Bad Breath Facts – Could Be Your Teeth and Gums

Bad breath is bad news. It’s also very preventable. Taking good care of your teeth and gums is how you do it. There are a lot of misunderstandings about how you get bad breath, and how to “fix” it. Here are some facts to set things straight.

Bad Breath Facts - Could Be Your Teeth and GumsBad breath is something that can be as simple as having had smelly food for lunch. Ongoing bad breath, or halitosis, is more serious. It’s caused by bacteria that grows in your mouth and causes a foul odor. When you don’t brush and floss regularly, bacteria continues to grow, feeding on food left in your mouth and between your teeth. The solution to removing the bacteria is to brush and floss your teeth and gums daily. In some cases, medications can cause halitosis even if you brush and floss daily, but generally it is how well you keep up with your dental hygiene.

Did you know that mouthwash or chewing gum will not cure halitosis? They cover it up for a little while, but they don’t stop it. Mouthwash used in conjunction with brushing and flossing will help, but not removing the food in your teeth that becomes the food for the bacteria is the issue.

“I brush but it doesn’t help!” If this is the case, you have to look at how you are brushing. Are you brushing long enough? Thoroughly enough? In order to actually make sure you get all the surfaces, including your tongue, you should brush for at least 2 minutes at least twice a day. And you have to floss. Brushing alone doesn’t get the bacteria or trapped food between your teeth.

Oh, and one more. You can’t tell if you have bad breath by breathing into your hand. Did you know that you breathe differently when you speak and when you just breathe out? When you speak odors come from the back of your throat, which doesn’t happen when you simply breathe out. Another thing to remember is we all get used to our own smells, so you might not even smell your own bad breath.

If you are having issues with bad breath and can’t seem to find the answer, visit your dentist. Sometimes halitosis is a symptom of a bigger medical problem. If you’re in the Denver area, visit Makowski Dental online at for help with any bad breath issues.

What Are Dental Implants?

If you have lost permanent teeth you might have been told to try dental implants. But what are dental implants and how do they work? Here is some information, and Makowski Dental can also answer your questions.

What Are Dental Implants?Dental implants are tooth replacements. They are permanent and they are made to match your natural teeth. Dental implants improve your appearance because they look and feel like your natural teeth. They are designed to become permanent because they fuse with your bone. Another benefit is that they improve your speech. If you’ve worn dentures, you know they can slip. When they slip it can cause you to slur your words or have trouble eating.

Implants can’t slip. They are much more comfortable because they become permanent and don’t move around in your mouth. Dentures can be uncomfortable, especially when food particles get in between the dentures and your gums. You don’t have to eliminate certain foods because biting into them means your dentures will slip. Implants don’t require damaging other teeth like a bridge does, and are very durable. Done correctly you may never need to replace them.

Don’t you want to feel better about how you look, and feel better because your oral health is improved? Implants can give you self-confidence and a great smile. Nothing makes you feel better.

If you are healthy enough to have any routine oral surgery, and have healthy gums and bone, you are a good candidate for implants. Caring for them is a lot like caring for your natural teeth, so if you have issues with dental hygiene, your dentist may not recommend them to you. Most dental insurance doesn’t cover implants, but your medical insurance may. Contact both to see which, or if, either will help.

If you want to find a great dentist in Denver to help you decide if dental implants are for you, visit Makowski Dental online at

What Are Veneers?

Are your teeth stained, chipped or broken? There are a few ways to fix them, but one is by using veneers. So what are they and how do they work?

A dental veneer is a thin piece of porcelain that is placed on a tooth to cover imperfections in the tooth. The veneer covers imperfections like deep staining that can’t be removed through tooth whitening, a chip in a tooth or even a broken tooth. Having them put on takes a bit of work, but since they can be made in different shades, the customized results will be worth the work.

What Are Veneers?A dentist will go through several steps. First, he or she will take impressions of your teeth. Actually there will be several taken: before, during, and in some cases after the veneers are put on your teeth. The first impressions are used to make a stone replica of your teeth, which is used to allow the final veneers to be made. It’s also used to make a “wax-up” which is used to make a temporary set of veneers that are worn while the permanent ones are being made.

Once the temporary and permanent veneers are made, the dentist will prepare your teeth. This preparation varies from dentist to dentist, so check with yours to see what will be involved. You will probably have to wear the temporary ones for a length of time, so there are a few rules you should follow while wearing them. Avoid the following: biting into or chewing hard foods; gum and sticky candy; using your teeth to open or tear non-food items; biting your nails; and foods or beverages that contain deep pigments that will stain the acrylic used for the temporary veneers.

