Dentist, Dr. Ivan Salmons DDS and his dental treatment team are pleased to provide professional and caring dental services to their patients from Sioux City IA and the surrounding communities. Our dental services include: adult, children's, cosmetic, family, general, implant, orthodontic, preventive and restorative dentistry.
Your teeth are covered with a sticky film called plaque that can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque contains bacteria, which following a meal or snack containing sugar can release acids that attack tooth enamel. Repeated attacks can cause the enamel to break down, eventually resulting in cavities. Plaque that is not removed with thorough daily brushing and cleaning between teeth can eventually harden into calculus or tartar. This makes it more difficult to keep your teeth clean.
When tartar collects above the gum line, the gum tissue can become swollen and may bleed easily. This is called gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. You can prevent plaque buildup and keep your teeth cavity-free by regularly visiting the dentist, brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between your teeth with dental floss daily.
Dental health is not limited to your teeth. Sores or irritations can develop in and around the mouth. Fortunately, they usually heal on their own within a week or two. Mouth sores come in several different varieties and can have any number of causes, including:
Infections from bacteria, viruses or fungus
Irritation from a loose orthodontic wire, a denture that doesn’t fit, or a sharp edge from a broken tooth or filling.
Halitosis is the medical term for bad breath, and if you’ve ever had it, you shouldn’t feel bad. About 1 in 5 people in the general population suffer from it, and many people who think they have it actually do not.
The paranoia probably stems from the social stigma people place on those who have bad breath. In some cases, the causes of bad breath are simple and preventable so others are quick to judge, but there are rare exceptions in which someone’s halitosis may actually require medical attention. Knowing what causes bad breath can help identify the difference. In most cases, bad breath isn’t serious, but if it lasts longer than a few weeks, it may be evidence of a deeper underlying problem.
Bad Breath Causes
In order to get rid of bad breath, the first thing you need to know is why it’s happening. There are basically 10 common causes of bad breath:
Drinking and Eating Certain Foods and Drinks: Certain drinks and foods, particularly coffee, garlic and onions, are notorious for creating bad breath. We love them for their taste, but that taste can linger once it’s absorbed into the bloodstream. Not only is the smell expelled through the breath, but the odors remain until the body processes the food.
Plaque Buildup: When you don’t brush properly, or often enough, bacteria can form in your mouth, and it’s one of the primary causes of bad breath. This bacteria feeds on the food particles left behind on your teeth and gums and produce waste products that release foul odors. If you have braces, you should take extra care to remove food particles from your mouth to avoid bad breath.
Infrequent Flossing: When you don’t floss, small particles of food can get stuck between your teeth and around your gums. These are tricky places where toothbrushes can’t quite reach. When food particles are left behind, they start to collect bacteria, which in turn causes bad breath and plaque.
Tongue Bacteria: Bacterial growth on the tongue accounts for 80‒90 percent of all cases of mouth-related bad breath. Poor oral hygiene results in plaque bacteria being left behind on your teeth and gums. This bacteria produces foul-smelling waste products that cause bad breath. This can lead to gingivitis, tooth decay, and cavities.
Smoking: Smoking is a major cause of bad breath. Your body will thank you for giving up smoking, but your friends will, too. It can lead to serious bad breath and you may not even notice it because you have been accustomed to the smell. Your bad breath may be due to other causes, too, but tobacco use is a guarantee of bad breath. If you’re ready to quit, ask your doctor or dentist for advice and support.
Dry Mouth: When your mouth is extremely dry, there isn’t enough saliva to wash away excess food particles and bacteria. Over time, this can cause an unpleasant smell if they build up on the teeth. Both stress and breathing through your mouth can also be causes of dry mouth, and certain medications have dry mouth as a side effect. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Breathing through your mouth can also cause the saliva you produce to evaporate rapidly. That’s why many people who breath through their mouth when they sleep get a dry mouth and wake up with bad breath.
Morning Breath: Your mouth produces less saliva while you’re sleeping so food particle bacteria multiply faster while you sleep. That’s why bad breath odors are typically worse when you first wake up.
