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How Poor Dental Hygiene Affects Your Overall Health

Over half of all American adults (and one-third of all American children) aren’t brushing their teeth enough.

But is that really such a big deal?


Contrary to what you might think, your oral health has a huge impact on the rest of your body. Keep reading below to learn the negative effects of poor dental hygiene.

Impaired Speech

Impaired speech is a concern for young children who struggle with tooth decay.

When young children lose teeth at an early age, they have trouble learning how to talk. This can lead to impaired speech development that lasts for the rest of the child’s life.

Trouble Sleeping

People with oral diseases often deal with a lot of chronic pain. This pain can make it difficult for them to fall and stay asleep at night.

If you don’t get enough sleep, you can become sleep deprived. And this is more dangerous than it sounds.

People who’re sleep deprived are at risk of many other serious health concerns, including heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, etc.

Low Self-Esteem

People with any type of oral disease may feel embarrassed when it comes to the appearance of their teeth. Because of this embarrassment, they may avoid smiling.

This can cause a huge blow to a person’s self-esteem.

Low self-esteem doesn’t just affect the way a person feels about themselves. It affects how a person experiences the world. Over time, low self-esteem can reduce the quality of a person’s life and lead to mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.

Complications During Pregnancy and Birth

Periodontitis is a type of gum disease. While it may seem contained to your mouth, this serious disease affects a lot more than that.

Oral bacteria release toxins into the bloodstream. That means these toxins get into the placenta of a pregnant mother. These toxins also cause the mother to produce more labor-triggering substances than normal.

Because of this, periodontitis can lead to premature birth and a lower-than-normal birth weight.

Cardiovascular Disease

Some types of oral inflammation and infections can encourage cardiovascular disease.

The oral inflammation develops plaque in the heart’s arteries, which can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, or strokes.


Endocarditis is another type of heart disease.

As bacteria and germs from other parts of the body spread through your bloodstream, they attach to the inner lining of your heart. Oral bacteria from infections inside your mouth can contribute to this disease.

Endocarditis can lead to serious heart damage that can destroy your valves. If you don’t get the right treatment soon enough, it can be life-threatening.

How Dental Poor Dental Hygiene Affects Your Overall Health

You should never make the mistake of thinking your oral health doesn’t matter. If you have poor dental hygiene, the bacteria in your mouth can spread to other parts of your body and cause serious health concerns.

That’s why brushing and flossing every day is so important.

Think you might be struggling with gum disease? Don’t hesitate to contact us and set up an appointment.

How to Find a Dentist You’ll Love to Visit

Whether you’ve recently moved to a new city or you’re simply looking to switch, the task of finding a new dentist can be both daunting and frustrating. There are nearly 200,000 dentists in the US alone, so it’s no wonder the search can be intimidating!

Read on for our tips on how to find a dentist you’ll love to visit.

Insured? Look for “In Network”

If you have dental insurance through an employer, your first step is to access your insurance provider’s website and search for “in network” dentists. If you end up with an “out of network” dentist, you’ll pay close to full price for services.

Some insurance provider search tools even allow you to select other information about the dentist, such as gender or years of experience.

Not Insured? Consider Low-Cost Providers

If you don’t have dental insurance, be forewarned that services might cost a pretty penny. This is especially true for treatments like root canals or bridges.

Consider low-cost providers or local dental schools, especially for your twice-annual preventative cleanings. Dental students are supervised full-time by professionals and teachers, so fear not: you’re in safe hands!

Convenience is Key

Once you’ve selected an in-network or low-cost provider, next to consider is the distance from your home or work. This is especially true in the event you need an emergency appointment. No one wants to drive forty minutes through traffic with a throbbing toothache!

Look at office hours, too. If you work the nine-to-five, you may want to search for a dentist who takes evening or weekend appointments.

Specialty Needs

If you’ve got kiddos who hate the dentist, or you would like a dentist who specializes in sensitivity, keep this in mind as you perform your search. Many dentists provide heated blankets, TV screens, music headphones, or even mild anesthesia for regular cleanings.

You may also consider a dental office that performs oral surgery if you expect to need services like root canals or wisdom teeth removal. Or, if your kids will need braces in the future, consider a dentist who also offers orthodontic services.

Ask Around to Find a Dentist!

If you’re really stuck on the dentist search, ask coworkers, neighbors or friends for referrals. Coworkers are a great resource to find in-network providers, whereas neighbors can help you find someone friendly and local.

You might even score some perks by using a referral because many dentists offer discounts or savings (to both of you!) when you tell them who referred you.

