Tag Archives: oral hygiene

Dr. Skrobanek Works to Save Your Tooth, Not Pull It

Do you need a tooth extraction or can Dr. Skrobanek save your tooth?

Although we hope our natural teeth will last us forever, sometimes life throws a wrench in our plans and a tooth extraction is necessary for our oral health. However, at GPS Dental, we always do our best to provide you with the best dental care and make sure an extraction is the last option. If we can save your natural teeth, we will, every time. Still, let’s take a look at why a tooth extraction may be necessary and what you can expect.

Learn More from WebMD about Pulling a Tooth

Reasons for a Tooth Extraction

Damage – probably the most common reason for a tooth extraction is a damaged tooth that’s beyond simple repairs. Damage can often occur from:

  • Decay or infection: If a tooth’s decay penetrates the inside (pulp) of a tooth, then a root canal is often the first step to restore the health of the tooth. However, if antibiotics don’t cure the infection, then an extraction may be the next step. This is necessary for the health of your mouth. Periodontal disease will sometimes cause the loosening of a tooth, and the tooth may need to be pulled if it’s extremely loose, or if the tooth is at risk for infection.
  • Crowded mouth: Sometimes we have to pull teeth to make room in the mouth. This happens sometimes with wisdom teeth to eliminate crowding. Or, if a tooth cannot break through the gumline, it will be best to pull it.

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What to Expect

Once a tooth extraction is decided as necessary and we cannot save your tooth, there are a few steps for a successful extraction. A thorough examination will be performed and X-rays will be taken. Dr. Skrobanek wants to make 100% sure that your tooth must be pulled before performing an extraction. If your tooth can be saved by other methods, then those will definitely be looked into instead.

There are two types of extraction – simple and surgical. Simple extractions involve a local anesthetic to numb the area. We then use a tool called an elevator to loosen the tooth and extract it. Surgical extractions are what they sound – surgical. You will be unconscious during the procedure and the tooth will be extracted surgically. A small incision will be made around the tooth to remove it. Recovery often takes a few days.

Learn More on What to Expect from a Tooth Extraction.

Dr. Skrobanek at GPS Dental Wants to Save Your Tooth

As you can see, there are many reasons your tooth may need to be pulled; however, one thing that can help you keep all of your natural teeth healthy and in place is prioritizing your dental health. (Learn how GPS Dental is Keeping You Healthy with Extra Safety Precautions.) Brush and floss daily and make sure to visit your dentist every 6 months for a dental exam and cleaning. Dr. Skrobanek will help treat any cavities or decay, before your tooth runs out of options and needs to be pulled.

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers affordable dental care for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment.

What is that SMELL? (YIKES, it’s my Face Mask Bad Breath!)

There it is. You’re walking through a store and it hits you – a bad smell. It hits you again throughout the store and you finally realize – it’s your breath. Face masks have made some of us realize that, surprise, we do indeed have bad breath. It’s an extremely common problem, with over 80 million people experiencing bad breath, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. 

Although you may have not noticed it before, now your breath is smacking you right in the face every time you wear your mask. Making your bad breath all the more noticeable and frustrating. 

Related Article: What’s Up With My Bad Mask Breath

Why You’re Experiencing Bad Breath 

There could be a few different reasons you’re experiencing bad breath, and your dentist can help! Some of us may have been experiencing bad breath for a while but have gotten used to the smell and don’t notice it until we wear a mask.

Bad Breath Diagnosis and Treatment process from Mayo Clinic.

This could be due to:

  • Bad oral hygiene. When you’re not brushing well or often enough, bacteria can build in the mouth and cause bad breath.
  • You ate or drank something smelly. Coffee, onions, garlic, and foods high in sulfur can make a negative impact on your breath for up to 72 hours, even with brushing. Try combating the smell with lemon, fresh fruit and vegetables. 
  • Sweets. Sugary treats increase bacteria in your mouth tenfold and increase the stink-factor of your breath. Dentists suggest eating plain chocolate if you’re needing something sweet. Drink water after to remove any chocolate remnants. 
  • Medications. Many common medications can dry out your mouth and contribute to bad breath. Talk with your doctor if you think your medications may be causing dry mouth issues. 
  • Tobacco. Cottonmouth is a common side effect to smoking any tobacco products. Smoker’s breath is a real thing! 
  • Sinus infection or allergies. When your nose gets stuffed up, you’ll probably breath more often through your mouth. This can dry out your mouth and reduce odor-killing saliva. 

