Lakeshore Family Dentistry Blog

November 13, 2014
Bad breath can be caused by more than just garlic and onions.

Bad Breath: More Than Just Garlic and Onions

Are garlic and onions the fall guys for bad breath?  We think so.  While it’s true these foods cause bad breath, many don’t understand that poor oral health – including dental disease – also is a culprit. Let’s take a look at three main dental-related causes of bad breath, as well as their solutions. Cause 1: Bacteria Patients are always surprised when I remind them to brush their tongues. That is because the bacteria lingering on your tongue secrete volatile-sulfur compounds (VSC), which give off a rotten egg smell. VSC-secreting bacteria can come from food that was not cleaned off, as well as from nasal drip and dead epithelial cells. It thrives in the posterior dorsum area of the tongue, which is often drier and relatively more poorly cleansed than the rest of the tongue. Illnesses can also contribute to the buildup of this bacteria. For instance, strep throat can cause “strep breath” due to streptococcus bacteria on the tongue, which can be even more potent than regular halitosis, the technical term for bad breath. Solution: Your daily oral care routine is the most important way to prevent bad breath.  Add tongue-scraping to the routine.  A tongue-scraper is often found […]
October 30, 2014
People clench on their incisal biting teeth

Why Subconsciously Clenching Your Teeth Is Worse Than You Think

Do you wake up in the morning feeling pain in your teeth and jaw? Do friends and coworkers notice grinding or popping noises coming from your mouth when you eat?  It is more common than one would think, and the worst part is, most people clench and grind their teeth subconsciously when they are sleeping Clenching is not only causing you pain in your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, which is the chewing muscles and joints that connect your skull to your lower jaw. It can also wear down your enamel, which could contribute to another set of issues for your pearly whites. Enamel is the thin, outer covering of your teeth, protecting them like a shell from chewing, biting and chemicals. It is the hardest tissue in your body, and it is also what keeps your teeth strong, white and healthy. It contains no live cells, so once it is gone, it is unable to repair itself. Clenching and grinding most commonly occurs when people are asleep.  Here are a few common symptoms and signs to look for if you are experiencing pain around your TMJ, headaches, neck and ear pain, and wearing or breaking down your teeth. Teeth can […]
October 16, 2014
12 tips to stay cavity-free this halloween

12 Tricks to Stay Cavity-Free This Halloween

How do you partake in a holiday that’s all about collecting and consuming high volumes of candy, but keep your teeth healthy, too? Here are 12 tips and tricks to help your child stay cavity-free this Halloween. Yes, it’s that time of year again – as the air becomes crisp and the leaves change colors, Reese’s pumpkin cups and other sugary goodies also overflow the trick-or-treat jars.  And while candy, like anything else packed with sugar, is fine in moderation, having too much could take a serious toll on your dental health. Follow these 12 tricks and you won’t be scared to see your dentist after Halloween. Stick to chocolate. It may have sugar, but it is less likely to get stuck in the grooves and pits of your teeth. Also, dark chocolate has some health benefits — it is packed with antioxidants, and studies show it could lower the risk of heart disease. Avoid chewy, sticky candy. This is what gets caught in those grooves and pits, which can lead to trouble. Stay away from it, if you can resist. Steer clear of hard candies. Candies that stay in your mouth for a long time can contribute to tooth decay. […]
September 25, 2014
You may suffer from bruxism and not even know it

You May Suffer From Bruxism and Not Even Know It

Funny thing how those medical terms like “bruxism” never really catch on with the regular vernacular. You’re probably more familiar with the term “teeth grinding,” but what you may not know is how it can damage your tooth enamel if left untreated. Bruxism, as noted on the condition’s Wikipedia page, comes from the Greek root βρύκειν, which means “bite/gnash.”  It is the habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, although for many people, it’s involuntary.  Here are some other interesting facts about Bruxism: You may not be aware you have it.  Many people who suffer from bruxism grind their teeth while they sleep.  You may not notice you’re doing it, but your sleeping partner likely will.  As will your dentist (we’ll get to that in a bit). You may produce an audible noise, and you may not.  Some people audibly grind their teeth.  Others do not. You may do it regularly and you may not.  The frequency at which people grind their teeth varies.  Some will do it consistently, others only on occasion — such as during times of stress. You may experience pain in different areas.  Bruxism can affect you in a number of different ways.  You could experience […]
September 11, 2014
Those Mystery Pains in Your Jaw Could be TMJ Symptoms

Those Mystery Pains in Your Jaw Could be TMJ Symptoms

Stress has a profound impact on health, and teeth grinding, or TMJ disorders, are a perfect example. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize they have a problem, which is why understanding the typical TMJ symptoms and their impact on your teeth is a must! Before we discuss symptoms, let’s focus on exactly what TMJ disorders are. Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders are referred to as “TMJ.” It’s a series of conditions that cause pain in the jaw joint and the muscles that cause the jaw joint movement. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), “Some estimates suggest that over 10 million Americans are affected. The condition appears to be more common in women than men.” If you have the occasional ache or pain from a TMJ disorder, it can be temporary. The pains may occur in cycles, but eventually they go away without any treatment. However, if you are suffering from recurring pain, the types we noted in our previous post, then treatment may be in order. What are TMJ Disorders and How Can They Affect You As noted on the NIDCR website, the temporomandibular joint connects the lower jar to the bone at the side of […]
August 21, 2014
You May be Suffering from Teeth Grinding

