Why Does it Seem Like You Have Bad Breath All the Time?
Posted on May 12, 2022 by Dr. Stephen A. Coates

Bad breath can be very bothersome. When you have bad breath in business and social settings, it can turn people away. As the condition is called, Halitosis may be caused by inadequate oral care habits, dietary issues, or even serious medical conditions like gum disease and untreated wounds in the mouth.

Here Dr. Stephen Coates shares more about bad breath, how to prevent it, and how to treat it when it’s getting you down.

What Causes Halitosis

Bad breath can be caused by several reasons, including:

  • Bacteria: Bacteria live in the mouth and find an agreeable environment to grow due to the moisture and warmth found there. The bacteria feed on food left in your mouth after eating, leaving waste behind.
  • Dry Mouth: When your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, it doesn’t get as clean as it should. The saliva helps wash out the mouth. Medications, salivary gland issues, or mouth breathing can cause dry mouth.
  • Gum Disease: Advanced and even mild gum disease caused by plaque can cause persistent bad breath and an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
  • Leftover Debris: Debris that gets trapped in between the pockets of the teeth can also begin to decay and start to smell. Ill-fitting dentures, cavities, and broken fillings can also leave openings that trap food and bacteria.
  • Tobacco Use: Not only does smoking cause lung cancer, but it also causes stains on your teeth, makes your breath smell bad, and impairs your ability to taste the food you eat.
  • Medical Conditions: Infections in the mouth can cause Halitosis. Sinus issues, reflux, diabetes, liver, oral yeast infections, and kidney disease can also cause your breath to smell bad.
  • Poor Oral Care Habits: Not taking care of your teeth properly can cause decay, plaque, and bacteria to build up and cause a foul odor.

Bad Breath Prevention

Prevention is key, so you must adopt good oral health habits like brushing and flossing twice a day, visiting your dentist for cleanings twice a year, and managing dental problems early on.

Bad Breath Treatment

Treating bad breath often comes down to treating the condition causing it. Antibiotics for infections, adjusting dentures, repairing filings, treating gum disease, or changing medications could help solve the issue of your bad breath. Other times treating bad breath boils down to taking care of your teeth by:

  • Brushing: Ensure that you are not only brushing twice daily but also that you are thoroughly cleaning between your teeth and floss to rid your mouth of bacteria that cause bad breath.
  • Use Mouthwash: Mouthwash can kill bacteria and neutralize bad breath temporarily.
  • Clean Your Dentures: Take out removable dentures each night, clean them well, and store them properly until you need them again in the morning.
  • Encourage Saliva Production: Eat healthy foods, chew them well, try sugar-free gum and candies, and ask your dentist for artificial saliva.
  • Commit to Quitting: It’s time to quit smoking for your oral health and the health of the rest of your body.
  • Keep Up With Regular Dental Appointments: It’s important, and recommended by the American Dental Association, to visit your dentist twice a year for regular cleanings and exams.

To keep bad breath at bay, make an appointment with Dr. Coates and keep up with regular checkups. Our Long Beach, CA dental team is waiting to discuss your symptoms and determine the right approach to treat your bad breath. Call us today at 562-434-6414, or visit us online to schedule your appointment.

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The Link Between Periodontal Disease and Osteoporosis
Posted on May 2, 2022 by Dr. Stephen A. Coates

Osteoporosis and gum disease have been linked together by the bone loss evident in both conditions. Those with gum disease, osteoporosis, or who are suffering from both should understand the clear link between the two conditions.

Osteoporosis

This common metabolic bone disease, occurring primarily in postmenopausal women, is characterized by bone fragility, low bone mass, and decreased bone mineral density. There is an increased risk of fractures, and the condition can also cause issues with oral bone density.

Periodontal Disease

Characterized by progressive loss of gingival tissue in the gums and jawbones, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Toxins in oral plaque become inflamed and irritate the soft tissues in the mouth. Bacteria will eventually colonize, causing the gum and bone tissues to deteriorate.

The Link Between the Two

A University of New York at Buffalo study concluded that postmenopausal women with osteoporosis were 86% more likely to develop periodontal disease. This is caused by estrogen deficiency, which often accompanies menopause. This accelerates the rate of attachment loss, destroying the fibers and tissues that stabilize teeth.

The low mineral bone density that causes osteoporosis also causes inflammation in periodontal disease. The two make ones already weakened to break down. If you have gum disease and other risk factors for osteoporosis, your dentist may ask about your bone health.

How Your Dentist Can Help

Dentists can use several methods to diagnose and treat the diseases: your dentist may be able to diagnose osteoporosis in its initial stages by the quality of bone strength in your mouth. Taking note of oral bone density, your dentist can refer you to your doctor to be screened for osteoporosis. If a diagnosis of osteoporosis and periodontal disease occurs, Dr. Coates can work in tandem with your physician to control both conditions.

