Tag Archives: oral hygiene

Oral Health: Coping Methods for Easing Dental Anxiety

Easing Dental Anxiety

If you’ve ever dealt with nerves, the jitters, or anxiety about visiting your dentist, know that you are not alone … let’s talk about easing dental anxiety.

According to article, Why Are People Afraid of the Dentist? Observations and Explanations,

“Dental anxiety, or dental fear, is estimated to affect approximately 36% of the population, with a further 12% suffering from extreme dental fear. This anxiety can have serious repercussions in terms of an individual’s oral health, and it is considered to be a significant barrier to dental attendance resulting in poor attendance.”

Read More:

Downside of Avoiding Dental Offices

Seeing your dentist for routine checkups and maintenance is too important to your health and wellbeing to skip. When you don’t see your dentist, you’re at a much higher risk for:

  • Cavities
  • Bad breath
  • Tooth loss
  • Infection
  • Gum disease
  • Discolored teeth
  • Plaque and tartar

More Tips from the American Dental Association: Coping with Dental Anxiety

Easing Dental Anxiety: Tips and Tricks

Rather than postponing or cancelling visits, let’s look at some of the coping mechanisms for dental anxiety.

Related Article: Easing Dental Anxiety: Coping Methods Can Help

Psychological Coping Mechanisms

  • Meditation
  • Deep breathing
  • Guided imagery – visualizing happy thoughts, nostalgic thoughts
  • Distraction (tv, music, stress ball, etc.)
  • Using a weighted blanket

Bring a Friend

Ask your dentist if a relative or a friend can accompany you to your dental appointment. Having a familiar person nearby may calm nerves and make you feel safe.

Medication

In some cases, medication may help with dental anxiety. Analgesia is an over-the-counter medication that are sometimes used to reduce pain and anxiety, or sometimes, dentists will use laughing gas to ease anxiety.

Make Sure to Speak Up

Let our dental office know beforehand that you experience dental anxiety. It can make a world of difference if Dr. Skrobanek and his Team are aware of your anxiety and can be prepared prior to your appointment. You can also agree on a signal with Dr. Skrobanek if you ever need to take a break. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, sometimes knowing exactly what will happen, and when, can alleviate some nerves.

A Few More Tips

  • Avoid caffeine and sugar before any appointments – these can make you jittery and more anxious. Instead, eat a high protein snack or meal. 
  • Choose an appointment time that is the least stressful for you. 
  • Arrive on time for your appointment – try not to arrive too soon.

Easing Dental Anxiety at GPS Dental

The mouth is a great window to the rest of your body, so when you visit us at GPS Dental, we can take a peek into your overall health during your regular dental cleanings and exams. This could save you money, time, and protect your health down the road. Learn how HERE.

When your Dr. Skrobanek catches a problem early, there’s a much better chance of figuring out what’s going on and treating it early, with a higher success rate. Oftentimes, dentists can detect warning signs before we experience any symptoms. Actually, oral health is an easy way to boost your immune system, learn more HERE.

Luckily, when depression or anxiety takes a toll on oral health, there are ways to fight back. The simplest step in easing your dental anxiety that you can take is to maintain your oral health by brushing twice a day, flossing daily and scheduling regular dental appointments with Dr. Skrobanek and his team at GPS Dental. Keeping up these basic oral health habits can go a long way to keeping your mouth in tip-top shape.

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 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 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.

Staying Hydrated is beneficial to your Oral Health and Your Body

You’ve probably heard that drinking water can help clear up your skin, keep your body healthy, rejuvenate your muscles, get rid of waste, etc. There are so many benefits to staying hydrated and many of them are widely known. Essentially, there’s no better drink than water, and it makes sense with our bodies being 60% water. What sometimes isn’t known is how great drinking water is for your oral health. A simple and easy way to help keep your teeth healthy and strong is to drink more water!

Learn more about The Best Beverage

Related Article: Children’s Dental Health: Why is Drinking Water Important?

Staying Hydrated: The 4 Major Oral Health Benefits of Drinking Water

  1. Strengthens Teeth. In the United States, fluoride is added to our water and it’s a huge contributor to your oral health. Fluoride is often known nature’s cavity fighter and that’s exactly what is does for us when you drink water with fluoride. It blends with your teeth’s enamel and can even prevent tooth decay and plaque.
  2. Cleans and Keeps Your Mouth Clean. When you drink something after you consume food, it helps to wash away leftover food in your mouth, and water is the best option for this. When you consume drinks filled with sugar, your tooth enamel suffers and gets worn down due to a build-up of bacteria from all the sugar. With water, there’s no sugar involved, and it can wash down the food you eat, dilute the acid in your mouth, and also clean up any debris in your mouth so bacteria have less to cling to. That fluoride we talked about earlier will also coat your teeth and defend your teeth against any harmful acids. Watch this quick video: Drinking Water for Good Oral Health
  3. Keeps Dry Mouth Away. Surprisingly, tooth decay loves a dry mouth and this is because saliva is our biggest defender against tooth decay (which makes staying hydrated even more important). So, when your mouth is dry, you’re fighting against more and more bacteria. Drinking water helps keep the dry mouth away by creating more saliva in your mouth.
  4. Fights Bad Breath. You might think that a swish of mouthwash is the only way to curb a case of bad breath, but water comes to the rescue again. In the morning, we’re essentially dealing with dry mouth after sleeping for hours, and our bad breath is a result of that. Bacteria has been working hard overnight to give us bad breath, and drinking water when we wake up can help with the dreaded morning breath smell, and, of course, contribute to good oral health.

Related Article: Buy a New Toothbrush for the Sake of Your Oral Health

The reasons to drink water are plenty, and knowing how big of an effect water can have on our oral health makes it even more imperative to staying hydrated by drinking water every day.

GPS Dental Wants You to Have a Healthy Smiles

As you know, it’s important for everyone to have a solid foundation of oral health habits. Not only does that include brushing and flossing daily, but also having healthy habits — including drinking water! Why is drinking water important for you and your family? I hope we answered that question in this blog. Dr. Skrobanek and his Team love to talk about dental health and look forward to answering any of your questions during your next dental appointment.

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.

Life Saving Preventative Dentistry Helps Diagnose Disease & Cancer Early

What is Life Saving Preventative Dentistry and how can it save your life? In simple terms, your dental exam can expose and help diagnose gum disease and oral cancer early. Let’s discuss.

Your Dentist is a Super Hero

You know that seeing your dentist is important and helps keep your mouth healthy and clean, but did you know that getting regular dental checkups is the most important procedure against oral cancer? Your dentist is doing a lot more than just checking up on your smile and cavities.

Dr. Skrobanek is a Super Hero. The preventative dentistry he provides can detect early signs of cancer, gum disease, and other major health problems; not to mention the little problems that can be treated. All in all, preventative dentistry could just save your life.

The Test of Time with Life Saving Preventative Dentistry

Your smile was meant to last a lifetime. That’s why it’s so important to take care of your teeth, so they can function well and last as long as they’re supposed to. Ultimately, the best thing you can do for your teeth’s durability is seeing your dentist for life saving preventative dentistry that includes regular dental exams, cleanings, and oral cancer screenings.

According to the Oral Health Foundation, “Dental appointments shouldn’t just be made when you have a problem that needs to be addressed. Prevention is always better than needing a cure and there are plenty more reasons why it’s important to maintain regular visits to your local dental practice.”

Some of these reasons include:

  • Prevention of plaque, tartar, decay
  • Helps keep gum disease away
  • Checking for oral cancer and other health issues
  • Getting advice on your specific needs/oral health goals

Preventative dentistry focuses on dental care practices, good oral health, oral hygiene education, and early detection – which is what’s happening during your routine dental exam. So, your dentist may talk with you about what steps to take to avoid cavities, tooth decay, best oral health practices, and so on.

Oral Cancer Screenings

When your dentist does an oral cancer screening, they’re looking for abnormalities in the mouth tissue. This can be lumps, pimples, patches that are rough, or teeth placement changes. This is done both visually and by feeling around the mouth. Diagnosing oral cancer in its very early stages is critical because each year, over 7,500 deaths are caused by oral cancer alone.

The screening will be painless and easy, and it could be the difference of early detection or not. If something looks like it may be oral cancer, your dentist may suggest a biopsy of some tissue. Early detection can significantly increase the chances for a full recovery and can make treatment easier as well. 

Learn more from The American Dental Association about Detecting Oral Cancer Early.

Your mouth is the gateway to your entire body and its health determines your overall health. We believe that brushing and flossing daily, and regular dental exams and cleanings are key to a beautiful smile and a happy, healthy you!

Overall Checkup and The Importance of Oral Health

Oftentimes, we don’t notice some oral health problems unless they cause us pain or discomfort. Maybe we have a signs and symptoms of a problem that we never would’ve noticed until later on, when issues have progressed. 

Related Article: 11 Things Your Dentist Wants You to Do Differently

The good news is, your dentist can look for multiple signs and symptoms that show in our mouths – such as oral cancer, Crohn’s Disease, and other serious health problems. So, when you get your regular dental exam, you’re doing so much more for your overall health and wellbeing than just getting your teeth cleaned. How amazing is that?