Related Article: Bad Breath Could be More than a Stinky Situation

How To Treat Bad Breath

When the face mask bad breath sneaks up on you, it may be time to visit your dentist for a cleaning. In the meantime, brush your teeth twice a day and try brushing your tongue to get rid of any extra bacteria lingering in the mouth. You can also try an anti-bacterial mouthwash, and floss to remove any food buildup in-between the teeth.

Related Article: Dental Exams are Important for SO Many Reasons

Learn more oral hygiene tips from WebMD HERE.

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers affordable dental care for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment.

Dental Exams are Important for SO Many Reasons …

We ALL need to visit our Dentist every 6 months!!

Every person, whether you have good teeth or not, whether your gums are healthy or not, whether you build up a lot of plaque and tartar or not, whether you are the world’s best brusher and flosser, or not.

That’s right, everyone needs to see the dentist every 6 months.

Regular dental exams are essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. The American Dental Association recommends a visit to the dentist at least once a year but making an appointment once in six months prevents a host of oral related problems.

Regular Dental Exams Keep MORE than Your smile Healthy!

Have you had a dental cleaning and exam this year? Professional dental exams and cleanings aren’t just for keeping your smile bright; they can have a significant impact on your general health.

Insufficient oral hygiene has been linked to several serious illnesses. Associated medical and dental issues include bone loss, cardiovascular disease, strokes, cancers, and many other problems. Brushing and flossing at home are essential, but to ensure teeth are healthy and thoroughly clean, you should schedule regular check-ups with your dentist and annual dental cleanings with your dental hygienist.

Here are nine reasons professional cleanings are so important.

  1. Your dental hygienist can remove most of the stains that dull and discolor your teeth, so you’ll be left with a brighter, whiter smile.
  2. Having your teeth cleaned can prevent gum disease, which leads to early tooth loss. We’ll discuss more about this later…
  3. In America alone, one person dies from oral cancer every hour, but many of these cancers are curable if detected at an early stage during a routine cleaning.
  4. A strong link exists between cardiovascular disease and gum disease. Because getting your teeth cleaned twice a year helps prevent gum disease, it can also reduce your chances of potentially deadly heart attacks and strokes.
  5. During a professional dental cleaning, it’s easy for your dentist to detect early signs of problems such as broken fillings and fractures.
  6. Many dental plans cover cleanings, and you’ll save money on dental expenses in the long run by taking advantage of your policy.
  7. If your dentist finds any serious problems during a teeth cleaning or exam, the office can help you make financial arrangements to cover the necessary procedures.
  8. Professional dental cleanings give your dentist or hygienist an opportunity to compare the state of your oral health to that of previous visits. If you’re moving in the wrong direction, immediate intervention can put you back on track.
  9. Regular check-ups and dental cleanings help prevent and resolve persistent bad breath. 

Check out this article about how often you should see your dentist in SELF MagazineDo I Really Need Teeth Cleanings Twice a Year?

Don’t let oral bacteria (or cavities) get you down!

Bacteria is a sneaky opportunist that loves to break down your enamel and cause issues that can affect the health of your teeth and gums. When you get regular, professional cleanings, your dentist can help you avoid bacteria build up and catch any problems early on, including cavities – saving you time and money!

Cavities happen all the time. They’re an extremely common problem that most everyone faces when they’re a child, teen, or adult. When you sit in the dentist’s chair and find out you have a cavity, it can put a damper on your day. Cavities are often minor inconveniences, and annoying toothaches and tooth sensitivity are often associated with cavities.

Cavities are simply no fun at all. Nonetheless, with quick treatment by your dentist and oral hygiene diligence, cavities don’t have to form into bigger problems. If left untreated; however, cavities can form into much bigger oral complications, such as tooth loss, broken teeth, and gum disease.