Your permanent veneers will be put on your teeth by using cement. It adheres to your teeth after they are prepared with acid etch. After they are adhered, the dentist will check your bite and adjustments will be made if necessary. Once the permanent ones are finished, some of the same “don’ts” will apply. They can chip or break, so avoid hard items and opening things with your teeth. Foods and drinks that stain should be avoided as well. Porcelain is porous and will stain. Unlike your teeth, veneers can’t be whitened, so if they get stained it’s problematic.

If you want to find a great dentist in Denver to help you decide if veneers are for you, visit Makowski Dental online at

How Often Should You See the Dentist?

How Often Should You See the Dentist?Often the question comes up, how often should you see the dentist. The general rule is twice a year or every six months. But is that the right advice?

The true answer to that question is, it depends. For the majority of people that is a good rule of thumb. Most children and adults should see a dentist every six months for a cleaning and check up. But sometimes there are situations that make that number change. Many factors can change that twice a year rule of thumb.

One thing is reality. If you are uninsured, or your insurance will only pay for once a year, going every six months may not be an option. Dental care, unfortunately, is not a priority in many benefit packages, and can be that “set aside” thing when times get tough. It shouldn’t be. Talk with your dentist and find out if he or she is willing to work with you to keep your mouth healthy.

On the other end of the spectrum, if you are at greater risk for oral disease you need to go more often. You may need to go more often if you are a regular tobacco and alcohol user, have diabetes, are pregnant, already have periodontal or gum disease, have poor oral hygiene or other medical conditions.

So let’s say you are a regular brusher and flosser, six months should be for you, right? Not so fast. Tartar and plaque form in the mouth at different rates. So people have no problem, others, have it build up quickly no matter how often they brush and floss. So your best bet is to be honest with your dentist, let him or her know your actual oral habits, any prescription drugs you take, any health conditions you have and so forth, and also your financial abilities to pay for care, and then come up with a plan to keep your teeth healthy.

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Taking care of your teeth!

How To Have A Great SmileWe have been told for years and years that brushing our teeth is so important. Have you ever stopped to consider why?

The first reason brushing is important is that it removes plaque which is clear film of bacteria (yes you read that right, bacteria) that builds up on your teeth. These bacteria are actually attacking the sugar that is on your teeth and breaking it down into acids. These acids eat away at your tooth enamel and over time can cause cavities. Plaque can also cause gingivitis. Gingivitis is a gum disease that makes your gums swollen, sore and red. Long story short on this one, brushing your teeth can solve A LOT of problems.

So now that you are convinced about brushing (twice a day, right?) Let’s move on to flossing. We see more problems caused by not flossing than we see for any other tooth care problem! Using your toothbrush to clean off plaque is great but brushing doesn’t get rid of plaque between teeth. Only flossing will make sure that plaque is not sitting right there on your gum line. Once you develop gingivitis disease from not flossing, it is a skip and a jump to periodontitis which hurts the alveolar bone that holds teeth in the jaw. It is at this stage that bone loss or tooth loss occurs.

So now you are scared about plaque, what about her ugly cousin tartar. Tartar is created when plaque is calcified by the saliva in your mouth. Tartar is a much more tricky thing to get rid of (plaque is removed with brushing and flossing, tartar requires scaling or regular cleanings at the dentists’ office).

Basically, taking the time to brush and floss each day can mean that you never have to hear the word plaque or worse yet tartar come out of your dentist’s mouth!

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Why should you use an electric toothbrush?

Take Care Of Your Teeth - Denver DentistsEver wonder why using an electric toothbrush is such a great idea! When you visit Dr. Jim’s office for a cleaning, one of the first things they are going to ask you is if you have been using your electric toothbrush. We thought you might like to know why we are such nags about it!

5 Reasons To Use An Electric Toothbrush

Reason #1 – An electronic toothbrush can make up to 3,000 motions a minute (most of us can’t come even close to that manually!)

Reason #2 – If left to our own devices without a timer handy, we probably don’t brush as long as we should. The electric toothbrushes have a handy feature that pauses to let you know when you are done!

Reason #3 – Some configurations of bristles have been shown to be better at plaque and preventing gum disease. It seems that “rotating-oscillating — appear to be more effective than manual brushes and other electric brushes that spin in only one direction.”

Reason #4 – While they may cost a little more up front, the maintenance cost has been found to be lower as the bristles last longer than conventional tooth brushes. Additionally, you can get heads for each family member and just one base that you can keep charged up!

Reason #5 – If you have any any trouble with your hands, like carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis, using an electric toothbrush is a great solution. Instead of adding more repetitive (painful) tasks to your day, spend just a couple of minutes being nice to your teeth AND your hands!

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