Category Archives: Bad Breath

What’s with My Dragon Breath? | Oak Lawn Dentist

Fresh BreathBad breath is not something to take lightly and can easily put you in plenty of embarrassing social situations. But more of than not, it’s preventable and easy to cure. First, let’s take a look at what it is and reasons it occurs. Below are some of the most common causes of bad breath:

Eating certain types of food. While eating food and not brushing or flossing afterwards can cause bad breath due to bacterial growth, eating certain types of food can also affect your breath.  Garlic, onions and other types of spices can affect the smell of your breath while they travel through your body.

Smoking and chewing tobacco. Anything tobacco-based can lead to bad breath because of the distinct, foul odor that tobacco leaves in your mouth. Not only can tobacco products increase your risk for health complications, but they can also lead to bad breath.

Improper dental care. If you skip brushing and flossing your teeth for just one day, or even one meal, your breath is bound to smell bad. Your breath may also smell bad from improper care of any dental appliances in your mouth, such as retainers and dentures.

Dry mouth. If your mouth is dry, there’s not enough saliva to help clear away food particles, which can lead to bad breath. Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking water frequently.

Certain medical conditions. There are certain respiratory infections, liver and kidney diseases and other medical conditions have been known to cause bad breath.

If you would like to find out more about halitosis, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

Is Dry Mouth Haunting Your Sleep? | Oak Lawn Dentist

A sound sleep is important for good health, but sleeping in peace is not so easy if you wake up frequently with dry mouth, a condition known as xerostomia. The exact causes of xerostomia vary, but if you snore while you sleep, or sleep with your mouth wide open, other factors, such as stress and medication, may also play a factor.

The first step in having your dry mouth treated is to talk to your dentist and ask for advice. In the meantime, there are some things that you can do to make it a bit less uncomfortable for you. One thing that you can do is to cut back on beverages such as caffeine, soda and alcohol. You can also benefit from refraining from smoking and tobacco use.

Drinking lots and lots of water during the day can also help, as frequent water intake can maintain, or increase the production of saliva. Before sleeping, brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and a fluoride rinse as opposed to an alcohol-based mouthwash can help keep your mouth from drying at night. If the air in your room is too dry at night, try using a humidifier. Also, keeping a glass of water next to your bed is also handy.

In some cases, xerostomia may not be the biggest issue, but may only be a symptom of a worse medical condition. If you find that dry mouth is becoming an issue, see your dental professional as soon as possible.

If you would like to find out more about xerostomia, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

Veneers Will Fix Your Smile | Oak Lawn Dentist

thinkstockphotos-78812411Having become increasingly popular over the past few years as the way to go for white teeth, porcelain veneers have become a household name. In fact, you may have even thought of getting the procedure done on yourself. But, while porcelain veneers do help whiten teeth, they can help with much more than that. This simple, yet effective cosmetic dental procedure can not only get you a brighter smile, but the smile that you’ve always wanted.

But first, a little history. Porcelain veneers started off as a temporary product in the film-making industry about a century ago. Yes, a century ago. It was used as a cosmetic fix, improving the appearance of the actors’ teeth because permanent fixtures were not yet available. In the last few years, however, modern dental medicine has made porcelain veneers look more natural and a lot more convenient to use. The newest types of porcelain reflect light in the same way that the natural enamel of your teeth does, and they’re also quite as strong.

Plenty of dental care experts today can easily perform porcelain veneer restorations to make sure that they match the exact shape and color of their patient’s teeth. Veneers may also be used in conjunction with other procedures, like dental crowns and teeth whitening treatments. So it’s true – porcelain veneers can whiten your teeth, but they can also help improve the appearance of your smile and teeth.

If you plan on getting porcelain veneers, you may want to know that they can correct more than just cosmetic issues. Veneers can also help with structural dental issues like such as: chipped teeth, cracked teeth, gaps in between your teeth, minor tooth misalignment and even tooth discoloration.

Porcelain veneers are also made out of different types of ceramic. Here is a quick breakdown: Stacked ceramic material are more customized and more precise. Those made from pressed ceramic are much more durable, but are a bit thicker or bulkier and won’t look as natural. Lithium disilicate is so strong that this type of veneers may be used by those suffering from bruxism, or teeth grinding. Your dentist will be the one to determine which type of porcelain veneer material is best suited for your needs and of course, your budget.