Don’t forget, your dentist also performs an oral cancer screening during your dental exam as well!

More on Cavities and Tooth Decay from The Mayo Clinic.

Cavity Formation and Risk Factors

Cavities form because of tooth decay – often due to excess bacteria and plaque in the mouth. Once the tooth begins to decay, a cavity forms over time and creates little holes in teeth. Sometimes, when a cavity forms, you can experience a toothache or sensitivity to hot and cold. Some people may not experience any pain or discomfort from a cavity and that’s why it is so important to see your dentist for regular dental exams and cavity checks.  

Bacteria is a destructive force in the mouth. When bacteria are present, they begin breaking down enamel, causing a build-up of plaque and tartar, and irritate the gums. Everything in connected with your oral health and if bacteria begins affecting a tooth and causing a cavity, it could also be causing gum disease.

Here’s a deep dive into Gum Disease.

Gum Disease Causes and Treatment

Cavities are a tell-tale sign of excess bacteria in the mouth. This means that you probably need to ramp-up your oral hygiene routine. Maybe you need to spend more time brushing, add in more flossing, and so on. Talking with your dentist will help you pin-point what you can do to eliminate the risk of cavities and gum disease. When cavities are present and bacteria is left untreated in the mouth, your gums can begin to get inflamed, which is the basis of gum disease.

According to WebMD, gum disease begins with bacteria in the mouth and can lead to tooth loss because of the loss of gum tissue. Gum disease attacks the gums, making them recede and not hold on to your teeth as well as they should. Look for these signs and symptoms:

  • Swollen or sensitive gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Pockets between the gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath

Catching gum disease early is key to recovery, much like cavities. Proper plaque and bacteria control are key to eliminating gum disease and cavity risk! So, talk with your dentist to see what works best for you, and remember that proper oral healthcare, including dental exams twice each year, is the best defense against bacteria.

More on Gum Disease Treatment Options from WebMD.

Dental Benefits are on Your Side

Keeping up with a regular cleaning schedule helps you make the most of your dental benefits. Remember, prevention is always better than a treatment. Preventive Dental Care is almost always covered 100% by your insurance provider, so talk with your provider to understand the full benefits of your preventive care, and, once you know them, schedule dental exams with your dentist in advance.

When you make the most out of your benefits, you’re not leaving money on the table. Benefits will not roll over into next year, so once they are gone, they are gone for good! Make sure your oral health is on track and use your benefits to the maximum this year.

According to WebMD, read more about what is and is not (typically) covered by Dental Insurance. If you have questions about your dental insurance benefits or coverage, please give us a call at 210-633-3477 — we’d love to help you!

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers affordable dental care for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment.

Oral Bacteria: Are Healthy Teeth Just About a Pretty Smile?

Healthy teeth are about more than just a pretty smile… and what does oral bacteria have to do with a pretty smile?

Your oral health has a major effect on the overall health of your body, not just in your mouth. By maintaining healthy teeth and gums, you can make your body healthier from head to toe.

Oral Bacteria and Health

Bacteria in the mouth cause tooth decay – by feeding on the sugars in the foods and drinks we consume – they leave behind the waste, in the form of a biofilm known as dental plaque.

Our mouths have lots of bacteria that is usually harmless. (Did you know that the bacteria in our body aids with digestion and other biological tasks?) However, if you do not brush or floss regularly, oral bacteria can reach dangerously high levels. When this happens, tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infections can be the nasty result.

Health Risks Throughout the Body

There is evidence that the oral bacteria and high level of inflammation associated with the serious gum disease known as periodontitis can play a role in diseases in other parts of the body.

The following health issues and diseases are linked with poor gum health:

  • Infections from Abscesses: In some rare instances, severe tooth decay can lead to an abscess. The infection can travel to the heart, brain, or lungs, causing severe illness or even death.
  • Cardiovascular Diseases: There are researchers who suggest that heart disease, stroke and clogged arteries are linked to the inflammation and infections caused by too much oral bacteria.
  • Pregnancy and Birth Complications: Severe gum infection has been linked to premature births and low birth weight.
  • Endocarditis: This is an infection of the inner lining of the heart. This can occur when bacteria from other parts of your body, such as your mouth, move through your bloodstream and become attached to damaged areas in the heart.

