What Causes Bad Breath?

2018-06-29 17:57:25 admin
Bad Breath
“Hey, what’s that smell? … I’m not so sure it’s the onions you had on that pizza this afternoon – it might be that you’ve just got bad breath.”

Has a friend ever shared this kind of news with you? Probably not. Most of us go about our daily lives unaware the brilliant sentences we speak, are also being delivered with an accompanying odor …  of significantly, less brilliance. Yuck! But, don’t fret my pet! Even thought bad breath can be embarrassing, it can also be addressed once its underlying cause is known. Let’s take a look at some of those reasons, and learn some tips that’ll help you be the one with the freshest breath in the room.

What Causes Bad Breath?

The causes of bad breath range from the simple to the serious. Most often, it’s the result of gum disease brought on by inadequate brushing and flossing. Gum disease has its own special smell…as does rotting teeth. Halitosis (bad breath) can also be caused by certain foods you consume (like garlic and onions), acid reflux, post-nasal drip, sinusitis and tonsoliths(tonsil stones).  More seriously, however, illnesses such as cancer and diabetes can present themselves in this way, so it’s important to visit a dentist if your breath issues are long lasting.

Tips to Keep the Bad Breath Monster Away

Outside a visit to your dentist, a few simple tricks will help you care for your mouth in ways that can translate into fresh breath:

  • Floss daily, or use a water irrigation tool, like a Waterpik.
  • When brushing, don’t forget to brush your tongue and the inside of your cheeks.
  • Purchase an inexpensive tongue-scraper and use it as part of your nightly routine. A scraper will allow you to reach the very back of your tongue that is difficult to reach with a brush.
  • Get regular cleanings from your dental hygienist to keep plaque and gingivitis at bay.
  • And, avoid smoking or too much alcohol. Both dry out your mouth which can lead to bad breath, and can contribute to a higher incidence of oral cancer.

These days, we understand finding the time to stay on top of your oral hygiene can be a challenge. But, the rewards are well worth it. You’ll have less dental expense, a beautiful smile, and fresh breath that will keep you kissable all year round.


Family dental care and cosmetic dentistry and dental implants.

Blue Apple Dental Group
6230 State Farm Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 795-4523

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To Bone Graft or Not to Bone Graft

2018-06-29 17:53:33 admin

bone graft

When we experience the loss of a tooth, either through trauma or decay, the bone that surrounds the tooth undergoes a remarkably quick process known as resorption. This is where the bone is broken down at the cellular level and dispersed elsewhere throughout the body.

Essentially, because the body believes it no longer needs this bony material due to the tooth’s absence, it reclaims this material into the body for other use.

While this might sound like nothing to worry about, it is often that I like to suggest socket preservation to prevent a host of further complications that accompany this rather intriguing bit of biological science.

What Is Socket Preservation?

Socket preservation is another name for what is clinically known as a bone graft. Essentially, it’s a material for filling in the hole where the tooth used to reside, so it can heal in preparation for later treatment.

If nothing were done to stop this dissipation of bone it would likely destabilize your neighboring teeth. This would make future implants and other forms of prosthetic devices unlikely to work or look less natural and attractive.

Aside from the clinical consequences of bone loss, what might concern you more is the fact that the bone height determines our facial features, and a loss of that height due to an unpreserved socket can alter one’s appearance dramatically. Because of this, many dentists prefer to proactively stunt this resorption by using a bone graft.

There are four types of bone grafts that can be used at the time of the extraction, to preserve ridge integrity. They are:

  • Autograft: Bone harvested from patient’s own body
  • Xenograft: Bone grafts or collagen from bovine or porcine origin
  • Allograft: Block bone graft from a cadaver
  • Alloplast: Synthetic biomaterials such as PLGA, hydroxyapatite, tricalcium phosphate, bioglass – ceramics, etc.

Generally speaking, a bone graft is a surgical procedure where one of the above materials is layered into the socket where the tooth used to exist.

There is a great variety to the type and procedure involved in bone grafts, and much is dependent on the condition and type of bone with, the quality of the extraction performed, your overall health, your oral health, and the type of material to be used.

However, since preserving the bony ridge of your mouth is critical to future restorative work and your appearance, it is wise to consider the procedure if recommended. The benefits of socket preservation are many.. and most important of them is the overall continual health of the other teeth in your mouth.