Infections: If you have an infection in your mouth from a wound, it’s an easy target for bacteria build-up. If you’re having oral surgery (having your wisdom teeth pulled for example), be sure to keep an eye on the infection. A medical professional can prescribe antibiotics to help minimize the infection. If you’re having your wisdom teeth or other teeth removed, it’s possible that you may need to deal with bad breath, as well. When your teeth are extracted, bacteria can get inside your wounds and this is what causes halitosis. Your dentist may provide antibiotics to help, but if the infection persists and causes chronic bad breath for more than a few days, you may need to see your dentist to have the wound cleaned. Bacteria can also infect your gums when they’re not healthy or when they are compromised by other health issues or physical injury.
Medical Conditions: Bad breath can be the result of certain conditions, such as tonsil stones, respiratory tract infections, chronic sinusitis, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, or liver or kidney ailments. If you suspect that your bad breath may be the result of something chronic, speak to a medical professional. Certain conditions beyond your control can cause bad breath: sinus infections, tonsil stones, respiratory tract infections, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbances, or liver or kidney ailments are just some of the medical causes of bad breath. If you have chronic bad breath and your dentist rules out any oral health problems, see your doctor for an evaluation.
Postnasal Drip: If you have sinusitis, or inflammation of the sinuses, mucus can get caught in the back of your throat, which can cause postnasal drip. The mucus can collect bacteria, and to make matters worse, now you have postnasal drip bad breath. Often, drinking lots of water and taking a decongestant can help with sinusitis, but if you have severe symptoms or your symptoms have lasted longer than a few weeks, you should talk to your doctor.
Bad Breath Remedies and Treatments
If you’re looking for a quick breath remedy, these simple tips can help with bad breath in the short term.
Raw Fruits and Vegetables: Biting into a crispy apple is a great way to freshen your breath before you can get to brushing.
Sugar-free Gum: It does more than refresh your mouth with flavor—it helps remove food particles and increases your saliva production which can help freshen breath.
Drink More Water: A dry mouth can quickly lead to bad breath and is often the culprit of morning breath. Make sure you stay hydrated and keep a glass of water on your nightstand for a quick reach when you wake up.
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease,
is an infection of the tissues that surround your teeth, and is caused by a buildup of plaque.
In its early stages, symptoms may include:
gums that bleed easily
red, swollen, tender gums
Some factors that can put you at higher risk of developing gingivitis include:
poor dental care
smoking or chewing tobacco
crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean
medications, including steroids, certain types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives
This might sound scary, but at this stage the disease is still reversible. Eliminating the infection can be as easy as trip to the dentist office for a professional cleaning, as well as daily brushing and flossing.
Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it. This is why it’s important to schedule regular dental checkups in addition to maintaining a good dental routine of brushing and flossing.
What Causes Yellow Teeth?
Do you have yellow teeth? Are you looking for a smile makeover? It’s best to start by evaluating your whitening needs and goals by looking at the color of your teeth and your habits or other factors that may have caused discoloration:
Diet: Certain foods that are high in tannins, such as red wine, are potential causes of yellow teeth. Some of the most common causes of tooth discoloration include drinking beverages such as coffee, soda, and wine. These substances get into the enamel of your teeth and can cause long-term discoloration.
Smoking: Smoking is one of the top causes of yellow teeth, and stains from smoking can be stubborn. But smokers can improve their yellow teeth by quitting smoking, following a complete oral care routine of twice-daily toothbrushing and daily flossing, and using the right teeth-whitening products.
Illness: Certain medical conditions or medications are also causes of yellow teeth. Patients who are undergoing chemotherapy for head or neck cancers may develop yellow or stained teeth. Also, certain types of prescription medications including medications for asthma and high blood pressure are causes of yellow teeth.
Poor Oral Hygiene: Poor oral hygiene is one of the causes of yellow teeth, but even the most diligent brushers and flossers can develop the discolored teeth that occur simply with age.
Fluoride: Excessive fluoride exposure is also among the causes of yellow teeth, especially in children.
If any of the causes of yellow teeth have left you unsatisfied with your smile, you have many choices of whitening products. Consider the causes of yellow teeth in your expectations for teeth whitening, but be sure to check with your dentist first and follow instructions carefully.
How to Whiten Yellow Teeth
Once you’ve made the decision to invest in a whiter, brighter smile, there are a number of treatment options to consider. From in-office treatments to at-home whitening strips, gels, toothpastes, and rinses, there are a variety of ways to say goodbye to yellow teeth and achieve the perfect white smile. Here are some general details about both options to help you make an educated decision on how to whiten your yellow teeth.