Do Your Due Diligence

Just because you’ve chosen a new dentist doesn’t mean you’re committed. Consider stopping by the office to set your first appointment and ask for a tour, and take close note of the staff, equipment, etc. If equipment looks old or unsanitary, it’s a red flag.

Also, check to see whether the dentist is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA), the main organization supporting reputable dentists.

We Can Help!

For more tips oral health, how to find a dentist, and when to see a dentist, check out the rest of our blog today!

Tooth Abscess Danger Signs and Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Them

5 Tooth Abscess Danger Signs and Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Them

Home remedies may ease the pain for a while but an infected tooth needs urgent medical care. Ignore these tooth abscess danger signs at your peril.

Keyword(s): tooth abscess danger signs

Tooth pain is enough to spur you to get an appointment with your dentist. No one likes carrying that ache around for longer than is necessary. Your toothache could be anything, including an abscess. Did you know abscesses aren’t only painful, but could also be deadly?

If left untreated too long, you could suffer more than a lost tooth. Not sure that’s what’s causing your pain? Here are some tooth abscess danger signs to keep you vigilant.

Tooth Abscess Danger Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

Pain is the body’s natural warning system. It warns you when something is wrong, and when to do something about it. That’s why you should never ignore what your body is trying to tell you. Bacteria in the affected tooth can cause an abscess. It can come about from having bad oral hygiene.

What are some signs and symptoms of an abscessed tooth?

1. Aching and Throbbing

When a tooth has become infected, you’ll know it. There will be plenty of aching and throbbing that won’t go away. It will get worse and worse, and be unbearable. If the pain gets to be too much before seeing a dentist, try home remedies to dull the ache.

2. Swelling in the Affected Area

Not only will you experience pain, but you’ll also see some swelling. There may even be a pimple-like swelling on the gums around the tooth that is infected.

If you suddenly taste or smell something bad following relief, it likely burst. You should still see your dental professional if this happens. You could still have a dental infection deep down.

3. Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity can be common in some people. But if the affected tooth is more sensitive than usual, don’t ignore it. Severe sensitivity to hot or cold substances can be another sign something is wrong.

4. Swelling in the Face or Cheeks

In most cases, when you have an infection, there is swelling. Swelling of the abscessed tooth isn’t uncommon. Though, if you start to experience swelling in the face, it means it’s getting worse. You’ll need antibiotics for the tooth infection.

If your dentist appointment is too far out, don’t hesitate to go to the emergency room. They can help you deal with the infection before it gets to a dangerous point.

Tooth abscess complications are serious and deadly. They can include sepsis and Ludwig’s Angina. Both are complications that can cause severe health problems.

5. Swollen Lymph Nodes

Another reaction the body can have to infections is a swelling of the lymph nodes. If the lymph nodes in your neck or jaw become tender and swollen, don’t wait any longer. Your body is fighting an infection and needs medical help to do so.

More Dental Reads

If these tooth abscess danger signs sound familiar, make an appointment as soon as you can. Contact Bridgetown Dental to get treatment of your infection before it gets worse. Bridgetown Dental offers a variety of dental services.

Dental hygiene is essential to your health. Read our blog to find more articles about taking care of your teeth.

How To Get Rid Of Bad Breath

5 Tips to Get Rid of Bad Breath Your Dentist Wants You to Know

Bad breath has a number of causes. Some are serious, but most are easily managed. Here are 5 top tips from a dentist on how to get rid of bad breath for good.

Halitosis, otherwise known as bad breath, can be a sign you are suffering from stomach cancer or just that you have poor dental hygiene habits.

Don’t panic, though — 90% of cases originate in the oral cavity. Likely, there are some easy fixes to your bad breath problem.

Here are 5 tips to get rid of bad breath that your dentist wants you to know (preferably before you go to see them).

1. Quit Smoking

In addition to causing throat, mouth, and lung cancers, smoking can affect your breath. Smoking causes its own set of odors which spill out when you speak.

Smokers are more susceptible to infections of the mouth and gum disease. This, combined with yellow teeth, make smoking tobacco highly unattractive.

If you need more convincing to quit, think of your breath.

2. Brush and Floss Daily

Every time you go to the dentist, you get asked about your dental hygiene habits. How often do you brush your teeth?

Do you even floss? Your gums are bleeding, so don’t lie.

These habits are critical to maintaining a healthy smile and fresh breath. You should brush and use mouthwash twice a day.

Floss regularly and scrape your tongue. Food particles will hide in the spaces between your teeth and on your tongue.

3. Drink Water

Water is probably the most precious thing you will ever sip from a glass. Drinking water will wash away any food particles hanging out in your teeth.

The buildup of food particles in your teeth and on your tongue are a primary cause of bad breath. After you eat, before you eat, and any other time you can, drink water.

If you particularly like coffee, onions, garlic, and pasta, watch out — these foods are known for causing bad breath. A high intake of fluids will keep your breath fresh and your kidneys running smoothly.

4. Chew Gum, Increase Saliva Production

Like water, saliva helps keep your mouth clear of food particles throughout the day. Plus, it prevents bacterial and fungal growth.

Dry mouth is normal during sleep, especially for those who sleep with their mouths open. This is why you may wake up with bad breath.

Chronic dry mouth can lead to serious halitosis. Chewing gum throughout the day will increase saliva production and keep your mouth moist. This will also positively affect your breath.

If you do smoke, chewing gum is also a great way to mitigate the cessation process.

Keeping it Fresh: Get Rid of Bad Breath

Nobody wants to be caught in public with bad breath. It’s a common problem that many of us find unattractive.

Luckily, there are some easy ways to get rid of bad breath. Before you freak out and think you have stomach cancer, try some of the above tips.

You may be surprised by how easy it is to keep your breath fresh. You should also visit a dentist frequently. To contact us or make an appointment, click here.

Warning Signs You Might Have A Cavity

Cavity Symptoms: How to Tell if You Have a Cavity

If you don’t know how to tell if you have a cavity, then you should keep reading. In this article, we’re discussing cavity symptoms you should never ignore.

According to research studies, over 91% of Americans have had cavities in between the ages of 20 and 64. And while this number is sure to have increased within the last couple of years, it’s important to do your research on what causes these cavities to begin with.

It’s recommended that you schedule a bi-annual service with your dentist in order to check on your oral health. But in between visits, what do you search for in order to diagnose a cavity?

If you don’t really know, that’s not a problem. Fortunately, we have put together a list of symptom you should look for if you don’t know how to tell if you have a cavity.

How To Tell If You Have A Cavity: Bad Breath

While a lot of people associate bad breath with halitosis, you’d be surprised by its association with cavities. Tooth decay, in general, generates bacteria and this bacteria leads to bad breath.

Unfortunately, no matter how many times you brush your teeth or tongue, it’s recommended you visit a dentist as soon as possible to prevent any further damage.

Tooth Sensitivity

Want to know how to tell if you have a cavity? Tooth sensitivity!

Drinking something really hot or really cold will hurt the tooth that has a cavity. Fortunately, there are gels and toothpaste that can help alleviate the pain and hold you over until you make your way to a dentist.


Let’s try an exercise! Take your tongue and feel around your teeth for holes and chips. One of the sure tale signs of a cavity is finding holes and/or dark spots on your teeth.

Immediately schedule an appointment with your local dentist in order to the cavity filled.


An unattended cavity can lead to further complications. One of the extreme symptoms of a cavity is pus excretion from the infected area. Because a cavity is essentially an opened wound, it’s easy for bacteria to infect the area and generate pus. Often times clients will experience a bitter aftertaste in their mouth that comes as a result of this.


As simple as it might sound, a normal toothache can be a sign of a bigger issue. Usually, teeth with cavities cause teeth to crack.  Whether you’re biting into food or hypersensitive to the weather, be sure to contact your dentist if you are experiencing pain.

Looking For A Dentist In Portland? Try Us!

Whether you don’t know how to tell if you have a cavity or want to inquire about dental implants, we’re here to serve. Ever since we’ve been in business Bridgetown Dental has strived to provide excellent Dental services for the Portland area. Because our services vary from Family Dentistry to Cosmetic – we specialize in all kinds of clients.

Thinking about getting some dental work done? No problem. Feel free to contact us and a member of our team will be more than happy to reach out to you.

Fun Way to Teach Your Children to Care About Oral Health

At least 20% of American children suffer from some kind of tooth decay before they turn 12.

Many of these cases are a result of poor oral health habits. But, if you teach your children about proper brushing strategies, you can prevent tooth damage in primary teeth.

Here’s a quick guide that’ll teach you how to make child dental care fun.

The Importance of Primary Teeth

Primary teeth have a thinner enamel than permanent teeth. This means they’re more susceptible to damaging bacteria that causes tooth decay. But primary teeth fall out anyway, so is brushing and flossing your child’s teeth really that important?

Your child’s primary teeth do a lot of things. They create spaces for permanent teeth and guide them into place when they’re growing. They give shape to your child’s face. And they are necessary for learning how to speak and eat.

If you don’t take care of these teeth, your child may have trouble talking and chewing. The decay can leave your child in pain, and bad oral habits have a high chance of carrying over to permanent teeth as well.

For these reasons, you should put a lot of focus into your child’s oral hygiene.

What Is Fluoride Toothpaste?

Fluoride is a mineral that’s part of many types of toothpaste, foods, soils, and even drinking waters. It prevents tooth decay and cavities, and you should have your kids start using it at an early age to protect their teeth.

But you shouldn’t give it to your children until they’re old enough to spit out their toothpaste. Kids under two years old tend to swallow toothpaste, so wait until your child is old enough to spit.

Fun Ways to Teach Your Kids Proper Oral Health

Let Them Pick Music

Your child should brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes. Get them into the habit of brushing once after breakfast and once before they go to bed.

One way to get them excited about brushing their teeth is to let them pick some music. This will also keep them entertained during the process, and if the song is two minutes long, it will give them a clear starting and stopping time.

Let Them Brush Their Own Teeth

Encourage your child to brush their teeth on their own. Once they’re done, it’s your turn. Use their toothbrush to get areas they might have had trouble reaching.

Let Them Decide If Mom or Dad Will Help Them

You should supervise your child’s brushing until they’re at least eight years old. Let them choose whose turn it is to help them every morning and every night.

Let Them Choose Their Own Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Take your child shopping with you and let them pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. Getting a color or flavor they like will get them excited for the process.

Don’t forget to buy a new toothbrush every few months. As soon as the bristles on the toothbrush get flat from use, you should pick up a new one.

Set Up a Rewards Chart

Create a reward chart with prizes your child can see. Every time they brush their teeth, they can mark off a spot on the chart. Once they do this for a few days or weeks, they can get a prize.

Don’t give them candy for prizes. Instead, give them a new toy, take them to the park, or throw them a movie night.

Fun Oral Hygiene Instructions for a Child

Teaching your child about oral health doesn’t have to be a fight. Instead, make the process fun and exciting. Let them pick out their toothbrush, play their favorite songs as they brush, and reward them for doing a good job.

Do you need to set up a dental appointment for your child? Head over to our contact page and send us a message.

At-Home Teeth Whitening Kit vs. Teeth Whitening Service from a Cosmetic Dentist

Retail and grocery stores offer at-home whitening kits. While these teeth whitening kits promise to do the same thing that a cosmetic dentist can do, they are very different. In fact, the only thing they have in common is they try to whiten your teeth.

Understanding the differences between an at-home tooth whitening kit and a customized kit provided by a cosmetic dentist can help you determine which teeth whitening procedure to use.

Customized Teeth Whitening Trays

In order for these teeth whitening kits to work, a bleaching agent – usually a gel – needs to be applied to the teeth. Most at-home teeth whitening kits provide a tray for use at home, but that tray is not customized to fit your mouth. This one-size-fits-all tray may hold the gel nicely, but it may not help get the best results.

A customized tray that is designed to place the gel directly on your teeth will help you get the best results. This customized tray will make sure no tooth is left untouched by the bleaching gel. It will also make sure the gel is evenly applied to the teeth, which will prevent spotting or uneven whitening.

Safer Bleaching Agent Used in Professional Kits

Teeth are whitened using a bleaching agent. This bleaching agent will help remove stains and discoloration from your teeth. Unfortunately, the type of bleaching agent found in at-home kits can be extremely powerful, which can cause problems with your teeth.

Professional teeth whitening kits created by a cosmetic dentist are safer for your teeth. These kits contain a special whitening gel that does not harm the structural integrity of your teeth. A professional teeth whitening gel is best for people who need to whiten their teeth for prolong periods of time, as it won’t harm them.

Verify Your Teeth are Healthy Enough for Teeth Whitening

There are some dental problems, such as chipped/cracked teeth or cavities, which could make teeth whitening extremely painful. If you use an at-home whitening kit, you will not know if your teeth and gums are healthy enough for whitening.

Using a professional teeth whitening kit from a cosmetic dentist can help you avoid pain by making sure your teeth are healthy enough to undergo the teeth whitening procedure.

Typically, before administering the teeth whitening kit, the cosmetic dentist will conduct a brief oral examination. This will find any problems that could cause you pain during the teeth whitening process.

Bridgetown Dental in Portland, Oregon offers professional teeth whitening services. Call our office today to schedule an appointment with our cosmetic dentist to discuss teeth whitening options.

Holiday Treats Take A Toll on Your Teeth

Though you may not be scared of Halloween, its aftermath is what should get you worried. Studies have shown that visits to the dentist increase rapidly right after the Halloween spooky holiday. These visits arise from the increase in the number of cracked teeth, a condition that arise as a result of consumption of excessive candy. This holiday is proving to be lucrative for dentists.