  • Routine Digital Dental X-rays – X-rays can be used to screen for bone loss in the upper and lower jaw, and the dentist can provide interventions for preventing and treating periodontal disease. It is believed that minimizing periodontal disease will help treat osteoporosis.
  • Estrogen supplements – Providing postmenopausal women with estrogen supplements lowers the rate of attachment loss and reduces gingival inflammation, which protects the teeth from periodontal disease.
  • Assessment of risk factors – Dentists and physicians can closely monitor the patients at an increased risk of developing both diseases by assessing family and medical history, X-ray results, medications, and modifiable risk factors. Tobacco use, obesity, poor diet, and estrogen deficiency can be managed with education, support, and prescription medications.

Dr. Coates is Ready to Help

Good oral care is a factor in your overall health and well-being. Periodontal disease can contribute to arterial plaque build-up. Research is ongoing, but one thing is evident – proper dental care can help with the onset of osteoporosis.

So, it’s essential to choose the right dental professional and visit them regularly to identify the early signs of periodontal disease and osteoporosis. For more information about the connection between the two and screening methods, make your appointment with Dr. Coates today! You can give our Long Beach office a call at 562-434-6414.

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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Oral Health
Posted on April 20, 2022 by Dr. Stephen A. Coates

Mother’s Day is approaching, and we know how hard it is to find just the right thing to show our appreciation for all of her hard work. Dr. Coates’ team has the gift ideas that will give you the chance to treat her while taking care of her all at the same time.

Oral Health Care Packages

Take your time and pick out some useful dental items to arrange a dental care gift basket for mom. Grab a cute basket, plastic wrap, and ribbon. Include in mom’s gift basket:

  • Mouthwash, for home and on the go
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Electric toothbrush
  • Disposable toothbrushes
  • Healthy Fruits and dark chocolate

Offer a New Spin on Brushing

Present mom with a new electric toothbrush that offers a more thorough clean, leading to a healthier mouth. Consider these electric toothbrushes for mom:

SONICARE Easy Clean: The Easy Clean removes six times more plaque than a regular toothbrush. The Quadspace timer will help her spend the right amount of time on each section of the mouth. It’s even safe to use when wearing orthodontics.

Oral-B Pro 1000 – it offers a reasonable price point, a two-minute timer, and compatibility with several brush heads.

Scrumptious and Healthy Eats

Seafood Brunch: Salmon offers healthy omega-3 to guard against periodontal or gum disease. For dessert, opt for fruit; strawberries are great for whitening teeth.

Dark Chocolates: When enjoyed in moderation, the cocoa in dark chocolate has important vitamins and minerals that can aid in oral health.

Water Flossers

While dental floss is always a good idea, a water flosser like the Waterpik offers a thorough clean. Using a pressurized stream of water, it gets all of the leftover debris that can cause cavities. It’s a perfect choice for moms with mobility or flexibility issues.

Professional Teeth Whitening

Mom always makes sure our pearly whites are in tip-top shape; she may have dropped the ball with her own oral health. Treat her to whiter teeth. Teeth whitening can offer a more attractive smile, a confidence boost, and stain removal.

In-Office Teeth Whitening: For the fastest and most effective whitening treatment, schedule an appointment for mom with Dr. Coates. In just an hour, she will see a visible difference. This non-invasive treatment is completed in two visits starting with the impressions. The second appointment is when Dr. Coates will fit her with her trays. She will wear them with a special whitening solution.

Dr. Coates Wishes You All a Happy Mother’s Day!

We look forward to helping mom maintain her beautiful smile! Our staff is ready to help you make mom’s day special. Call us at 562-434-6414 with any questions about our services and schedule your teeth whitening today.

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Alternative Options to Dental Implants for Children
Posted on April 1, 2022 by Dr. Stephen A. Coates

Even when we take great care of our teeth, tooth loss can happen. Adults often turn to dental implants to replace the missing tooth. But when it comes to your child, dental implants are not the answer.

Here, Stephen Coates, DDS, shares why dental implants are not the appropriate choice for replacing teeth for kids.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are perfect for adults missing one or more teeth for long-term restorative options. They are set in the jawbone, fusing with a patient’s natural bone. They function as a base for supporting artificial teeth. They are the best option for replacing teeth and offer a natural feel and look.

Why Dental Implants Aren’t the Right Choice for Children

For replacing teeth, dental implants aren’t the best option for kids because they are only appropriate if a patient’s jaw has stopped growing. The jaws of kids and teens haven’t hardened completely, so dental implants can shift as their jaw grows. This shifting can cause crooked teeth, pain, and other complications.

