All posts by writeradmin

writeradmin writes blog posts on behalf of Dr. Kevin Peck

Bad Breath

Can you tell me what causes bad breath? I know I’ve got a bad case of it, but I don’t know why. Breath mints don’t help for long.

Name Withheld

Breath mints don’t deal with the causes of bad breath, they just mask it. Beware of just using breath mints over and over. Many of them contain sugars that not only can contribute to bad breath, but can also quickly lead to tooth decay.

Sometimes bad breath can be the result of acid reflux, or an infection such as strep throat. Those causes have medication that can help, but you need to get them diagnosed by a physician.

Other times it is a matter of the types of food you eat, or even oral hygiene issues. First, I’d make sure you are practicing good oral hygiene. Do you brush and floss regularly? If not, start there. You’ll notice a real difference just from that. Even with good hygiene, your mouth is filled with bacteria designed to help break down the proteins in your mouth. As they break down, a sulfur gas is left behind in your mouth which can have a foul odor. There is a Smart Mouth rinse that can eliminate the sulfur gas from forming and prevent bad breath for about twelve hours.

I hope this helps.

You may also be interested in learning about Teeth Whitening.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.

 

Why dental sealants?

My dentist suggests I have dental sealants put on my daughter’s molars. She’s only 7. Do you know why he wants to do this?

Kasie Ann- Baton Rough, LA

Kasie Ann,

Often dentist’s recommend sealants once the child’s molars or pre-molars are erupted. It is important your daughter keep those teeth because her adult molars won’t come in for many years and that space has to be maintained.

It is probable that your daughter has deep pits or grooves in those teeth that a tooth brush will not be able to get to, which will lead to tooth decay.

The sealants are a plastic material that is painted on the chewing surfaces on the teeth and then bonded on. This helps to keep bacteria from penetrating the grooves of the teeth and therefore preventing decay.

You may be interested in reading about dental tips for parents.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.

BPA and sealants

My dentist is recommending getting my youngest daughter’s molars sealed. I’ve heard they contain BPA which has been recently thought to accelerate the onset of puberty. Is that accurate?

A concerned mom

There has been recent public concern over Bisphenol A (BPA) causing accelerated puberty and even potential increase in cancer risk. There are studies currently being conducted. BPA is also used in plastics such as water bottles. While the studies are being conducted, most plastic manufacturers are changing what their products are made from in order to keep the public feeling secure.

Dental sealants are made from plastic, but rarely contain BPA alone. Generally they  contain either Bis GMA or Bis DMA monomers. The Bis GMA seems to be more stable,without breaking down. I’d call your dentist’s office to see which his sealants contain.

There is a lot of benefit in using dental sealants on children. Their molar grooves can be pretty deep, making it difficult to get them clean. The sealants cover those grooves to keep them from getting decay.

I hope this helps. You may also be interested in reading about these dental tips for parents.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.

Retreatment of Root Canal

I have had two retreatments for a root canal. It has started bothering me again. My dentist sent me to an endodontist who said the best treatment option is for me to have the tooth extracted and have a replacement tooth put in. I’d really like to just have it retreated. What do you think I should do?

Brandon S.- Bigelow, AR

Brandon,

The rate of successful root canal re-treatment goes down significantly with each proceeding root canal treatment. The money you would spend on another unsuccessful retreat would be much better spent in having your tooth extracted and then replaced. You can replace it either with a dental implant or a dental bridge.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.

Afraid of getting my wisdom teeth out

My dental x-rays said my wisdom teeth aren’t coming in correctly. I don’t want to have them taken out because I am terrified of being put to sleep. Is there anyway I can just leave them and they can still come in OK?

Miranda R. – Wyoming

Miranda,

First, if the x-rays show that your wisdom teeth are impacted, there is no way they’ll come in properly. You really do need to have them removed or you’ll likely have serious problems later.

To put your mind at ease, bear in mind that you will not have to be put to sleep to have them removed. You can just have a local anesthetic to numb the area and you can be conscious (but pain free) for the entire procedure.

You may also be interested in our teeth whitening service.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.

Do I have to have an extraction?

My upper left molar that we thought needed to be capped because part of it was missing is really starting to radiate pain. The only time I get relief is when I drink something cold. Am I making a mistake just getting it capped? Should I get it extracted?

Julia R.- New Jersey

Julia,

Whether or not you get your tooth extracted is up to you. However, have you looked into saving the tooth? I tend to try to save a tooth whenever possible. Your dentist should give you the pros and cons of every option.

Generally when cold makes tooth pain go away, it is a sign that the tooth is dying inside and needs a root canal treatment. If you did that, you can take care of the pain, get a dental crown, and save your tooth.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.

Chewing gum and bacteria

Would you be willing to help me with a science experiment? I’m testing four different brands of chewing gum: orbit, trident, Big Red and extra. Will you tell me what the ingredient is in chewing gum that kills bacteria?

Albert I.- Pennsylvania

Albert,

What a great idea for a science experiment. You’ll have a more successful project if you use cinnamon flavored gums. The main ingredient in these gums that kill bacteria is cinnamic aldehyde, which is a plant essential oil that’s used for flavoring.

Here is the best way to do the experiment. Swab the mouths of a few of your friends and put their samples in petri dishes.Then have them chew a stick of gum for twenty minutes. Afterward, swab their mouths again and put the samples in another petri dish. After 24 hours check to see which gum is best in reducing mouth bacteria.

Also, you might mention that chewing any gum will reduce the bacteria in your mouth, without the ingredient you find in cinnamon gum. The gum stimulates your saliva production. Your saliva has enzymes and minerals that fight bacteria extremely well.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.

You may also be interested in Mercury-free dentistry.

 

Contagious Gum Disease

Can you tell me if gum disease is contagious?

Kathy S.- Little Rock, AR

Kathy,

No, gum disease is not in and of itself contagious. However, the bacteria the causes gum disease can be passed from one person to another. Some of the ways this happens is by the exchange of saliva that happens when you share a drink or a toothbrush with someone. Even kissing and sneezing can do it.

The key to avoiding gum disease is good oral hygiene. Regular brushing and flossing are essential. Visit your dental office for cleaning every six months. If you have periodontal disease, you may need to go more often for a while.

You can recognize gum disease at home by swollen and bleeding gums. If this has happened, brushing alone won’t fix it. Your dentist can best describe the course of treatment you need depending on how prevalent it is.

You may also be interested in Root Canal Treatment.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.

Inexpensive makeover

I need a way to makeover my smile that doesn’t cost a fortune. Any recommendations?

Syliva A. from Aberdeen, MD

Sylvia,

One of the more affordable ways to give yourself a quick smile makeover is to use teeth whitening. The take home method doesn’t cost a fortune and you should be able to have a white smile in just a few weeks.

Of course, it will not remedy other issues you may have with your smile, such as gaps, chips, or crooked teeth. There are other methods for those type of smile makeovers, but they generally cost more. It would help if I new a specific issue you were wanting to address.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.

 

Whitening a porcelain Crown

If I  have a porcelain crown on one of my front teeth can I still whiten my teeth?

Sandra W. from Alabama

Sandra,

You can have your teeth whitened even with a porcelain crown, however you need to be aware that it will NOT whiten the crown at all. You will want your teeth the same color. The best way to handle this, is to do teeth whitening first. Then, have your crown re-done with the lab matching the porcelain to your new level of whiteness.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentists Kevin and Hillary Peck.