Bad breath is an unpleasant condition that's cause for embarrassment. If you're concerned about bad breath, see your dentist. He or she can help identify the cause and, if it's due to an oral condition, develop a treatment plan to help eliminate it. Regular checkups will allow your dentist to detect any problems such as periodontal disease, a dry mouth or other disorders. Other dental causes of bad breath include poorly fitting dental appliances, yeast infections of the mouth, and dental cavities. Maintaining good oral hygiene, eliminating periodontal disease and scheduling regular professional cleanings are essential to reducing bad breath.
If you have extensive buildup of plaque, an invisible layer of bacteria, your dentist may recommend using a special antimicrobial toothpaste or mouthrinse. Antiseptic and antibacterial mouthrinses and toothpastes can be beneficial in reducing plaque and gingivitis and also have breath freshening properties. Instead of simply masking breath odor, some of these products have been demonstrated to kill the germs that cause bad breath.Read more about Bad Breath
Cold Sore Treatment
Cold sores are a common nuisance. Although there is no cure for the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1 and HSV-2) that causes them, cold sore breakouts can be managed and avoided. Cold sores, sometimes called fever blisters, appear around the lips and mouth and are often associated with red, swollen and irritated skin around the breakout areas.
Symptoms of Cold Sores:
- Pain around the mouth
- Fever and sore throat
- Swollen neck glands
Causes of Cold Sore Outbreaks:
- Chapped Lips
- Extreme sunlight exposure
- Physical exhaustion or illness
Even though no cure exists for the cold sore virus, Harrisonburg SmileMakers can provide you with antiviral medication to control the outbreaks and relieve any pain or irritation you are experiencing. You can also avoid developing cold sores by avoiding sharing utensils and drinking cups with others that may be infected.
For advice and treatment of cold sores, call Harrisonburg SmileMakers at 540-432-9036.
The mouth is often considered a window to the rest of the body because many other illnesses first present themselves as changes within the mouth. As a result, a comprehensive oral exam is recommended each time you visit a new practice to serve as a benchmark of your overall health.
During an examination, your dentist will perform a visual examination as well as a more detailed dental examination using one or more X-rays to detect:
- New cavities
- Weaknesses in already installed crowns, fillings, and bridgework
- Gum or bone recession
- Teeth deterioration due to abnormal bite, bruxism, or TMJ
Your dentist will also perform a visual and digital examination of lymph nodes throughout the face and neck, looking for any abnormalities, pain or flexibility within the nodes that could be markers for disease. Likewise, a similar examination of your lips, gums, tongue and other internal mouth surfaces will be conducted. Again, this is to seek out any signs of illness or disease.
Since the comprehensive dental exam is designed to set a baseline of your health and to catch any early signs of serious illness that may be otherwise undetected, your dentist will be on the lookout for the following illnesses which can be detected during a comprehensive oral evaluation:
- Blood pressure
- Cardiovascular problems
- Oral cancer
- Immune abnormalities
- Sinus problems
With a comprehensive exam every six months, we can manage small dental problems before they grow into larger, more complicated issues. Keep up to date with thorough dental checkups at Harrisonburg SmileMakers. Call us at 540-432-9036 to schedule an appointment.
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Gentle Professional Cleanings
Everyone over the age of four or five should visit their dentist for professional teeth cleaning at least twice a year. It's a procedure for the removal of tartar that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, especially in areas that are difficult to reach during routine toothbrushing. Professional cleaning includes an examination of your teeth and gums, tooth scaling (removal of plaque) and tooth polishing. It involves the use of various instruments or devices to loosen and remove deposits from the teeth. At Harrisonburg SmileMakers, we provide comfortable, gentle hygiene cleanings. If we find a cause for concern, we may recommend a deep gum cleaning to remove tartar below the gum line, smooth out surfaces where plaque builds up and eliminate bacterial infection.
Important Reasons to Get Professional Cleanings
- To detect possible health risks, such as oral cancer and gum disease
- To prevent tooth loss
- To maintain good physical health
- To eliminate bad breath
- To have a brighter, whiter smile
The Teeth Cleaning Process
- Physical exam, using a small mirror to check teeth and gums for any signs of gingivitis or other concerns
- Removal of plaque and tartar, using a scaler
- Gritty toothpaste cleaning, using a high-powered electric brush
- Expert flossing by the dental hygienist
- Rinsing, to get rid of any debris
- Applying fluoride treatment, to help fight against cavities for several months
Regular, professional teeth cleaning is vital to maintaining your oral health. Call Harrisonburg SmileMakers at 540-432-9036 today.
Custom-fit mouth guards are prescribed and created by a dental professional from thermoplastic material and are based on a detailed mold taken of your mouth and teeth. They can be made for either sports or for nighttime teeth grinding and are created differently depending on the intended use. They're highly personalized, as your dentist can adjust the thickness of the mouthguard, and they're designed to fit perfectly in your mouth with no adjustments needed.
First, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth. This is generally done using a dental putty that forms to all the crevices of each tooth and creates an exact mold of your smile. The mold is then sent to the lab, where the actual mouthguard is created. The structure is made by layering superheated plastic to precise specifications and is then cooled to create an extremely durable piece of dental wear.
Because custom mouth guards are so precisely made, they are able to provide you with optimal safety and comfort. The level of protection afforded by custom-fitted mouthguards is unrivalled by any other mouthguard, and their durability is enhanced by the snug shape, which hugs each tooth closely, eliminating unwanted movement.
For more information on customized mouth guards, please call Harrisonburg SmileMakers at 540-432-9036 today.
If you're experiencing chronic headaches and migraines because of involuntary nighttime teeth clenching, let Harrisonburg SmileMakers help you with a night guard. A night guard is a thin, transparent device that is worn over the biting surface of your teeth while you sleep to prevent contact between the upper and lower teeth. Night guards have also proven to be an effective remedy for patients who are suffering from the effects of grinding and clenching their teeth while sleeping.Read more about Night Guards
Periodontal / Gum Disease Treatment
Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is caused by bacteria in plaque. If not consistently removed, this bacteria builds up, infecting your teeth, gums and eventually the bone that supports your teeth, a common cause of tooth loss. Gum disease has three stages of progression: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis; the longer the disease has to advance, the more damage it causes. With advancements in detection and treatment, Harrisonburg SmileMakers can discover periodontal disease early and begin treatment before complicated issues arise.Read more about Periodontal / Gum Disease Treatment
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Struggling with snoring and sleeplessness? Call your dentist. Snoring and sleep disturbances are often signs of obstructive sleep apnea, and your oral health could be to blame. The condition causes repeated breathing interruptions throughout the night; the pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and may occur 30 or more times per hour. They happen because the airway is obstructed.
The first sign of sleep apnea is often tooth grinding (bruxism). Dentists look for worn tooth surfaces, a sign that a patient grinds his or her teeth. Grinding is just one oral health sign of sleep apnea. A small jaw, a tongue with scalloped edges or redness in the throat (caused by snoring a lot, which is another symptom of sleep apnea) are also signs.Read more about Sleep Apnea
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Your temporomandibular joint is a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, which are in front of each ear. It lets you move your jaw up and down and side to side, so you can talk, chew, and yawn. Problems with your jaw and the muscles in your face that control it are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). But you may hear it wrongly called TMJ, after the joint.Read more about TMJ/TMD Treatment