Smile Consultation: (651) 699-2822

 Persistent bad breath, or halitosis, is a very common complaint that is thought to affect millions of people, including as much as 25 to 50 percent of middle-aged and older adults. It’s the driving force behind the market for breath mints and mouth rinses, with an estimated value of $3 billion annually. The St. Paul Family Dentist sees all sorts of patients with bad breath, so you’re hardly alone.

Can bad breath come from somewhere other than the mouth?

Most of the time, bad breath does originate in the mouth; its characteristic smell is often caused by volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), which have a foul odor. However, it can also come from the nose, possibly as a result of a sinus infection or a foreign body. In some cases, pus from the tonsils can cause halitosis. There are also a few diseases that sometimes give your breath an unpleasant odor.

What exactly causes the mouth to smell bad?

In a word: bacteria. Millions of these microorganisms (some of which are harmful, and some helpful) coat the lining of the mouth and the tongue. They thrive on tiny food particles, remnants of dead skin cells, and other material.

When they aren't kept under control with good oral hygiene and regular visits to the St. Paul Family Dentist — or when they begin multiplying in inaccessible areas, like the back of the tongue or under the gums — they may start releasing the smells of decaying matter.

Other issues can also contribute to a malodorous mouth. These include personal habits (such as tobacco and alcohol use), consumption of strong-smelling foods (onions and cheese, for example), and medical conditions, like persistent dry mouth (xerostomia).

What can I do about my bad breath?

Those breath mints are really just a cover-up. Your best bet is to come in to our dentist office for an examination. We have several ways of finding out exactly what’s causing your bad breath, and then treating it.

Depending on what’s best for your individual situation, we may offer oral hygiene instruction, a professional cleaning, or treatment for gum disease or tooth decay. Bad breath can be an embarrassing problem — but we can help you breathe easier. 

 In the past if you had a cavity, your only option was a metal filling. But today you have a more attractive option: tooth-colored composite fillings. The results are so remarkable that many patients wonder if they should proactively replace all their metal fillings with composites.

It’s a choice that patients should make in consultation with their St. Paul Family Dentist. We can explain the ins and outs of tooth-colored fillings as well as discuss when replacing metal fillings is appropriate.

Benefits of Composite Fillings

Composites are a relatively new choice, but one that has quickly climbed in popularity for a number of reasons. A prime consideration for many patients is appearance. Restorations with composites create a tooth-colored repair that blends in with other teeth, avoiding the harsh and unattractive appearance of metal.

But composites have other advantages as well. In addition to looking natural and visually blending in with other teeth, composites:

  • Do not contain mercury
  • Bond to the tooth and strengthen it
  • Require less of the tooth to be removed to place the filling
With so many advantages, you may be weighing the benefits of swapping out your metal fillings for this more attractive option.

Reasons to Replace Amalgam Fillings

If you are thinking about replacing metal fillings, here are typical reasons to update them:

Fractured Teeth: We see many patients with amalgam fillings who have cracks all around their teeth. Why? When a dentist removes the cavity and prepares the tooth for an amalgam filling, a certain amount of tooth structure must be – removed. With composite fillings, our dentist can be conservative, and we are "bonding" to the tooth - so it becomes stronger.

Age: All fillings get old and at some point need to be replaced. Loose fillings allow bacteria to invade a tooth and introduce new decay. If your metal fillings are old, now may be the perfect time to swap them for tooth-colored composite ones.

Leakage: Amalgam fillings are not bonded to tooth structure, so overtime saliva, food, bacteria can creep down the margin of the filing into the tooth and set up tooth decay.

Cosmetic Reasons: Metal fillings were designed for function, not beauty. But in our telegenic world, many people believe an attractive smile is an important benefit that tooth-colored fillings provide.

Please Contact Us for More Information

If you’d like more information about the removal of your tooth-colored fillings, please contact the St. Paul Family Dentist, and we’ll be happy to arrange a consultation.

Two of our primary goals are preserving your natural smile and delivering comfortable, state-of-the-art care. Ozone dentistry is a revolutionary service that’s helping us accomplish these goals every day. Dental ozone is one of healthcare’s latest advances in the US. It has been used safely and successfully in Europe for many years.

Ozone dentistry offers a safe way to treat your cavities and gum disease, reverse decay, and increase your healthy tissue — pain-free. Our St. Paul Family Dentist provides painless care that’s also less invasive. What’s more, it can be used in a variety of cases, from general to restorative and cosmetic services.

What is Dental Ozone?

Dental ozone is very simply a high-energy oxygen. Your body’s white blood cells make ozone all the time. It is the ammunition your immune system uses to fight infection. Medical/dental oxygen/ozone has been shown to be an effective anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral treatment agent.

Ozone increases circulation and oxygenation to the treatment area. It increases your body’s immune response and creates an environment for the production of anti-oxidants. Dental applications include: Treating cold sores, fever blisters, sensitive teeth, and tooth decay (caries.)

What does Ozone Dentistry Treat?

Ozone dentistry actually has many uses:

  • Sterilizing root canals prior to filling
  • Infusion of chronically infected root canals
  • Reducing periodontal infection/inflammation
  • Accelerate post-surgery healing

However, one of the most popular uses for ozone dentistry is treating cavities. When used to treat cavities, ozone works by killing all bacteria and viruses and promoting a re-mineralization process that heals the tooth.

What are the Benefits of Ozone Dentistry?

Among the most attractive benefits is that ozone dentistry is non-invasive, comfortable, and affordable. What’s more ozone disinfects on contact, meaning a procedure that might’ve previously taken 30 minutes or an hour now takes only a few minutes to complete.

Please Contact Us for More Information

If you’d like to learn more about ozone dentistry and its benefits, please give us a call. We’ll be happy to arrange a complimentary consultation with our dentist.

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