The American Academy of Implant Dentistry recommends waiting until after adolescence to install implants. Girls must be at least fifteen to receive a dental implant, and boys must be seventeen. The varying ages are in place as girls tend to develop earlier than boys. Dr. Coates believes that you should wait until your 20’s since he has seen cases where the jaws continue to grow and the implants end up out of position. Sometimes the only way to fix this problem is to remove the implant, graft bone, wait 6 months, and then place a new implant.

Appropriate Kid-Friendly Restoration Services

While a dental implant is not a viable option for kids, there are other options, including:

  • Fixed and Resin Bonded Dental Bridges – This custom-made tooth, when fixed, bonds to your child’s natural tooth to fill the gap and also has a crown for support. The other option for dental bridges is a resin-bonded bridge.
  • Removal Partial Dentures – The removable partial denture will have one or more artificial teeth attached.
  • Braces – The artificial tooth attached to an orthodontic wire can fill the gap, while braces help to correct their crooked teeth and bite issues.
  • Space Maintainers – When a young child loses a tooth, your dentist can place a removable or fixed space maintainer in its place while waiting for the permanent tooth to grow in.

Caring for Your Child’s Teeth

Even when you take care of your child’s teeth, dental emergencies happen. But broken, cracked, and chipped teeth are more likely when we are not adhering to good oral hygiene habits. It’s essential that they brush and floss their teeth and see their dentist twice each year. Dental sealants and fluoride treatments can help to strengthen and protect their teeth.

Dr. Stephen Coates Can Help Restore Your Child’s Smile

If your child loses a tooth, stay calm. When it happens, schedule an emergency dental appointment to discover your options. Dr. Stephen Coates, DDS, and his team are experts in pediatric dentistry and can help you decide the best choice for your child.

To discuss your child’s oral hygiene and child-friendly restoration services and to schedule your child’s appointment, call 562-434-6414 or reach out to us today!

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Is Your Jaw Clicking or Popping? Ask Your Dentist
Posted on March 24, 2022 by Dr. Stephen A. Coates

If you’ve noticed a clicking in your jaw or have experienced pain in your jaw upon waking, this is the post for you. Those with temporomandibular joint pain searching for relief may wonder where they can find it. Some may consider visits to an ENT specialist or neurologist, but very few people think of scheduling an appointment with their dentist.

Here, Dr. Stephen Coates DDS shares more information about the condition and treatment options.

What is TMJ?

Temporomandibular joints are found on the sides of your head, connecting your jaw to your skull. They are responsible for your ability to open and close your mouth, chew, and talk. Disorders related to these joints are associated with TMJ.

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome (TMDS) affects a wide range of people. It can hamper the enjoyment of daily life and should be addressed early on.

Symptoms

Symptoms of TMDS include popping, clicking, or locking of the jaw. Some patients experience pain in the head and ears and tenderness in the jaw.

What Causes TMDS?

While there is usually no apparent reason for TMDS, the issue could have originated due to injury or dislocation of the jaw, constant teeth clenching, arthritis, a sleep breathing disorder, virus (HSV, shingles), and poor tooth or jaw alignment.

Diagnosing TMDS

Your dental professional will start with an examination, listen to your jaw, and observe your range of motion. They will next use dental x-rays, a CT scan, or MRI. Patients who visit Dr. Coates receive a thorough examination, and he uses an assessment of x-rays and patient history to make the correct diagnosis and offer treatment recommendations.

Treatment Options

If you are diagnosed with TMDS, the condition should receive treatment as it worsens over time or in stressful times. If left untreated, TMDS could cause erosion in the jawbone and loosening of the teeth. Dentists are your best option for treatment as they are specifically trained in the anatomy of the jaw and experts and diagnosing bite dysfunctions.

Dr. Coates can offer a custom-molded bite guard to counter teeth grinding during the night. He also can perform a bite relationship analysis and MAGO Splint Therapy for up to six months to return the joints to a stable position. BOTOX® therapy can help you relax your jaw muscles. Precision bite adjustments alleviate TMJ symptoms and improve the look of your smile. Dr. Coates can also screen for sleep breathing disorders which can trigger TMDS.

Dr. Coates may recommend orthodontic treatment to help realign your teeth and jaw. There are also a few simple at home treatments, including hot & cold pack application, anti-inflammatory medications, and relaxation techniques.

Turn to Dr. Stephen Coates DDS for TMJ Relief

Our dental team in Long Beach, CA is ready to discuss your symptoms and coordinate the right approach to treating your condition. Call our office today at 562-434-6414 or schedule your appointment online.

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