The Impact of Gum Disease

Did you know that 85% of Americans suffer from gum disease, yet only 60% of those infected know they have gum disease? Gum disease is an infection of the tissues and bone that support your teeth and is the leading cause of tooth loss. However, the impact can extend beyond your mouth.

Also known as periodontitis, gum disease can significantly affect your general health.

Research shows that there is a connection between gum disease and other serious conditions such as:

  • osteoporosis
  • oral and pancreatic cancer
  • brain stroke
  • heart disease
  • gum disease may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia from oral bacteria that spread through the blood stream
  • gum disease also impacts those with diabetes by making it difficult to regulate blood glucose levels
  • Read More: Oral Disease: The Top 3 that Could Impact Your Health

If you have one of these systemic conditions, it is important to talk to your dentist about your risk for gum disease and the best treatment options.

Related Article: Gum Disease: Can a Simple Cavity Turn into Gum Disease?

Causes of Gum Disease:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Sugar and acid
  • Tooth abnormalities
  • Poor dental work
  • Wisdom teeth
  • Tooth grinding

Symptoms of Gum Disease Can Range from:

  • chronic bad breath
  • red, swollen gums
  • bleeding when you brush
  • painful chewing
  • loose or sensitive teeth
  • sensitive or receding gums

Sometimes there are no signs of gum disease, which is why it’s essential to visit your dentist every six months for a checkup.

Related Article: Oral Diseases and Tooth Loss

Treatment | Gum Disease is Treatable

The three goals of treatment involve:

  1. reducing inflammation
  2. decreasing pocket depth (the space between your tooth and gum)
  3. stopping bone loss

Initial treatment options can include Laser Pocket Disinfection or scaling and root planning (also known as deep cleaning). There are surgery options for advanced gum disease.

Protecting Your Oral Health

By protecting the health of your teeth and gums, you can keep yourself healthier too. Practice good oral hygiene daily to prevent overgrowth of bacteria.

This includes:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice per day
  • Floss daily to remove plaque between teeth
  • Avoid tobacco use, as this can cause irritation in your gums
  • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months
  • Limit sugary snacks, which can feed bacteria and increase their growth

You should also have regular dental checkups and cleanings. Why? Read more about “Why it’s important to schedule your dental exam twice a year”.

If you notice a problem with your teeth or gums, call for an appointment right away. The sooner these are handled, the sooner you will be back to full health. Gary Skrobanek, DDS provides general and family dentistry in the San Antonio, Texas area to keep his patients healthy – including healthy teeth, healthy gums, and a healthy body. Time for your checkup? Call to schedule today.

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.

Bad Breath could be more than a stinky situation

Bad breath, morning breath, hot breath, or whatever you call the stinky aroma that emanates from your mouth when you have that first morning yawn of the day, isn’t pleasant for anyone. Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is embarrassing and can cause anxiety for anyone who is experiencing it. For most people, after they’ve had their morning coffee and brushed their teeth with some minty toothpaste, the fear of stinky breath is gone for a while. However, bad breath is a symptom that likes to come and go, depending on someone’s health, oral hygiene habits, and what they eat.

Bad Breath Causes, Treatment, and Prevention: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/bad-breath#1

What Causes Bad Breath?

There are a few main reasons you may be experiencing stinky breath, such as:

  • What you’re eating. Food is broken down in your mouth when you chew, and some foods with strong smells, such as onions, herbs, or garlic, may take more than just one tooth brushing to go away. These are odors that will stick with you until the food has passed. Other strong-smelling foods that may affect your breath are coffee, cheese, fish, and spices. Make sure to brush, and floss, to get any bits of food that may be stuck between your teeth.  
  • Your health. Unpleasant breath can be more than just a stinky smell, it could mean that something isn’t quite right regarding your health. Consistent bad breath could be a sign of gum disease, which is when there is too much plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Cavities, an infection in the mouth, yeast infections in the mouth, and dry mouth are also oral symptoms that can lead to halitosis. There are also a few diseases and illnesses that can cause bad breath as a symptom. Sinus infections, a cold, tonsil stones, some cancers, diabetes, and more can cause bad breath. Read more here about the top 3 oral diseases that could impact your overall health.