Early diagnosis through dental exams can sometimes determine health issues such as:

  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Oral Cancer
  • Anemia
  • GERD
  • Intense stress
  • Osteoporosis
  • Dementia
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Heart Disease

As you can see, Dr. Skrobanek offers life saving preventative dentistry each time you visit his office. That’s one of the main reasons we schedule your next appointment after your dental exam and cleaning, so we can help you manage your oral health and stay healthy.

10 Easy Steps to Improve Your Smile

A healthy smile isn’t always achieved overnight, but takes a variety of methods to help create and maintain. Here are 10 easy steps you can take to help improve the appearance and health of your teeth, mouth, and gums.

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day
  2. Floss every day
  3. See your Hygienist twice each year
  4. Stop Smoking
  5. Drink plenty of water
  6. Buy a quality toothbrush
  7. Limit coffee, tea, and red wine
  8. Choose whitening products carefully
  9. Improve other health conditions
  10. Get dental treatment in a timely manner

It can take some time before you start to notice changes from whitening or improved oral hygiene. While these changes don’t come overnight, they are certainly worth the time and effort, both for the sake of your smile and your overall health. 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”.

A Healthy Smile Can BOOST Your Immune System

You may not realize that a healthy smile can boost your immune system and don’t forget about the importance of healthy gums! They may not seem like the star of the show, but they’re just as important as every other part of your mouth, and have to be taken care of to maintain a bright and healthy smile. Even if you take care of your teeth and don’t have any cavities to worry about, you’re not immune to gum disease. 

To learn more about Gum Disease, enjoy our blog: BOOST Your Immune System thru Oral Care and Gum Health

GPS Dental Offers Life Saving Preventative Care

That’s why our expert team at GPS Dental strives to educate our patients on healthy habits that can do more than keep your smile bright. Life saving preventative care is one of the main reasons it’s always important to see Dr. Skrobanek every 6 months for proper checkups at GPS Dental, so your he can check for all the signs of a healthy mouth. A healthy mouth, teeth and gums has all the makings for a beautiful smile!

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek is a dental implant dentist and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the 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 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. 

Thyroid Disease: Link Between Hashimoto’s and Gum Disease

Link between thyroid disease, Hashimotos, and Gum Disease

You may have heard the common phrase, “all disease starts in the gut.” A phrase that was coined over 2,000 years ago, which has been attributed to Hippocrates, the Greek founder of medicine. While that phrase is true, it’s also true that the mouth is often the window to the entire body. Meaning that if something isn’t right in your system, it’ll show signs in your mouth.

This means that your mouth is connected to more than just your teeth or even your gut – it’s connected to your thyroid, liver, kidneys, and all other parts of your body. In the past few years, the scientific community has determined the link between thyroid disease, and Hashimoto’s, with gum disease. According to Dr. Izabella Wentz, a doctor of pharmacy, “the same bacteria that contribute to gum disease or periodontitis produce an inflammatory response associated with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis—the underlying cause of hypothyroidism.”

Learn more from Dr. Wentz: Periodontitis, a Trigger for Hashimoto’s?

Gum Disease/Periodontitis

Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, happens when your gums become inflamed from bacteria in the mouth. This can lead to:

  • Loose teeth
  • Receding gum line
  • Bone loss in the jaw
  • Tooth loss

Gum disease is common and effects up to half of Americans over the age of 30, according to the Centers for Disease Control. If you’re seeing blood when brushing or flossing your teeth, it could be the first sign of gum disease, so it’s important to stay on top of your oral health routine and to see your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. So, what’s the link between Hashimoto’s and gum disease? The proof is in the bacteria.

Case Study:

Please read the below clinical case report of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and its impact on the treatment of chronic periodontitis (link below):

https://www.njcponline.com/article.asp?issn=1119-3077;year=2012;volume=15;issue=1;spage=112;epage=114;aulast=Patil#:~:text=The%20strongest%20type%20of%20causal,the%20outcome%20of%20periodontal%20therapy.

Linking Bacteria to Thyroid Disease and Hashimoto’s

According to Dr. Wentz, the link is in molecular mimicry. While that may sound confusing, let’s break down the basics of it all:

  • The bacteria in our mouth, which is causing gum disease, is also causing inflammation in the rest of our body.
  • People with Hashimoto’s often have gum disease. When they experience flare-ups in their disease, they also experience flare-ups in their gums – showing a connection.

“Molecular mimicry is an autoimmune theory suggesting that bacterial cells or other proteins (such as food proteins) have a similar appearance to the cells that make up parts of the human body, or “self-antigens.”, says Dr. Mentz.

So, when bacteria are around, our body is not only attacking the bacteria, but also parts of our body that have similar proteins. Meaning our body could be attacking the bacteria in our gums, and also the proteins in our thyroid.

The relationship from the National Library of Medicine: Relationship between hypothyroidism and periodontitis: A scoping review

Gum Disease is linked to other diseases. Learn more:

Protect Your Thyroid and Your Mouth

The evidence for good dental hygiene is stronger than ever. Regular brushing and flossing are essential for not only good oral health, but good overall health. The thyroid can have huge impacts on all aspects of your body, and your mouth could very well be impacted through gum disease. If you’re concerned about signs of thyroid or Hashimoto’s, speak with your doctor about testing your thyroid.

GPS Dental Offers Help

Now that you understand a little more about the link between Hashimoto’s and Gum Disease, GPS Dental can help. At GPS Dental, we offer treatment for our patients with Gum Disease with thorough dental cleanings that you may not find through other dental offices. Call 210-633-3477 to schedule your dental exam and cleaning, remember it can lead to early detection and diagnosis of disease. Make sure to mention any changes in your health, new medications, and especially if you are seeing blood after brushing or flossing your teeth.

Dr. Skrobanek and his team at GPS Dental are accepting new patients and look forward to meeting you and your family.

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek is a dental implant dentist and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the 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 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 Health: Protect Your Teeth and Smile Over the Holidays

At every turn there seems to be a plate of cookies, a tray of chocolate, or visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads. Christmas season is in full swing and the sweet treats and sugary concoctions are upon us! While holidays can bring us so much joy, some stress, and confections, a little bit of effort in your oral health care routine can make all the difference for your smile and dental health. Here’s how to stay on top of your dental care and protect your teeth this holiday season.

Learn More: Have You Been Naughty or Nice to Your Teeth?

Sweet Alternatives – Try a Cheese and Meat Tray

Sweets can not only wreck some havoc on our teeth, they can also bother our stomachs and cause a buildup of harmful bacteria in our mouths. While it’s certainly okay to indulge in a few sweet holiday treats, keep in mind that meat and cheese trays are a much healthier snack option to protect your teeth. If you’re drinking soft drinks or any alcoholic beverages, cheese can also neutralize the acid in these drinks and are also a good source of calcium.

You can also enjoy:

  • Fruit trays – Apples, strawberries, and kiwis can actually help scrub your teeth when you eat them. The natural fibers in these fruits, combined with your saliva, help wash away harmful bacteria.
  • Vegetable trays – Carrots and broccoli are packed with Vitamin A, which helps strengthen your teeth’s enamel.
  • Sugarless gum – Since you may not be able to sneak away to brush your teeth at a holiday party, chewing sugarless gum increases saliva production, which helps wash away any leftover food bits and bacteria.

Related Article: BOOST Your Immune Symstam thru Oral Care and Gum Health

Stick to Your Daily Oral Health Routine

Routines are so helpful at keeping us feeling normal. Holidays can really interrupt our normal schedules and daily activities, so keeping to your daily oral health routine can become more difficult than ever – but it’s also more important than ever.

With an influx in sweets, alcohol, and other holiday goodies, our mouths can take a toll. Keep the bacteria at bay and strengthen your immune system by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. If you’re traveling, remember to pack your essentials to make your routine easy and protect your teeth!

More Tips to Protect Your Holiday Smile

Add in More Water

Water is really the best thing you can drink. It helps hydrate us and give us glowing skin, but it also helps keep our mouths cleaner as well. Just like how saliva washes away bacteria, water also does this. It cleans away bacteria, freshens breath, and helps with digestion. All good things. Remember, if you’re going to enjoy a treat, eat it either with your meal when you have a lot of saliva production, or drink lots of water after to wash out any lingering bacteria.

Related Article: Why Water is the Best Beverage

Are You Stressed and Grinding Your Teeth? Mouthguards are a Solution

Dr. Skrobanek can help prevent cracked and fractured teeth by designing a mouthguard or oral appliance to wear at night to keep you from clenching and grinding your teeth. We know there’s a dental health mental health link and thankfully, mouthguards are a wonderful way to protect your teeth at night. They can also help with sleep apnea and snoring. Each mouthguard will be custom-made by Dr. Skrobanek to fit your mouth comfortably and will keep your teeth separated so they don’t grind together.

There’s more good news: Custom mouthguards or oral appliance therapy is covered by many insurance plans and the team at GPS Dental can help answer any questions you may have about your coverage. Learn More HERE.

See Your Dentist ASAP

Many of us will lose our dental benefits come December 31, so it’s time to use them or lose them! Make an appointment today if you’re in need of a checkup or cleaning. The absolute best way to stay on top of your oral health is to see your dentist regularly.

GPS Dental Can Help You Protect Your Smile

Know you know more about how to protect your teeth and smile! It’s also important to stay up to date on your cleanings and routine visits with Dr. Skrobanek. In the meantime, having a strong and steady oral health routine – brushing twice a day and flossing once – is the best thing you can do for your oral health!

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 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 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.

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.

Related Articles:

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.