As durable as veneers are, it’s important to exercise extra care when you have them. Of course, proper oral hygiene is still necessary, but more than that, you should avoid excessive biting or chewing as well. If you excessively grind or clench your teeth, you may want to wear a bite guard. It is also important to avoid food and drinks that may cause staining. While veneers are typically resistant to stain, the natural teeth around them are not, making your veneers stand out and appear brighter.

If you would like to find out more about veneers, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information about veneer options.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

How To Stop Persistent Bad Breath

Fresh BreathBad breath is not something to take lightly and can easily put you in plenty of embarrassing social situations. However, the good news is that bad breath, more of than not, is preventable and easy to cure.

What Causes It?

To prevent and cure bad breath, you’ll need to understand first what causes it and at the same time, what it is.

For starters, bad breath is also known as halitosis, an unpleasant odor that often starts in the mouth.

Below are some of the most common causes of bad breath:

  • Eating certain types of food. While eating food and not brushing or flossing afterwards can cause bad breath due to bacterial growth, eating certain types of food can also affect your breath. Examples of such foods are garlic, onions and other types of spices, as they can affect the smell of your breath while they travel through your body.
  • Smoking and chewing tobacco. Anything that has to do with tobacco and your mouth can lead to bad breath. This is because of the distinct, foul odor that tobacco leaves in your mouth. Also, tobacco products can increase your risk for a variety of health complications that can also lead to bad breath, among many other things.
  • Not taking proper care of your teeth and gums. If you skip brushing and flossing your teeth for just one day, or even one meal, your breath is bound to smell bad. This is because of the remaining food particles in your mouth and the bacterial breakdown of these remnants. Your breath may also smell bad if you don’t take proper care of any dental appliances in your mouth, such as retainers, dentures, crowns and so on.
  • Dry mouth. If your mouth is dry, this means that there’s not enough saliva to help clear away food particles, which can lead to the development of a foul odor in your mouth. Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking water frequently to prevent bad breath. It is worth noting that the side effects of certain medications can lead to a dry mouth and bad breath.
  • Certain medical conditions. Inflammation of the lungs, throat and sinuses can lead to bad breath, as well as certain respiratory infections. Diabetes, certain liver and kidney diseases and few other medical conditions have also been known to cause bad breath.

Fighting Bad Breath

The best way to prevent bad breath is to brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day, cleaning your tongue with a tongue scrapper and finally, flossing at least once. Doing all three can help remove as much food particles from your possible, the likely suspect whenever your breath smells bad.

If your breath still smells bad, despite following a strict oral care routine, it may be time to visit your dentist for a checkup and professional cleaning. The latter is important as it helps remove all the bacteria and plaque that your regular oral care routine at home just can’t take care of, while a thorough checkup can help in finding out the possible underlying cause for your bad breath and how to treat it.

Do not be afraid to talk to your dentist about any concerns you may have about your bad breath. Chances are, they’ve encountered worse cases in the past and they’ll gladly reassure that you can feel confident about your breath again soon enough.

If you’re concerned about your bad breath, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.

The Link Between Diabetes and Periodontal Disease | Oak Lawn, IL Dentist

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Diabetes is a serious health complication that, in much simpler terms, means that you have too much sugar or glucose in your blood. There are two types of diabetes, but regardless of which of the two you have, you’re basically facing a lifelong bout with diabetes medication.

Diabetes affects the whole body, including your mouth and gums. Though, to what extent depends on how well you’re able to discipline yourself in terms of controlling your blood sugar.

If kept under control, diabetes should have little to no effect on oral health. But, if left unchecked, the effects of diabetes on the mouth and gums can be dramatic.

Those with diabetes are susceptible to the following:

  • Increasingly progressive gum disease
  • Gingivitis
  • Xerostomia, or dry mouth, which can also lead to periodontal disease
  • Poor healing in the mouth
  • Thrush or oral candidiasis
  • Burning sensation in the mouth and/or tongue

Diabetes, if left unchecked, can significantly affect your body’s white blood cells, making your body much weaker against infections. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection, which is why those with uncontrolled diabetes are more susceptible to it and also why those with diabetes, in general, tend to suffer from worse cases of gum disease.