If you are considering dental implants or going to have a tooth pulled, ask your dentist if you have more questions about this procedure.  If you are considering dental implants, I welcome you to come visit our office for a no cost consultation.  Let’s meet and chat about your smile goals and see what is possible to design a beautiful smile for you.

Be Well.

Dr. Lieu

Family dental care and cosmetic dentistry and dental implants.

Blue Apple Dental Group
6230 State Farm Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 795-4523

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Can Bad Oral Health Signal Celiac Disease?

2018-06-05 20:47:29 admin

celiac diseaseCeliac disease includes 300+ symptoms ranging from abdominal distress to irritability and depression. It is caused by a severe intolerance to gluten, and can affect the body so diversely that even the tooth enamel of a celiac isn’t spared.

Undiagnosed in 83% of all cases, Celiac disease is worthy of your attention – particularly when the end result can be multiple tooth extractions and dentures at an early age.

What is Celiac Disease?

Basically, Celiac sufferers have an intestinal intolerance to gluten that causes damage to the surface of the small intestine. This reduces the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients through the gut, which can result in bad mood, bad skin, bad everything … including bad teeth.

In patients with Celiac, enamel defects are common in 85% of cases. That’s a staggering statistic, and one you’re going to want to stay ahead of if you’d like to keep your teeth.

Know the Symptoms of Celiac Disease

Understandably, any long list of symptoms can be attributed to a wide variety of concerns both benign and serious. In considering the list below, it will be beneficial to look for those symptoms that overlap or are chronic in nature.

Here are Celiac’s top sixteen symptoms:

  1. Bloating or Gas
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Constipation
  4. Fatigue
  5. Itchy Skin Rash
  6. Tingling/Numbness
  7. Pale Mouth Sores
  8. Joint Pain
  9. Delayed Growth
  10. Poor Weight Gain
  11. Thin Bones
  12. Infertility
  13. Headaches
  14. Depression
  15. Irritability
  16. Discolored Teeth

The above list is from The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. For more, visit Celiac Central.

Consider Your Oral Health Diagnosis

Dentists are excellent triage doctors for a host of illnesses. The mouth truly is the window to the body.

However, not all dentists have Celiac on their radar, so remember, you alone are your best care provider!

Overly-frequent bouts with cavities, root canals, canker sores, or patchy, ill-formed teeth can all indicate a more insidious problem, especially if you feel your taking good care of your teeth.

So, if your dentist is talking with you about these symptoms over and over again (even if they’re not suggesting Celiac), you should consider getting tested to rule out the disease.

Take Action

Get tested.

If you think you may have the disease, and most certainly if care providers are suggesting you might, you owe it to yourself to get tested.

simple genetic test can rule out whether you’re at risk for celiac, and inform you as to whether you need additional testing.

Gluten is everywhere. And no amount of gluten is worth the range of symptoms you can be afflicted with if you have undiagnosed Celiac.

So, consider your health, consider the test, and be safe!


Family dental care and cosmetic dentistry and dental implants.

Blue Apple Dental Group
6230 State Farm Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 795-4523

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Frequent Headaches? The Cause May Be in Your Mouth

2018-06-05 20:28:44 admin

Frequent HeadachesDid you know that in many cases, frequent, or even constant headache pain can be treated more effectively by your dentist, instead of by your GP? Headaches are strange beasts. Their cause is often elusive, and they can range from mildly irritating to unrelentingly painful. Since frequent headaches can interfere with your quality of life, if you experience pain that remains after treatment from a physician, you might wish to see your dentist. After all, you may be suffering from what is called a “dental headache.”

What Can Trigger a Dental Headache?

Most dental headaches are classified as tension headaches, and are the result of muscular tension that builds up in the region of the face and jaw. Frequently, this tension is a symptom of malocclusion, or – to put it simply – a bad bite.

All sorts of things can cause a bad bite, including previous dentistry, orthodontics or incoming wisdom teeth. Having a bad bite essentially means the chewing surfaces of the teeth do not meet along a smooth curve when the jaw is shut. This causes the muscles in the jaw to continually overcompensate for the imbalance, resulting in pain and soreness that radiates throughout the head.

Understanding Referred Pain

This radiating of headache pain is part of why a headache can be difficult to diagnose. Because of the complex nerve structure in this region of the body, where pain is often referred from its place of origin to other locations throughout the skull, patients experiencing such pain can unwittingly steer a doctor away from a proper diagnosis by merely focusing on the localization of the pain.

So, in instances of referred pain, even though we may be experiencing discomfort in the temple region of our head, for example, the true origin of the pain may be in the musculature surrounding the jaw and the result of an improper bite.

The good news is, malocclusion can be fixed rather easily by reshaping teeth that might be too high, or by wearing an orthotic that corrects your bite over time.

TMJ and Bruxism

Two other issues we see in the dental world that can result in frequent and/or constant headaches are Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD) and teeth grinding (Bruxism).  Watch this video to learn more about how teeth wear and break down over time.

TMJD occurs as a result of problems with the mechanism of the jaw and its surrounding muscles, and 99% of the time is the result of an injury to the joint. Anything from whiplash to sports trauma, or even something as simple as having your mouth extended too wide for too long in your dentist’s office can trigger TMJ.

If you experience frequent “popping” or “clicking” of your jaw, particularly if you’ve ever experienced trauma in this area of your head, you’ll want to visit your dentist for a checkup.

Lastly, Bruxism, a habit even babies can develop, can be another cause of frequent headaches. After all, grinding your teeth for hours upon hours as if you were consuming a Thanksgiving feast all night long, puts the muscles of your face through a tremendous workout without rest.

If you find that you often wake with a headache that goes away shortly after rising, you may be, in fact, grinding your teeth.

So there you have it, the story of the headache your dentist is best primed to correct.

It’s also worth mentioning that, aside from headache causes described above, headache pain can also be caused by more familiar dentistry issues like cavities, a tooth infection or an abscess. All the more reason to visit your dentist to see if that headache you’re always suffering from is actually coming from your mouth.  If you are not sure, don’t hesitate to come in for a New patient Exam where we look for signs of wear and grinding and clenching from Bruxism. It is also possible to correct the bite to stop the habit of clenching and grinding using clear aligner therapy such as Invisalign.

Watch this quick video below from Oriana, one of our Hygienists about how clear aligners have helped her to stop clenching .

Be Well!

Dr Lieu


Family dental care and cosmetic dentistry and dental implants.

Blue Apple Dental Group
6230 State Farm Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 795-4523

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Hello Friends! I Hope All is Well

2017-10-27 00:09:59 admin

These are trying times lately. As a distraction, my wife and I have taken to writing some new blog posts.

Something I have been doing more of lately is using dental implants with fixed bridges instead of dentures. I like this option because it is more “stuck on” to the implants. With daily removal of a implant attached denture, there can always be some loosening of the connector parts and pieces. With a fixed denture, the denture is screwed into the implants and bonded on so there is no slipping or loosening.

Conventional Dentures may be removable or fixed. Removable dentures are taken out of the mouth at night for cleaning and disinfecting, then inserted and held in place using denture adhesives.  Fixed dentures are only removed by your dentist.  They are supported by a series of dental implants to which the denture is attached.

The convenience of not having to remove dentures for daily cleaning has led to the increased popularity of implant supported dentures.  However, implant-supported denture alternatives with acrylic gums and porcelain teeth are much harder to maintain over time.

Fixed replacement dentures require a higher level of daily attention because they are not removed and made from materials that attract plaque, stains, and odors.  Also, the older these dentures become, the more prone they are to chipping, breaking, and overall failure.

For patients seeking a truly permanent solution, there are no “better dentures” made from acrylic and porcelain.  The material is the problem.

Some Dental Implant Centers offer their patients a good, better, best option for dentures. Ultimately it comes down to the quality of the materials and craftmanship that can influence final look and wear. An inexpensive denture can be thin and be prone to easy breakage and wearing of teeth and smelliness. A higher quality denture will last longer over time. One such option is Zirconia.

Zirconia is both highly durable (to eliminate wear from biting, chewing and talking) and just flexible enough to be sculpted and shaped to your specific requirements. It is non-porous and has a high-density and produces a bridge with a smoother finish than those made from other materials. Your finished bridge resists stains and doesn’t absorb odors or attract plaque and bacteria.

We always like to get to know our patients and their lifestyle when selelcting the best option for dental implant restoration. I know that it is not cookie cutter what will work for each person. If you have a friend or loved one considering dental implants or a denture, please share this information with them.

There are many things to consider when investing into your dental health. What worked for Jimmy may not work for John. Let’s talk about options so you have a solution you are comfortable with. As always we offer a no cost Dental Implant consultation.

Take the first step toward changing your life – Enjoy eating the foods you love – Stop worrying about denture mishaps.

-Be Well!

Dr. Lieu

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