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Bad Breath and Bacteria

Bad breath happens. If you’ve ever gotten that not-so-fresh feeling on a date, at a job interview or just talking with friends, you’re not alone. Studies show that 50 percent of adults have had bad breath, or halitosis, at some point in their lives. There are a number of reasons you might have breath odour. While many causes are harmless, it can sometimes be a sign of something more serious.

Bacteria

Bad breath can happen anytime thanks to the hundreds of types of bacteria that naturally lives in your mouth. Your mouth also acts like a natural hothouse that allows these bacteria to grow. When you eat, bacteria feed on the food left in your mouth and leaves a foul-smelling waste product behind.

Dry Mouth

Feeling parched? Your mouth might not be making enough saliva. Saliva is important because it works around the clock to wash out your mouth. If you don’t have enough, your mouth isn’t being cleaned as much as it should be. Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems or by simply breathing through your mouth.

Gum Disease

Bad breath that just won’t go away or a constant bad taste in your mouth can be a warning sign of advanced gum disease, which is caused by a sticky, cavity-causing bacteria called plaque.

Food

Garlic, onions, coffee… The list of breath-offending foods is long, and what you eat affects the air you exhale.

Smoking and Tobacco

Smoking stains your teeth, puts you at risk for a host of health problems and contributes to mouth odour. Tobacco reduces your ability to taste foods and irritates gum tissues, tobacco users are also more likely to suffer from gum disease.

Medical Conditions

If your dentist has ruled out other causes and you brush and floss every day, your bad breath could be the result of another problem, such as a sinus condition, gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease. In this case, see your healthcare provider.

How Can I Keep Bad Breath Away?

Brush and Floss

Brush twice daily and floss to get rid of odour causing bacteria.

Mouthwash

Over-the-counter mouthwashes can help kill bacteria or neutralize and temporarily mask bad breath. The longer you wait to brush and floss away food in your mouth the more likely the odour will return.

Clean Your Dentures

If you wear dentures be sure to take them out at night and clean them thoroughly before using them again the next morning.

Keep That Saliva Flowing

To get more saliva moving in your mouth, try eating healthy foods that require a lot of chewing like carrots or apples. You can also try chewing sugar free gum or sucking on sugar-free candies.

Quit Smoking

Giving up smoking is good for your body in many ways. Not only will you have better breath, you’ll have a better quality of life.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly

If you’re concerned about what’s causing your bad breath, make an appointment to see your dentist. Regular checkups allow your dentist to detect any problems such as gum disease or dry mouth and stop them before they become more serious. By determining your mouth is healthy your dentist can refer you to your primary care doctor for tests.

Vaping and Cavities – What you need to know

A vaping habit could end up leading to a tarnished smile, and more frequent visits to the dentist.

Research from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine found patients who used vaping devices have a higher risk of developing cavities. With CDC surveys reporting that 9.1 million American adults — and 2 million teenagers — use tobacco-based vaping products, that means a lot of vulnerable teeth.

The association between vaping and risk of cavities serve as an alert that this once seemingly harmless habit may be very detrimental.

Over the last few years, public awareness has increased about the dangers of vaping to health, particularly after the use of vaping devices was tied to lung disease. Some dental research has shown ties between e-cigarette use and increased markers for gum disease, and, separately, damage to the tooth’s enamel. But relatively little emphasis has been placed on the intersection between e-cigarette use and oral health, even by dentists.

The recent findings of the research may be just a hint of the damage vaping causes to the mouth. “The extent of the effects on dental health, specifically on dental decay, are still relatively unknown,” lead researcher, Karina Irusa says.

This study, Irusa says, is the first known specifically to investigate the association of vaping and e-cigarettes with the increased risk for getting cavities. She and her colleagues analyzed data from more than 13,000 patients older than 16 who were treated at Tufts dental clinics from 2019-2022.

While the vast majority of the patients said they did not use vapes, there was a statistically significant difference in dental caries risk levels between the e-cigarette/vaping group and the control group. Some 79% of the vaping patients were categorized as having high-caries risk, compared to just about 60% of the control group.

One reason why e-cigarette use could contribute to a high risk of cavities is the sugary content and viscosity of vape liquid, which, when aerosolized and then inhaled through the mouth, sticks to the teeth. Vaping aerosols have been shown to change the oral microbiome making it an ideal host to decay-causing bacteria. It’s also been observed that vaping seems to encourage decay in areas where it usually doesn’t occur, such as the bottom edges of front teeth.

“It takes a lot of investment of time and money to manage dental caries, depending on how bad it gets,” Irusa says. “Once you’ve started the habit, even if you get fillings, as long as you continue, you’re still at risk of secondary caries. It’s a vicious cycle that will not stop.”

Restoration Care – Care for your restorations

HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR NEW RESTORATION.

Congratulations on your new veneer, crown, or bridge!

By following some simple guidelines you can extend the life of your crown, bridge, or veneer:

PREVENT FRACTURES
While our lab uses the highest quality materials, it doesn’t mean your veneers, crowns, or bridges are unbreakable. Stress can trigger clenching and teeth grinding which puts extreme pressure on your teeth and restorations. This can cause cracks and fractures to your teeth and veneers.
If you grind your teeth at night it is important to discuss this with Dr. Shahriary and have a night guard fabricated. Similarly, it is important to wear a sports guard when participating in contact sports.
Many people use their teeth to break tags from clothing, open packages, bite their nails, etc.

Teeth are not pliers or tools; and using them as such puts you at high risk of breaking your restorations AND your natural teeth.

HYGIENE
You can still develop tooth decay even when you have veneers, crowns, or bridges. The margin where the restoration meets your natural teeth is a particularly susceptible area. Protect your investment by flossing everyday, brushing twice a day, cleaning under your bridge, and having regular cleaning and check ups. Healthy, pink gums are the clearest indicator of a healthy smile.
Always tell your new dentist or hygienist if you have veneers, crowns, or bridges. Lab work has become so detailed that it can be difficult to tell which teeth are restored and which are natural!

Call us today to book an appointment to discuss your dental needs. We want to help you achieve the smile you have always dreamed of!

Saba Sets Sail with Dr. Shahriary’s Office

Chances are, if you have had a crown or bridge done in our office in the last few years it was made by Nassar at Saba Dental Lab. This August, our office was fortunate enough to be invited out on Nassar’s sail boat for an evening of delicious food and gorgeous sights in Deep Cove.

Dr. Ross helped Nassar dock the boat and fuel while Morgan and Nada earned their “sea legs”. Beth and Dani soaked up the child-free sunshine. A great time was had by all.

While on a quick stop over at Arm’s Reach Bistro for appetizers and drinks, Dr. Ross and Nassar realized they had a connection back home in Iran. Nassar’s lab used to make crown and bridge work for the hospital that Ross’s father helped build!

We feel so fortunate to have beautiful  Saba work in our patient’s mouths. His crowns and bridges look natural, they’re durable, and are of exceptional quality.

 

Insurance Coverage – What you need to know.

Dental insurance can be extremely confusing, after all, our front desk staff had to complete a certification program to be able to deal with it! But here is some useful information about how plans work and the terms they use to help you navigate the world of dental coverage. Please remember to always read your benefits booklet at the start of a new plan to familiarize yourself with it’s limitations.

Benefit Year: Your plan benefits are payable each benefit year. Often this aligns with the calendar year (January 1 – December 31) but sometimes a benefit year can start at a different point in the year and run for 12 months. IE: July 1 – June 30. Your maximums will reset at the start of each benefit year.

Deductible: A deductible is a set amount of money you must pay upfront at the beginning of your benefit year. Your plan may have an individual deductible and a family deductible. For example, the individual deductible is $25 and the family deductible is $50. This means that the first 2 visits to the clinic by any family members will have $25 charged to them. Now the $50 family deductible has been paid and no other family members will have to pay $25 for this benefit year.

Dependant: Someone who has coverage under your plan, for example a spouse or child.

Basic Services: Basic services are procedures done in office like cleanings, exams, fillings, x-rays, and even root canals*

*some insurance companies will consider root canals, extractions, and other procedures as major services. But the listed procedures are most commonly considered basic services.

Major Services: Major services are more involved procedures such as crowns, bridgework, dentures, and gum surgery. These are often covered at a lower percentage than basic services.

Maximum: The maximum on your plan is the dollar amount your insurance will pay towards your dental work each benefit year. You may have a separate maximum for basic and major procedures. IE: Basic max: $1,000 per benefit year, Major max: $1,500 per benefit year. OR you might have a combined maximum meaning all procedures, whether basic or major are limited to the dollar amount detailed under your plan.

Units of time: Time units are often used when describing limitations on cleanings. 1 unit = 15 minutes of time. So your insurance company may limit you to 13 units of scaling and root planing (two types of cleaning your hygienist performs) per benefit year. This means your insurance will pay for 195 minutes of cleaning every benefit year. For people with mild-moderate tartar build up this equates to 4 cleanings. Included in the scaling and root planing time is oral hygiene instruction. If your hygienist spends 5 minutes “scraping” your teeth and 10 minutes explaining how to better brush or care for your mouth, this is considered a chargeable 1 unit (15 minutes) of time.