If you’re suffering from both diabetes and periodontal disease, it’s important to get treatment. Successful treatment of gum disease can help keep diabetes under control, as any type of infection can cause blood sugar levels to rise. Once the infection is treated, your blood sugar levels may go back down to normal, making it easier to keep your diabetes in check without always having to rely on medication.

Going to the Dentist

The first step in keeping your diabetes under control is to inform your dentist about the history of your condition. Your dentist should know about when it started, when you started taking medication and what sort of medication you are on. Basically, be honest with your dentist because this kind of information will help him or her decide what course of treatment is best for you.

One reason why you want to tell your dentist about the history of your diabetes is because they may accidentally prescribe you medicine that may interfere with your diabetes medication.

Because of your diabetes, your wounds tend to heal much more slowly and you’re more prone to infection. So, as far as dental treatments and recovery goes, be sure to follow your dentist’s recommendations to the letter.

Now, while going to the dentist is a significant step when it comes to having gum disease treated and keeping your diabetes under control, equally as important is the follow-up home care. If you don’t take proper care of your teeth, your diabetes will only get worse and this will only make it harder to control your diabetes.

Brush twice a day and floss once to prevent decay. If you’re suffering from dry mouth, ask our dentist or physician about other means of moistening your mouth. You should also rinse with fluoride mouthwash or gels to further prevent decay.

Minimizing The Risk for Gum Disease

Those with diabetes are more at risk for gum disease than those who are not, due to a combination of many factors. As a result, they have special needs.

Should you be suffering from diabetes, be sure to keep your glucose levels in check at all times and practice proper oral care at home. You should also visit the dentist regularly for checkups and cleaning, as well as make sure that your dentist is well-informed about the history of your disease.

By making sure that you do all those things, you suffering from diabetes should not be synonymous to you also suffering from gum disease.

If you’re have diabetes and would like more information on periodontal disease, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 or visit our website at www.bartzandbartzdental.com to learn more.

Dr. Bartz proudly welcomes patients from Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank and Palos Hills.

How to Treat Bad Breath | Oak Lawn, Il Dentist

Fresh BreathThere are many factors and causes for bad breath. The definition of bad breath, or halitosis, is an unpleasant odor of the mouth. It can occur on occasion, or it can be a chronic condition. It may be caused by foods a person eats, poor oral hygiene, medical conditions, or other factors. Bad breath can be embarrassing and in some cases may even cause anxiety. It’s no wonder that store shelves are overflowing with gum, mints, mouthwashes and other products designed to fight bad breath.

Certain foods, health conditions and habits are among the causes of bad breath. In many cases, you can improve bad breath with consistent proper dental hygiene.

Bad breath can be reduced or prevented if you:

  • Practice good oral hygiene. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque. Brush teeth after you eat (keep a toothbrush at work or school to brush after lunch). Don’t forget to brush the tongue, too. Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months or after an illness. Use floss or an interdental cleaner to remove food particles and plaque between teeth once a day. Dentures should be removed at night and cleaned thoroughly before being placed in your mouth the next morning.
  • See your dentist regularly — at least twice a year. He or she will conduct an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning and will be able to detect and treat periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odor.
  • Stop smoking and chewing tobacco-based products. Ask your dentist for tips on kicking the habit.
  • Drink lots of water. This will keep your mouth moist. Chewing gum (preferably sugarless) or sucking on candy (preferably sugarless) also stimulates the production of saliva, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria. Gums and mints containing xylitol are best.
  • Keep a log of the foods you eat. If you think they may be causing bad breath, bring the log to your dentist to review. Similarly, make a list of the medications you take. Some drugs may play a role in creating mouth odors(Source: WebMD).

Maintaining good oral hygiene, eliminating gum disease and scheduling regular professional cleanings are essential to reducing bad breath. Brush twice a day and clean between your teeth daily with floss. Brush your tongue, too. If you’re constantly use a breath freshener to hide unpleasant mouth odor, see your dentist.

For more information on oral health contact Dr. Bartz at (708) 430-4440 or visit our website at  bartzandbartzdental.com.

Dr. Bartz also welcomes patients from Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank and Palos Hills.