. Implants can also be removed with the use of a special implant removing device. The implant itself should last a lifetime and is a more sturdy alternative to a crown restoration secured to the natural tooth root.

Veneers

Since the application of porcelain veneers involves smoothing down the tooth’s surface about 1.5 mm, veneers are considered an irreversible procedure. Patients can get their veneers removed without being replaced, but the teeth will not look aesthetically pleasing, and they will not likely function as well as natural teeth. If a chip or crack occurs in a veneer, the entire veneer must be replaced.

With years of experience as a celebrity cosmetic dentist, Dr. Kevin Sands holds a strong reputation as one of best dentists in Beverly Hills. If you are considering a cosmetic dental procedure but are a little apprehensive, a consultation with Dr. Sands will help alleviate your concerns. Please call (310) 273-0111 today, or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment.

414 N. CAMDEN DRIVE, SUITE 940
BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90210
Tel: (310) 273-0111

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Request an appointment for a complimentary consultation with cosmetic dentist Dr. Sands, or feel free to call our Los Angeles (north of Orange County) office at (310) 273-0111 for more information.