Learn more about diseases and bad breath: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bad-breath/symptoms-causes/syc-20350922

  • Your dental hygiene. If you’re not sticking to a strict dental hygiene routine, you could be missing bits of food and bacteria in your mouth. When those things get missed, they can cause an abundance of plaque and bacteria in the mouth. When your mouth isn’t clean and is teeming with bacteria, you can experience a multitude of oral health issues – stinky included. That’s why regular dental checkups are so important. Your dentist can properly clean your teeth and assess them, letting you know if anything looks concerning. Smoking cigarettes can also cause bad breath and often also causes gum disease.

More on bad breath causes: https://www.medicinenet.com/bad_breath/article.htm

Although bad breath can be typical with an acidic or herb-filled meal, it’s important to know that consistent bad breath could be an important indicator of something else going on. At GPS Dental, we want you to feel your best and take pride in helping our patients get their dream smile. If you have concerns about bad breath, please give us a call!

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers affordable dental care for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment.

Oral Diseases and Tooth Loss… GPS Dental Can Help

oral-disease

Not many individuals understand the importance of maintaining a healthy mouth. Daily brushing and flossing, as well as heading to the dentist regularly are essential habits to adopt. Ignoring these practices can lead to various oral diseases, commonly known as periodontal disease.  It is imperative that people implement positive habits to prevent these issues from happening.

According to statistics, more than half of Texans aged 45 to 64 experienced tooth loss due to oral disease. It has also been proven  that one out of every 7 adults in the U.S. aged 65 and older are missing all of their natural teeth. These issues highlight the importance of oral health, and individuals should commit to healthy oral habits to avoid tooth loss and other adverse effects.

What are Oral Diseases?

Dentists are always stressing to patients the importance of up keeping their oral health. Patients are often advised to brush their teeth every day and implement daily flossing. That is because the frequent consumption of food causes plaque to build up on teeth. Cleaning teeth thoroughly removes plaque, which left unchecked can produce acids that attack the teeth and gums.

Neglecting dental cleaning can cause deterioration, the development of gingivitis, and eventually, gum disease if not treated appropriately. Ultimately, the gums begin to recede, giving bacteria access to tooth roots and the ability to destroy exposed bone structures.

How Does Oral Disease Contribute to Tooth Loss?

As mentioned, gums begin to pull away from teeth, creating pockets that food and plaque can easily be trapped in. These pockets with wedged pieces of food can lead to infection. As the disease progresses, the bacteria eat away at the bone, causing a weak structure that results in the loss of teeth.

Related Articles:

Other Types of Dental and Oral Diseases

In addition to gingivitis, gum disease, and oral infections, other dental diseases can surface. These include cavities and oral cancer. Cavities generally occur when sugar and bacteria in the mouth create an acid that eats away at tooth enamel.

In adults, cavities occur due to bacteria getting caught around the perimeter of a filling. Root cavities also happen due to gum recession and the exposure of roots, which are susceptible to cavities and damage.

Oral cancer is also a common issue among adults. Heavy tobacco and alcohol use are some of the leading causes of this detrimental disease. Signs of oral cancer include difficulty swallowing, a white or red patch in the mouth, pain when moving the tongue or jaw, and more.

Related Article: Get Your Oral Cancer Screening

GPS Dental Can Help to Improve Your Oral Health

At GPS Dental, we encourage patients to adopt healthy oral habits. Our job as professionals is to guide the oral health of our patients. Therefore, professional checkups and cleanings, in addition to everyday habits, are essential to avoid oral diseases. Should you be looking for a team of dental professionals that are dedicated to your oral health, contact our office in San Antonio to book an appointment.

Related Article: Brooks City Base Dentist: GPS Spotlight on Gary Skrobanek, DDS

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers family dentistry for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment.