Posts for: June, 2017

By Cesar Acosta, DMD, Family Dentistry
June 22, 2017
Category: Oral Health

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.”

By Cesar Acosta, DMD, Family Dentistry
June 09, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Don’t leave your tooth loss untreated if you value your oral implants

Losing a tooth as an adult can be rather nerve-wracking. While it might seem easier to just bury your face in the sand about the whole thing, if you want to protect the rest of your healthy smile from the ramifications of tooth loss, then you may just want to sit down and talk to our Turlock, CA, family dentist, Dr. Cesar Acosta, about how dental implants could easily prevent tooth loss complications from happening to you.

If you are missing one or more teeth then you could certainly benefit from what dental implants have to offer. While there are other options to consider, if you want a restoration that is as close to natural teeth as possible then you’ll want to consider getting dental implants in Turlock. Here are some other reasons to choose implants to replace your missing teeth:

They stay in place: Removable dentures may certainly be less expensive and faster to get, but most people realize rather quickly that dentures aren’t exactly what they bargained for. These artificial teeth can unexpectedly shift around, making chewing or speaking a challenge at times. Since implants actually bond with your jawbone and tissue you’ll have a restoration that stays in place so you can chew with confidence.

They prevent teeth from shifting around: When you lose a tooth, the rest of your natural teeth will start to move into that open gap, causing some pretty unpleasant alignment issues. If you don’t want to have to wear braces on top of also replacing your missing tooth then you’ll want to get dental implants right away.

To protect the health of your jawbone: While most people worry about the aesthetic issues of tooth loss, what are most important are the problems that you can’t see. Since your jawbone needs stimulation from your tooth roots, once a tooth has fallen out the jawbone will recede and breakdown. To prevent this, we place the implant into the jawbone so that it will take the place of your tooth roots and provide the bone with the ample stimulation it needs to remain healthy and strong.

If getting dental implants is just what the doctor ordered when it comes to replacing your missing teeth then call our Turlock, CA, family dental practice today to schedule a consultation with us. Let’s find out if implants are right for your smile!

By Cesar Acosta, DMD, Family Dentistry
June 07, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

There are a variety of methods for treating periodontal (gum) disease depending on its severity — from routine office cleanings to periodontal surgery. But the goal behind all of them remains the same: remove bacterial plaque and calculus (tartar), the root cause for gum disease, from all tooth and gum surfaces.

The traditional method for doing this is called scaling in which we use special hand instruments (scalers) to mechanically remove plaque and calculus. Scaling and a similar procedure called root planing (the root surfaces are “planed” smooth of plaque to aid tissue reattachment) require quite a bit of skill and experience. They're also time-consuming: full treatment can take several sessions, depending on how extensive the infection has spread.

In recent years, we've also seen a new method emerge for removing plaque: lasers. Commonly used in other aspects of healthcare, lasers utilize a focused beam of light to destroy and remove diseased or unhealthy tissue while, according to studies and firsthand accounts, minimizing healthy tissue destruction to a better degree than traditional techniques. Procedure and healing times are likewise reduced.

Because of these beneficial characteristics, we are seeing their use in gum disease treatment, especially for removing diseased and inflamed tissues below the gum line and decreasing sub-gingival (“below the gums”) bacteria.

Dentists who have used lasers in this way do report less tissue damage, bleeding and post-treatment discomfort than traditional treatments. But because research is just beginning, there's not enough evidence to say laser treatment is preferably better than conventional treatment for gum disease.

At this point, lasers can be an effective addition to conventional gum disease treatment for certain people, especially those in the early stages of the disease. As we continue to study this technology, though, the day may come when lasers are the preferred way to stop gum disease from ruining your dental health.

If you would like more information on treating gum disease, 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 “Lasers Versus Traditional Cleanings for Treating Gum Disease.”

Contact Us

Cesar Acosta DMD, Family Dentistry

(209) 250-2560
1065 Colorado Avenue Ste 3 Turlock, CA 95380