Professional Teeth Whitening: Professional teeth whitening is done at your dentist’s office and includes the application of a bleaching agent directly to your teeth. Special lights or lasers may also be used to enhance the performance of the bleach. Depending on the condition of your yellow teeth, you may have one or several treatments that range from approximately 30 minutes to an hour.
At-home Whitening: At-home teeth-whitening options include over the-counter whitening strips and gels, both of which use peroxide-based whitening gel. Initial results are typically seen in just a few days and last for up to twelve months for products. These options are more economical.
If you want to whiten yellow teeth, it’s hard to know where to start. There are so many options available to whiten yellow teeth that it can get overwhelming. No matter what you decide, it's always a good idea to consult with your dentist about your yellow teeth before starting a whitening program.
Serve Carbs with Care Whether it’s the crunch or the fact that they’re shaped like their favorite animals, kids love crackers and chips. The truth? “Many crackers are cookies with salt,” Dr. Hayes says. Not only do the carbohydrates in things like crackers and chips break down into sugar, they also tend to get stuck in the tops of your teeth for long periods of time. Set an Example You’d do anything for your kids. Now, are you ready to do all of the above for yourself too? Dr. Shenkin says setting an example can make a big difference in your whole family’s health. Eat well, brush twice a day for two minutes and clean between your teeth once a day. “If you want to change your child’s habits, it isn’t just about what they do,” he says. “Do the same thing with them.” To read the entire article visit MouthHealthy.org.
Skip the Soda Call it soda, call it pop. But sugary, carbonated beverages by any name are bad news for your child’s teeth. “One can of soda is the amount of sugar recommended for three days for a child,” Dr. Hayes says. In fact, a February 2016 study in the Journal of the American Dental Association found a strong association between sugary drinks and poor dental health in teenagers. Researchers asked teens 14-19 in Mexico about how many sugary beverages they drank, then examined their teeth. They found 31.7% had tooth erosion, which means their enamel had been eaten away. The main culprit? Soda. Be Picky About Sticky Snacks If you’ve been under the impression that gummy or sticky fruit snacks are healthy alternatives, you’re not alone. Many parents are surprised to learn they are really closer to candy than fruit, especially when it comes to sugar. “Fruit rollups and other dried fruit snacks are like nature’s candy,” Dr. Shenkin says. “It is like candy, but in some respect it’s worse than candy because it sticks to teeth longer than things like milk chocolate, which is easier to wash away.” Foods like raisins, which are often promoted as an all-natural snack option, can be troublesome. “The raisin is one of the worst foods because they’re so sticky and they actually adhere to teeth and stay there for an extended amount of time,” he says. “The sugar in that food is being consumed by the bacteria in our mouth during that time.” To read the entire article visit MouthHealthy.org.
When working with her young patients, pediatric dentist and ADA spokesperson Dr. Mary Hayes teaches them this simple, but important, saying: “Sugar is fun to eat, but not good for your teeth!” That’s because your child might love sweet treats, but the bacteria in his or her mouth loves them even more. “Sucrose (sugar) is the ‘food’ for the bacteria that cause tooth decay,” Dr. Hayes says. “Those bacteria produce acid that etches away the teeth.” Limiting the amount of sugar your entire family eats is good for your teeth and key to your overall health. Here are some dentist-recommended ways to start saying good-bye to unnecessary sugar throughout the day. Know the Limits When choosing a snack, keep an eye on added sugar (sweeteners like corn syrup or white sugar that are added to prepared foods). Naturally occurring sugars are less worrisome, as they are found in healthy choices like milk and fruit. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that people age 3 and older should consume no more than 12.5 tsp. each day of added sugar. (The same as one can of soda.) The World Health Organization states that adults should consume no more than 6 tsp. of added sugar, and children should have no more than 3 tsp. When reading labels, you’ll see sugar is listed in grams. Since 1 tsp. of sugar equals 4 grams, aim to make sure the foods you are feeding your child fall between 12 to 50 grams a day. The Truth About Juice Because juice is high in sugar and calories, water and milk are always the best options for your little one. In fact, if your child is under 1 years old, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests completely removing juice from his or her diet. Older children can occasionally drink juice, but if they do, there are two things to remember:
Children ages 1-6 should have no more than 4-6 oz. of juice each day, according to pediatric guidelines. Children ages 7 to 18 should drink no more than 8-12 oz. (Many juice boxes are about 6 oz., so younger children should have no more than one per day, and older children no more than two.)