Predetermination: A predetermination is a request to do a procedure that will cost over $500. For example, we send a predetermination to your insurance company when we would like to place a crown in your mouth. We tell them how much our work costs and how much we think the lab work will cost. We attach x-rays and any information proving that the procedure is necessary. From there the company will decide if they will approve the work for payment. Due to privacy reasons, many insurance companies will provide their predetermination statement (with explanation of allowable payment) directly to the patient, and not to our office.

Cost differences: Occasionally your plan will pay alternate or less expensive procedures in place of the work we actually did. The most common example of this is when we do a white filling and your plan only covers amalgam (silver) fillings. Lets say the cost of a white filling is $200 and the cost of a silver filling is $180; there is a $20 cost difference. Even if you plan covers 100% of basic services there will be a $20 portion owing as they only covered 100% of the cost of a silver filling.

Fee guide: Each year in February the BC Dental Association issues a fee guide outlining the cost of each procedure. Most procedures increase in cost incrementally each year to keep up with the cost of supplies and overhead for the office. Some plans pay the previous year’s fee guide meaning there will always be a cost difference to you. Ministry plans follow a different fee guide, if you have a ministry plan, please contact our office to discuss your coverage.

Limits: Some procedures have limitations for how often they can be done. An example of this is your “recall” exam which accompanies a cleaning. Sometimes you are limited to 1 paid recall exam every 6 months, or it could even be once every 9 months or year.

Assignment of Benefits: This is one of the most confusing aspects of an insurance plan. While our office is happy to accept payment for your work on your behalf from the insurance company, not every plan allows this. This is called assignment of benefits. Some plans do not allow assignment of benefits and instead require the patient to pay for their work upfront to the dental office then submit claims and receipts. The company then reimburses you directly.

Regardless of your insurance plan, it is important to remember that as your health care provider we are here to serve what is best for your oral health, and not just what is “allowed” by your plan. We always try our best to work within your plan’s limitations but some of the work we recommend may not be covered by your insurance. We will provide an estimate to you and explain thoroughly why we feel the work is needed.

As always, we strive to provide caring and conscientious dental care.

Costumes Inspired by your Dental Office!

Not sure which costume to buy this year? Need some last minute inspiration? We’ve got you! No one else at the party will be wearing these!

Darla from Finding Nemo

Costume

Who could forget Darla the “Fish Killer” from Finding Nemo? She’s the niece of Dr. P. Sherman (42 Wallaby Way, Sydney) and with a Dentist for an Uncle you know she’s getting a deep discount on that headgear!

Toothbrush, Toothpaste, and Tooth

The classic trio. If you’re looking for group costumes, this is a combo that’s sure to stand out. You might even remind your friends to brush after all of that sticky candy you’ll be eating Halloween night.

Gag Teeth

Costume

Now this is crazy – kudos to the parents who spent the time to make this get-up. No one else in their class will have this costume.

The Tooth Fairy

Of course, you could go with the traditional beautiful woman in a tutu with wings and a tooth wand – but there’s something hilarious about a grown man in a leotard.

Your Dentist, of course!

Costume

This year a costume that already incorporates a mask is PERFECT.

And finally the scariest costume of all…

The Patient

Costume

She tells you she flosses everyday, but her gums say otherwise. Nothing is scarier to a hygienist than this patient!

 

Whatever you go as this Halloween, be safe, have fun, and give us a call if all the sweets give you a tooth ache!

 

Happy Halloween from Dr. Shahriary and Staff!

Iconic Teeth From Your Favourite Movies

Halloween is coming up – this year your costume can be instantly recognizable with some iconic teeth! Movies and TV shows use prosthetic teeth, natural imperfections in the actors teeth, and make up to give their characters a distinct look.

Winifred Sanderson, Hocus Pocus

The oldest of the Sanderson sisters was obsessed with beauty and youth so it makes sense that the costume designers gave her comically large teeth that don’t meet “conventional” beauty standards.

Austin Powers, The Austin Powers movies

Powers’ bad teeth were created by a dental technician named Gary Archer. Mike Myers came to Archer and told him, “I want bad British 1960s teeth”, based on a widely-held stereotype. Archer took pictures and made drawings of British patrons at an English pub that he often visited and the pictures became the inspiration for the final design Archer showed Myers, resulting in his iconic smile.

Lloyd Christmas, The Dumb and Dumber movies

When Jim Carrey was a child he got into a fight, resulting in the chip in his front tooth. The tooth was capped and Carrey had it temporarily removed to portray Lloyd Christmas.

The Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland

Johnny Depp has said the Mad Hatter’s iconic smile was inspired by comedian Terry Thomas’ diastema. In an interview Depp said, “the French call the teeth with the gap in the middle ‘les dents de bonheur’ – ‘the teeth of happiness’,”. A fitting inspiration for the (sometimes) jovial Mad Hatter.

Harry Lyme, Home Alone 1 and 2.

Harry’s gold tooth plays an important role in his identification. When he first enters the McCallister’s house impersonating a police officer, Kevin notices his gold tooth when he smiles. As a result when Kevin is almost hit by Harry and Marv’s van Harry smiles at him again and Kevin notices the gold tooth, blowing his cover as a police officer.

Stu Price, The Hangover

Did Ed Helms REALLY pull out his own tooth for a movie role?! Well, kind of! When Helms was a teenager he had a dental implant placed. Instead of blacking out a tooth for the movie he decided to talk to his dentist to see if he could have the 20 year old implant crown temporarily removed. His dentist agreed to remove it and the rest is movie history!

Belletrix Lestrange, Harry Potter Movies

Though Belletrix’s rotten teeth are never specified in J.K. Rowlings’ book, actress Helena Bohnam Carter felt the gnarly teeth would give her character a feral look. As Bellatrix had spent so much time in prison, Carter felt her teeth should look savage and deranged as she hoped to portray her as such.

Dracula – 1958 Starring Christopher Lee

Vampire fangs have an interesting history in Hollywood as most people associate fangs with Bela Lugosi’s popular 1931 portrayal. Lugosi, however, never wore fangs in his role as Dracula. In the era before microphones actors needed to enunciate for optimal clarity; prosthetic fangs impeded this greatly. Fangs were not popularized in vampire films until Christopher Lee’s iconic portrayal in 1958.

Let us clean up your “fangs”! Call today to book an appointment.

Happy Holidays from Dr.Ross and Staff

Wishing you a sparkling holiday season 

May your smiles be Merry and White!

   

 

Snoring and dental problems

If you don`t have good oral health, it can be the reason for your Sleep Apnea.

You can sometimes find early signs of a sleep disorder by visiting your Dentist.

The first sign of having sleep apnea is tooth grinding  (bruxism). Grinding can cause tooth wear and breakage as well as inflamed and receding gums.

A spike in cavities can also be a sign of grinding.

Sometimes mouth`s anatomy and sinuses and Sometimes the eruption of the wisdom teeth can be the reason for snoring.

When the tooth has partially erupted, this causes a flap of tissue to become infected and swollen.

Because of this condition, patients may sleep with their mouth open, leading to snoring.

Snoring also can be caused by a number of factors like allergies, a cold, overweight, or alcohol consumption.

Other risk factors that contribute to what causes snoring include the following:

Being male, Being 40 years of age or older, Pregnancy and family history of snoring.

 

There are approved oral appliances available to help with snoring.

Your dentist can make you a custom snoring device, but only after you have been officially diagnosed with an oral problem. This oral appliance is a device that fits like a retainer and looks like a mouth guard. It supports your jaw and tongue to maintain an open upper airway.

 

There are several benefits to using a custom-made snoring device over store-bought ones, including:

– The device is much more effective than any prefabricated one because

it’s specially designed for your mouth.

– A custom snore guard will last definitely longer than that one you can get over the counter.

– They are portable, so you can take them with you while traveling.

–  Oral appliances are far more comfortable than wearing a mask!

 

Why water is the right choice for your oral health?

– Drinking water helps prevent cavities and staining

For drinking sugary drinks you need to know that the sugars combine with the bacteria in your mouth and form acids that make cavities in your teeth. Having the occasional soda or sports drink is OK, Just when you make sure that drinking water is a regular part of your day!

Also, when you are outside until you can get home to brush and floss, drinking a glass of water and swishing it around a little in your mouth after having food, definitely helps a lot.

– Drinking water fights bad breath

Do you know why so many of us get “morning breath”? it`s because of the Bactria which grows in Dry mouth. You can stop morning breath by keeping hydrated with water. This also helps to produce saliva to wash away any lingering food particles that could contribute to bad breath or tooth decay.

– Fluoridated water helps fight tooth decay and cavities, especially with children!

Fluoride strengthens the tooth structure, making the entire tooth more resistant to decay. It also can repair the early stages of tooth decay.

Don’t forget to visit your dentist every six months for a dental exam and cleaning to make sure your smile stays healthy and strong.