OUCH – You May be Suffering from Teeth Grinding

What ailment causes headache, toothaches, neck pains and jaw popping and may go undetected for years? The answer is teeth grinding. The bigger question, however, is that why it so often goes undetected, especially when there is a treatment? The scientific term for teeth grinding is temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders, or TMJ disorders for short. The temporomandibular joints are on each side of your head, right in front of your ears. They connect the lower jaw to your skull, and while the J in TMJ refers to the joints specifically, issues with teeth grinding generally involve this region. Adult TMJ is very different from how children grind their teeth. With kids, teeth grinding generally occurs when a child has new teeth with new surfaces. It is not a result of stress and usually resolves as more permanent teeth erupt. It’s a different story with adults. Many adults will grind at night subconsciously; it can even wake them up out of a deep sleep. It often occurs during times of stress. And it’s because of a lack of awareness, and a rather varied number of symptoms, that teeth grinding goes undetected. The Wide Range of Teeth Grinding Symptoms TMJ disorders […]
August 6, 2014
Why Sealants Are a Groovy Way to Prevent Cavities in Kids

Why Sealants Are a Groovy Way to Prevent Cavities in Kids

Cavities are sneaky little devils. They form when food particles and plaque make their way into the pits and grooves of a tooth. But lo and behold, there is a way to help ward off these creepy cavities on our chewing surfaces: Sealants – a parent’s (and kid’s) best friend. Sealants are essentially resin material that is gently flowed into the natural grooves on the chewing surfaces of our back permanent molars. They bond with the tooth and harden, providing a protective surface. They’re especially helpful because cavities can be sneaky – they like to form where we may have trouble brushing, into the deepest grooves of our farthest back teeth. Sealing the Surface Cavities tend to form in the pits and fissures of the teeth. These areas are often the most difficult to keep clean, even with the most thorough tooth-brushing. Sealants were created to provide a shield for these areas. They are applied shortly after the permanent molars are erupted, typically around the ages of six and twelve. The procedure is relatively fast and pain-free. We apply a sealant that flows into the grooves and pits – particularly the chewing surfaces of back molars. The sealant material is BPA-free, and […]
July 24, 2014
Top Four Excuses Your Family Makes Not To Go To the Dentist

Top Five Excuses Your Family Makes Not To Go To the Dentist

Are you the family’s director of Health and Human Services? Most moms somehow wind up getting appointed to this position, and sometimes the toughest part of the job is getting your family to go to the dentist. Here’s five excuses you probably hear, and how to address them. You’ll note these excuses aren’t just coming from kids, either. I’ve also included a few that we hear husbands making. (I should know: My husband has made a few of these too!) So without further ado, here are the typical excuses you may hear from “the fam”, as well as some tips on how steer them to the examining chair: 1. I’m Too Busy for the Dentist. Whether it’s a husband always working and traveling for the job, or the child whose schedule is filled with activities, the “too busy” excuse is always used when an appointment won’t fit in their schedule. How to deal with it: If your family hates missing work or extracurricular activities, then let them know that if they neglect their teeth that tooth that’s been bothering them for too long, they may end up losing it. That will require a lengthier procedure, and 4-6 weeks for the […]
July 10, 2014
Getting children ready for a visit to the dentist

Eight Ways to Make Children Ready for Their First Trip to the Dentist

Fear is an extremely powerful emotion, especially when you’re a child. There’s the monster under the bed, the monster in the closet, and yes, a child may even be afraid of the dentist. Here are eight ways you can calm their fears and get them ready for their first trip to the dentist. Read about it first. I love children’s books, and there are a number of them on the subject. I particularly like the Berenstain Bears book, and there are even dental office apps that can help calm some fears. If you’d like to borrow a book, please visit us.  We have them here at the office! Here’s a video of the Bears’ visit to the dentist: Have realistic expectation for the first visit. We like to take it slow with our new patients, especially children. The first visit might just to be a time to get familiar with everything. They may want to just meet the dentist, and take in their surroundings. Every child is different; just go with the flow. Don’t bring them in at nap time. Shoot for an optimal time of the day (not lunch time!)  We find kids tend to do better in the […]
June 25, 2014
Three Tips When You Buy Your Own Dental Insurance

Three Tips When You Buy Your Own Dental Insurance

As you can imagine, we deal quite a bit with dental insurance. We are by no means experts, but here are some areas that you might not be aware of with your dental insurance policy, as well. The following examples typically apply to cases where you’re buying your own policy and not using one provided by an employer. A bit of rarity in the past, these cases are becoming more common with the passage of Obamacare. Please note that we are not insurance experts, nor do we sell insurance. We just want to bring to light some issues that some issues we’ve seen affecting patients who buy their own insurance. Tip #1 – Make Sure You Understand the Waiting Period Most employer insurance policies don’t have a “waiting period,” but we see it quite often with an individual policy. When you buy your own policy, it typically includes a waiting period. Here’s how it works: After you sign up for insurance and pay your premium, the waiting period begins. During this time, the insurance won’t cover any preventative services, including routine cleaning and exams. These waiting periods can sometimes stretch to six months, so you’ll want to plan accordingly. Waiting […]
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