Allowing your child to sip on juice throughout the day puts him or her at higher risk for tooth decay because you’re giving that cavity-causing bacteria more opportunities to eat and produce the acid that eats away at teeth. This can also happen with juice that is watered down. “Even though the volume of sugar has decreased, you’ve added the time that it takes to drink it,” says ADA spokesperson Dr. Jonathan Shenkin.
So what’s a parent to do? Limit the amount of juice your children drink, and always offer water or milk first. If your child does drink juice, serve the recommended, age-appropriate limits at mealtimes only. When your family is done eating, clean up any leftover juice instead of letting your children leave the table with it. To read the entire article visit MouthHealthy.org. Ivan K. Salmons, DDS 1855 Indian Hills Drive Sioux City, IA 51104 (712) 239-5900 SiouxCityDentist.com
Here's one technique to try for a thorough brush: First, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums. Then, gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes. Next, brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Finally, To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes. Using a Brush That's Not the Best Fit for You
There are many toothbrushes that can leave your teeth fresh and clean, including manual and power brushes that carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Both get the job done. Try different types until you find one you're comfortable with. For example, a power brush can be easier to hold and does some of the work for you if you have trouble brushing. No matter which you choose remember that it's not all about the brush- a clean mouth is really up to the brusher! To read the entire article visit MouthHealthy.org.
If you feel the need to clean your teeth after eating or drinking, wait at least 60 minutes before brushing-especially if you have had something acidic like lemons, grapefruit or soda. Drink water or chew sugarless gum with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to help clean your mouth while you are waiting to brush. Storing Your Brush Improperly
When you’re done brushing, keep your toothbrush upright and let it air dry in the open. Avoid keeping your toothbrush in a closed container, where germs have more opportunity to grow. Using a Brush with Hard Bristles
Soft bristles are a safe bet. And be mindful to be gentle, especially where your gums and teeth meet, as you brush. Talk to your dentist about what kind of toothbrush is best for you. To read the entire article visit MouthHealthy.org.
The ADA recommends changing your toothbrush every 3-4 months, so make a resolution to change your toothbrush with every season this year. Frayed and broken bristles won’t keep your teeth clean-these are signs it’s time to let go. When you’re shopping, look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Not Brushing Long Enough
Speed demons, listen up! Your teeth should be brushed for a full two minutes, twice per day. Most of us fall short -the average time most people spend brushing is 45 seconds. If you’re racing through cleaning, try setting a timer. Or distract yourself by humming your favorite tune! Brushing Too Hard Be gentle with your teeth. You may think brushing harder will remove more leftover food and the bacteria that loves to eat it, but a gentle brushing is all that’s needed. Too much pressure may damage your gums. To read the entire article visit MouthHealthy.org.
Below is an article written by by Diana Tosuni-O'Neill RDH, BS and found on Colgate.com Have you ever woken up from a sound sleep with a dry mouth at night? Dry mouth, or xerostomia, can be caused by something as simple as sleeping with your mouth open or as complex as a side effect of medication. Read on to find out what may be at the root of your nighttime lip smacking. Signs of Dry Mouth Dry mouth can be as simple as the salivary glands not producing enough saliva to keep the mouth moist. Saliva is key to washing debris from your teeth and remineralizing tooth enamel. With too little of it, you may be at risk for tooth decay. Aside from increasing your risk for cavities, dry mouth can be uncomfortable. If you are experiencing dry mouth at night, some noticeable morning signs are:
A sticky feeling in your mouth
Thick or stringy saliva
Dry or sore throat
Cracked or chapped lips
Changed sense of taste
What Causes Xerostomia? The occasional case of dry mouth at night may simply be due to dehydration, but age, medical conditions and habits can also contribute to its symptoms. The Mayo Clinic reports that several medications can cause dry mouth, such as muscle relaxants, depression and anxiety medications and antihistamines. It's also associated with diabetes and the autoimmune disorder Sjogren's syndrome. Cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation, can change or damage the salivary glands, as can nerve damage to the head and neck area. Frequent tobacco and alcohol use can lead to xerostomia. Besides putting you at risk for oral cancer, smoking causes changes in saliva production. Alcoholic drinks and tobacco also irritate an already dry mouth and contribute to bad breath. To read the entire article visit Colgate.com The remainder of the article details the following: