All | B C D G M O P S T X There are 5 names in this directory beginning with the letter B.Bad Breath/HalitosisNo one wants to experience the awful fear of bad breath, or halitosis, especially in social situations. Although a few medical conditions may cause bad breath, the most common causes are related your teeth, gums, and/or your dental hygiene. A buildup of plaque and tartar (calculus) may lead to gingivitis and gum disease, a common cause of bad breath. In addition, broken or badly decayed teeth may collect debris and, in time, bacteria forms and causes a bad taste and smell. Our tongue can also host a myriad of bacteria. Other causes of bad breath include certain foods, tobacco use, and dry mouth. Improving bad breath starts with an evaluation of your teeth and gums. Removing the bacteria responsible for the malodor is the critical first step in the fight against bad breath. If the source is the gums, treatment can range from a routine cleaning to the deep cleaning (also called scaling and root planning). When the bad odor comes from the teeth, the solution is often a combination of fillings, crowns, or extractions, depending on the severity of the problem. When decay is removed, the odor goes with it. It also is important to brush your tongue to remove plaque and bacteria in the deep grooves of the tongue’s surface that can lead to bad breath. Preventing bad breath entails keeping your teeth, gums, and tongue extremely cleanBitten Lip or TongueMost people accidentally bite their tongues or lips while chewing. At the time, it may be very painful and may cause bleeding. When your lip or tongue is bitten, you must be careful when you are eating for the next day or so. Your lip or tongue will tend to swell slightly making it easier to bite it again. For this minor injury, the best treatment is to rinse your mouth with warm salt water or to apply ice to the bitten area. Sometimes this biting of the lips, cheeks, and tongue is related to an incorrect interaction between the top and bottom teeth. Our top teeth are supposed to be positioned in a way that they protect the lips, cheeks, and tongue from harm. When this relationship is incorrect, and the top and bottom teeth come together without proper overlapping, our lips, cheeks, and tongue can get pinched. Without intervention from your prosthodontist, you will likely continue to bite yourself. Treatment would entail trying to recreate the missing overlap. Often this can be done through adjusting the teeth or prosthesis to change the way they interact. Sometimes it requires replacement of broken, worn, or poorly designed prostheses. Once the proper overlap is restored, the biting often goes away immediately.Bleeding GumsSome serious medical conditions may cause bleeding gums, but the most frequent cause of bleeding gums is poor oral hygiene, which leads to gingivitis. Gingivitis means that the gums are inflamed, red, and bleed easily when touched as a result of plaque building up on the teeth. Proper cleaning of the teeth prevents gingivitis and the subsequent symptom of bleeding gums. Sometimes the problem progresses beyond the superficial inflammation of gingivitis. The bacteria is deeper down between the teeth and the gums. When this is the case, the bacteria are more difficult to reach. This makes it harder for patients to clean out the bacteria alone. These bacteria can cause inflammation that leads to breakdown of the connection of the gums to your teeth and in severe cases, bone loss around the teeth. Your prosthodontist can teach you how to properly clean your teeth using a manual or electric toothbrush and by using tools such as dental floss to clean between your teeth. When the bacteria is deeper, these tools are less effective. At this point, it is important to have your hygienist work with you to eliminate the bacteria and follow up with you on the response of your gums. Bleeding gums are a sign of poor oral care and can easily be resolved by improving your dental hygiene habits.Broken/Chipped ToothA broken tooth may occur as a result of chewing hard foods, trauma, or by grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism. Sometimes the broken teeth are already full strength and at risk of breaking. This risk is higher when the tooth already has extensive restorations (large filling or crown). Teeth with notable cracks in them are also at a higher risk of breaking. When the break in the tooth is minor, the treatment is as simple as a direct restoration, or filling. This is indicated when the broken portion does not involve the cusp of the tooth. When the cusp is broken on a tooth, the ideal solution more often involves an onlay or crown. Sometimes the break in the tooth is so extensive, that the tooth is not able to be repaired. In these cases, the tooth is likely extracted and efforts are focused on replacing the missing tooth. When a tooth breaks, discuss options with your prosthodontist. They will help assess the extent of the break and recommend the ideal treatment for your specific tooth.Bruxism/Teeth GrindingBruxism, or teeth grinding, usually happens at night while you sleep. Most people with bruxism are not aware that they are grinding their teeth in their sleep – unless a partner is awakened by the noise. This habit of bruxism is extremely destructive and in time may wear away your teeth, strain your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), or tire the muscles used in chewing. Studies have shown that bruxism tends to be related to stress, and people generate much greater forces when grinding their teeth than they do during normal jaw function. The movements of the jaw during bruxism are more exaggerated than the more limited movement of someone’s normal jaw function. Although no cure for bruxism is available, your prosthodontist can produce a device that will protect the teeth, support your TMJ and provide relief from muscle fatigue. This device has many names, but generally is referred to as a splint. A splint helps with bruxism through careful control of the interaction of your teeth and through providing something else to damage rather than your teeth. Splints can easily be adjusted or replaced, making them a better recipient of these destructive forces.