Severe Morning Breath Avoidable, Says Edmond Dentist Dr. Damon R. Johnson, DDS

Edmond DentistSmokers at higher risk of bad breath in the morning, according to Edmond dentist Dr. Damon R. Johnson, DDS.

A Gathering of Experts: Good afternoon, Dr. Johnson, thank you for joining us today. We would like to talk about a rather embarrassing problem: morning breath.

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Uncomfortable as it may be, it’s very common. Everyone experiences morning breath to some level.

A Gathering of Experts: But what causes it?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Bacteria, plain and simple. When you sleep, your salivary glands take a rest, too. Without the extra moisture in your mouth, bacteria thrive.

A Gathering of Experts: Is morning breath more of a problem for some people, more than others?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Yes; smokers, those who snore, mouth breathers, and allergy sufferers are often the most affected.

A Gathering of Experts: How is snoring related to bad breath?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: When you snore, your mouth dries out faster than when you inhale normally. The same applies when you breathe through your mouth at night.

A Gathering of Experts: And smoking…?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Smoking is a double whammy where bad breath is concerned. Aside from having a drying effect, it also increases the temperature of the mouth.

A Gathering of Experts: You mentioned allergies as a contributor to bad breath…?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Yes. When the body responds to an allergen, it creates mucus. This phlegm gets caught in the throat at night and becomes an all-you-can-eat buffet for germs. If the allergies evolve into a sinus infection, the situation gets even worse.

A Gathering of Experts: Let’s talk about solutions. Is bad breath preventable?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: That’s the good news. Yes: It is treatable. All it takes is a little preemptive oral care.

A Gathering of Experts: Like…

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Brushing the teeth regularly is a good start. But, you have to brush for a full two minutes for it to be really effective.

A Gathering of Experts: Why is that?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Studies have found that two minutes is the minimum time required to actually hit every surface of the teeth and tongue.

 A Gathering of Experts: The tongue…?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: The tongue holds 85% of the bacteria that causes bad breath.

A Gathering of Experts: Does flossing help?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Of course! Flossing helps you remove food particles between the teeth that brushing simply can’t reach.

A Gathering of Experts: How about mouthwash?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Yes, but only if used properly and in conjunction with brushing and flossing.

A Gathering of Experts: What’s the proper way?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: You have to start by buying an antibacterial mouthwash. Preferably one that’s ADA approved. Then, rinse the mouth for at least 30 seconds.

A Gathering of Experts: So, a quick swish won’t do the trick?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: I’m afraid not. A few seconds doesn’t give the mouthwash time to kill the bacteria.

A Gathering of Experts: Thank you for your time today. This has been quite informative!

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: My pleasure.

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Preventative Dental Care Begins with Education, says Damon R. Johnson, DDS

Damon R. Johnson, DDS answers common questions regarding preventative dental care and explains why oral hygiene is vital to overall health.

Q: What is preventative dentistry?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: This is the area of dentistry that allows dentists to identify and avert problems before they require costly (and painful) treatment.

Q: What does it consist of?

Edmond OK, dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: First and foremost, patient education. This includes providing information on proper dental care and nutrition. We also educate our patients on the benefits of prophylaxis – preventative care, cleanings, and exams.

Q: Why are regular cleanings important?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Even patients who brush regularly need twice-yearly cleanings to remove plaque build-up. Regular exams also allow us to check for cavities and damage to teeth and gums.

Q: What causes gum disease?

Edmond OK, dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Heavy deposits of plaque along the gum line cause inflammation. This painful, red, and swollen condition is gum disease and it has been linked to other health concerns, including diabetes.

Q: What is the difference between gingivitis and gum disease?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Gingivitis is early-stage periodontal (gum) disease. At this stage, bacteria begins to attack the soft tissue of the gums.

Q: Is gum disease reversible?

Edmond OK, dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: If caught early enough, yes. Otherwise, we must look into restorative dental procedures to get the mouth back to a pre-diseased state.

Q: How has modern technology made preventative dentistry easier?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Medical advancements, such as 3D x-rays and powerful microscopes, allow for a better view and consequently a more thorough analysis of  a patient’s dental state, meaning that we can treat problems sooner.

Q: How do sealants play a role in oral health?

Edmond OK, dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Sealants allow us to cover teeth at-risk for dental caries, also known as cavities, with a special formula to prevent further decay.

Q: Where are sealants used?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Sealants are effective on back teeth, which tend to have grooves that collect debris and breed bacteria.

Q: What is bruxism?

Edmond OK, dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Most people know this as teeth grinding. Bruxism is a common issue that can cause a host of health problems such as migraine headache and tooth damage.

Q: How can a dentist help prevent bruxism?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: We can’t stop a patient from the action of grinding/clenching but we do offer custom night guards to eliminate damage to teeth and ease the tension on muscles around the mouth.

Q: Can mouth guards help athletes on the field?

Edmond OK, dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Yes, a well-fitting mouth guard helps athletes improve their balance. More importantly, they work to prevent or minimize facial trauma.

Q: Are all mouthguards the same?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: No, the best mouth guard is a custom-fitted piece. At Damon R. Johnson, DDS Dental Excellence, we use the Under Armour® Armour BiteTM. This mouthpiece has been praised by both athletes and coaches. For anyone who plays sports, mouth guards are a must.

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