What can cause bad breath? How can I avoid it?

There are a number of factors that may contribute to bad breath (also called halitosis). The following may cause bad breath:

  • Certain foods, such as garlic and onions
  • Untreated periodontal disease or tooth decay
  • Poor oral hygiene habits
  • Dry mouth
  • Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, chronic sinus infections, pneumonia, and liver and kidney problems

Preventing bad breath depends on the cause. We encourage you to maintain good oral hygiene, which includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Avoiding odor-causing foods like garlic and onions can help to keep your breath fresh as well. If your bad breath is caused by untreated gum disease or tooth decay, our dentists can help by treating these conditions and improving your oral health. If you suffer from a medical condition that is causing bad breath, receiving proper treatment from your general physician or other medical professional can improve your breath.

What is cosmetic dentistry? How can it improve the appearance of my smile?

Cosmetic dentistry includes a number of dental treatments aimed at improving your smile’s appearance. With cosmetic dentistry, we are able to correct cosmetic dental flaws and give your smile a more uniform, inviting appearance. Dr. Cooper and Dr. Nebeker may recommend cosmetic dentistry to improve imperfections such as cracked or fractured teeth, gapped teeth, slightly misaligned teeth, broken or chipped teeth, stained or yellowed teeth, and irregularly shaped teeth.

How often do I need to visit the dentist?

We recommend that you visit our office at least twice every year for a routine dental exam and cleaning. These regular visits are important for keeping your smile in good health. If needed, our dentists in Salem, Oregon, may recommend more frequent visits to help you maintain optimal oral health.

My teeth look fine and they don’t hurt. Do I still need to go to the dentist?

Yes, it is essential that you stay current with your regular visits to the dentist. During these routine visits, our team will check for dental damage and disease that may not be readily apparent. By regularly evaluating your oral health, we can make certain that we treat any dental problems as soon as possible, before they become more serious, more damaging, and more painful. Your routine appointments also include a professional dental cleaning, which can help to prevent damaging conditions like tooth decay and periodontal disease.

My teeth are darkened and discolored. How can I whiten my teeth?

We understand that discolored and stained teeth can make you feel self-conscious about your smile’s appearance. We offer professional teeth whitening at Smiles Dental to help you brighten and whiten your smile. In only one or two treatments, you will notice your smile becoming whiter and more radiant!

How can I tell if I have gum disease?

Gum disease (periodontal disease) is a condition that affects the tissues that support your teeth. You may have gum disease if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Sore, tender gums that bleed easily
  • Gums that appear redder than usual
  • Pus around the teeth and gums
  • Loose teeth
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together or the spacing between teeth
  • Swollen gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth

We encourage you to contact our team today if you notice any of these signs. We are committed to helping you improve your oral health.

My gums bleed when I floss and brush. Is this okay?

No, healthy gums do not normally bleed during brushing or flossing. Gums that bleed easily may be a sign of gum disease. We urge you to contact our team to schedule an appointment if you notice that your gums bleed when you floss or brush.

If you have any other questions about dental care, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly team by calling us at Smiles Dental today!