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16Apr

There is so much misinformation out there about oral herpes, or cold sores. Unfortunately, misleading info can keep patients from seeing treatment, and developing adequate treatment and management plans. That is why our Glendale dentists have put together this short article on cold sore development. We hope that you find this helpful!

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). HSV-1 is highly contagious; The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that almost 50 percent of adults in the United States have it. HSV-1 can be passed on by kissing, and by sharing drinks, eating utensils, or oral hygiene tools. Many people actually contract HSV-1 as children.

Most us of call the oral herpes called by HSV-1 “cold sores” or “fever blisters.”

  • Usually, cold sores develop on the lips. However, it is possible for these sores to appear elsewhere on the face, like on the chin, cheek, or inside of the nose.
  • Most patients will experience an outbreak shortly after HSV-1 exposure; this is called primary herpes. You may notice individual cold sores, or sore, swollen oral tissues. For some patients, they will never experience another instance of observable symptoms.
  • People who experience recurrent oral herpes episodes will likely deal with discrete cold sores, which last for about 8 to 10 days. Generally speaking, subsequent episodes are milder than the initial outbreak was. Cold sores start out as tender, red, and sore, and then gradually crust over as they heal. It is particularly important that you not exfoliate or pick at these lesions; this can delay the healing process and cause scaring.

If you are dealing with cold sores, please don’t panic! This is a very common issue for both children and adults. Remember: these sores will heal on their own, so the best thing that you can do is to keep the area clean, use topical ointments to minimize discomfort, and otherwise leave it alone. You also want to refrain from kissing and sharing food/drink while the sore is active, as this is how HSV-1 spreads from person to person.

As always, our Glendale dentists are more than happy to answer any questions that you may have—give us a call to get started! 

02Apr

There is so much information out there about oral health, and unfortunately, a lot of it is misleading. Today, our Glendale dentists have put together a short article debunking common dental myths. We hope that this is informative, and, remember, you can always give our office a call if you have additional questions!

“It’s always a good idea to brush; I should do it as much as I can.”

The truth is that there is a reason the American Dental Association recommends that patients brush in the morning and right before bed. First of all, brushing before you sleep helps to clear away plaque and dental debris that has accumulated during the day. Additionally, our mouths are driest at night while we are asleep. Saliva helps to neutralize bacteria and re-mineralize enamel. At night, we have less saliva in our mouths, so it’s extra important that our mouths are as clean as possible. Then, when you wake up in the morning, it is crucial that you clear away bacteria that have developed in the dry conditions overnight.

“Bleeding gums means that I should let my tissue heal before I floss again”

If you find that your gums are prone to bleeding, especially when flossing, then that is actually a sign that you should recommit to your oral cleaning routine. You should find that your gums bleed less as you get back into the habit of flossing. It is normal for neglected gum tissue to bleed when you start flossing again, but reach out to your dental team if the bleeding does not subside over time.

We’ll continue our discussion of common dental myths next week, so check back then. In the meantime, our Glendale dentists are here to answer any questions that may have. You can always call our office, or us the Contact Us page on our website to reach our dental team. 

19Mar

No one wants to be saddled with chronic bad breath, but this issue is an unfortunate reality for many dental patients. That is why our Glendale dentists are here to help our patients defeat bad breath for good. As you read through this short article, consider how you may incorporate breath-freshening habits into your own routine.

  • Diet

There are certain foods that affect breath temporarily: things like onions, garlic, and seasoned meats. This type of bad breath is usually temporary, and resolves on its own. Chronic bad breath, on the other hand, is often the results of an overabundance of bacteria in the mouth; bacteria actually release unpleasant odors when they feed and grow. By minimizing the sugars and refined carbohydrates in your diet, you can make it harder for oral bacteria to thrive.

  • Oral Hygiene

There are specially formulated toothpastes and mouth rinses on the market that help to freshen breath by killing bacteria and upping saliva production. But, the number one thing that you can do to keep bad breath in check is to follow your dentist-recommended brushing and flossing plan to the letter. Cleaning your smile of accumulated plaque every single day helps to freshen breath. Make sure that, when you’re flossing, you’re going all the way down into your gum tissue.

  • Dental Health

Sometimes chronic bad breath is the result of an existing dental infection, like a cavity or gum disease. In these cases, you likely won’t succeed in beating bad breath until you have the underlying infection treated; there are simply too many bacteria entrenched in your teeth or gums.

The good news is that no matter how persistent and unpleasant your bad breath may be, our Glendale dentists can help you achieve a fresh and clean smile again. Don’t wait to get the treatment you need—give our team a call to schedule a personal consultation!