Category Archives: General dentistry

My Child’s Orthodontist and General Dentist are Giving Conflicting Advice

Hi,

My daughter is missing one of her upper teeth. The orthodontist left a space for an implant when she’s older. In the meantime, our options were a retainer made by the orthodontist or a Maryland Bridge made by our general dentist. However, the Maryland Bridge keeps falling out. He offered to remake it with metal clasps instead of cement, but I’m worried it’ll fall out again. The orthodontist suggested a flipper, and isn’t sure why the family dentist made the Maryland Bridge in the first place. Should we get the flipper from the orthodontist, or try the bridge again? Did our dentist make a mistake? Should we switch dentists entirely?

Thanks,

Yuko from Pennsylvania

 

Hi Yuko,

Maryland Bridges have a false tooth attached metal wings that attach to the backs of the teeth surrounding the empty space. To stay properly, the back of the teeth and metal both need to be etched to bond securely. The etches may not have been made deep enough, which is why the bridge keeps falling out. However, if the surrounding teeth are healthy, roughening them may not be the best option. This process permanently alters the tooth’s structure.

Your dentist didn’t make a mistake, just chose a less obvious solution to the problem of a missing tooth. A flipper would be a better choice going forward, so opt for one from your orthodontist. If you no longer trust your general dentist, you can ask your orthodontist who they would recommend.

This blog is brought to you by the office of Gilbert dentist, Dr. Matthew Roper, of Vista Dorada Dental.

 

 

Can anything help my husband’s bad breath?

My husband has bad breath. I don’t know what it is, but I’m embarrassed for him. It wasn’t so bad when we were first married, but it has kind of gotten worse. He doesn’t have terrible oral hygiene so I don’t know what changed. I’m wondering what the best kind of mints or gum are for him, or if there is anything he can do so he has fresh breath when he’s at work or around other people in closer proximity.

Thanks,
Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth,

It’s hard to tell someone you care about that they have bad breath, but it can be even more difficult to cure because there are so many different causes.  Let’s start with bacteria. Your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria. There are over 700 different bacteria species that have been found in the mouth.  They are working to break down the food that enters and are necessary for digestion and the natural, healthy functions of the mouth. When the bacteria break down protein, in particular, it creates a sulfur gas, which doesn’t smell good and can linger in the mouth.

Sometimes it is the food itself that can cause bad breath, or halitosis. Garlic, onion, tuna, and some dairy are often culprits for a bad smell left behind after being eaten.

Even sickness can lead to bad breath. If you have a cold or the flu, the drainage can emit an odor. If this were the cause of your husband’s bad breath, when the virus was gone, the bad breath should be, too.  Some longer-lasting illnesses, such as acid reflux, may contribute to longer-lasting halitosis. Fortunately, there are medications for these kinds of health issues that may help alleviate the symptoms and, in turn, the bad breath.

How can you help the halitosis?

The list goes on, but there are things that may help with the halitosis. The first line of defense is good oral hygiene. This includes brushing after each meal, refraining from snacking too much between meals without cleaning,  flossing daily, and regularly visiting the dentist. Using a mouthwash designed specifically for bad breath may help. Carefully cleaning the tongue and roof of the mouth are also suggested. These will help ward off halitosis from gum disease.

As for breath mints or gum for your husband’s breath, use caution. Many breath mints have sugar and bacteria feeds on sugar. What you use to help the bad breath may actually make it worse. Make sure you only choose sugar-free  gum or mints.

This post is sponsored by Vista Dorada Dental in Gilbert, AZ.