There was a nearly 80 percent jump in emergency dentist visits on Halloween about normal October days in 2014. That number has been increasing consistently in the recent years. The data was collected from Sikka Software that is a cloud-based app system installed in over 13,000 dentist offices across the country. Halloween treats can be damaging with long-term cavity problems arising from the sugar.

There are many emergency cases where you may chip a tooth on hard candy with children being at a higher risk. The front teeth are at a higher risk of cracking in comparison to the other teeth. It is advisable as a parent to inspect thoroughly all Halloween treats before allowing your children to feast on them. Additionally, you should floss and brush your teeth after enjoying every treat.

Evidence from the Sikka Software installed in over 2,000 veterinary offices reveals that pets also are adversely affected by the spooky holiday. They also experience cracked teeth from the hard candy treats with some cases of internal blockages caused by swallowed candy wrappers also reported in pets. Reports from Sikka estimate that in 2015 $800 million may be spent on emergency dental visits and an additional $300 million for vet bills as an aftermath of the Halloween holiday.

Every year, Americans spend approximately $9 billion on candy with a majority of that amount spent in October. Cavities and tooth decay arise as a result of prolonged exposure to sugary substances. As a parent, you can reduce cases of cavities and decays by limiting the amount of sugars your kids consume. The sugary and sticky Halloween candy treats can play nasty tricks on your kids’ teeth. All oral health experts agree upon the fact that sugar is a major cause of tooth cavities and decay.

The natural bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugars in the candy and other foods in the mouth turning it into acids. These acids attack the enamel of your teeth causing decay. The sticky candy results in sugars being in contact with the teeth for a longer time. Children like sticky candies like taffy and caramels. This candy often will stick on the surface and in between the crevices of the teeth.

If the sugar is stuck on the teeth for long, the bacteria will have adequate time to act on the sugar producing acid. The more acid that is produced and the more time it has exposure on the teeth, the more chances it has to cause cavity development. Nonetheless, there are certain precautions that you can take to reduce the effects of the Halloween sugary treats. First, you should go for candy that is easily and quickly consumable to decrease the amount of time the sugar is in contact with the teeth.

Avoid those kinds of candies that are sticky for instance gummy fruit snacks and popcorn balls that expose your teeth to sugars for lengthy periods. Limit your rate of consumption of sour candies that contain acids. The acids contribute significantly to dental cavities and dental erosion. Make sure that your children consume small amounts of candy in one sitting followed by a glass of water. Also, they should brush their teeth after consuming the candies.

Make sure that your children have had a good meal before trick-or-treating to limit their rate of candy consumption. Though Halloween presents a great opportunity for you to think about your children’s teeth, oral health should be observed keenly always. Good oral habits like brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily are important.

Though you may practice good oral habits, it is also advisable to visit your dentist right after Halloween when a lot of candy and sugars are consumed. The dentist conducts the thorough inspection using top quality equipment making sure that all sugary substances are eliminated from the mouth. A visit to the dentist guarantees a healthy mouth, always keeping your teeth and those of your children healthy always.

If you need to schedule a visit for a teeth cleaning and check up please give our office a call today at 503-286-5654

Sedation Dentistry in Portland – Everything You Need To Know

According to statistics, between 5 and 8 percent of Americans avoid the dentist because of fear. A greater percentage of people – somewhere around 20 percent – suffer high levels of anxiety that prevent them from going unless totally necessary. Are you a part of this statistic? If so, you understand how difficult it is to drag yourself to the dentist. Despite this fear, you probably understand the importance of oral hygiene. What do you do? The answer may be found in sedation dentistry.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry – also known as sleep dentistry – uses medication to relax patients during procedures. While the name implies unconsciousness, patients are usually awake during most sedation dentistry procedures. It simply eliminates anxiety and allows the patient to relax or forget about the procedure.

There are a few different levels of sedation, and each dentist provides different types according to their beliefs and experiences. The typical sedation levels include minimal sedation (awake but relaxed), moderate sedation (awake but altered conscious), deep sedation (on the edge of unconsciousness, but can still be woken up), and general anesthesia (total unconsciousness).

Types of Sedation

Sedation can be induced via a number of different ways. Most dentists used nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to sedate patients. This is the preferred method because it is totally safe, easily controllable, and wears off quickly. Other types include oral sedation, IV moderate sedation, and deep sedation or general anesthesia.

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is valued for a number of different reasons. These include the following:

• Overcome Fear. Sedation is generally used to assist patients with a severe fear or anxiety of the dentist. Treatment helps patients feel more relaxed and allows for better cooperation between the dentist and patient.

• Pain-Free. One of the major reasons people are afraid of the dentist is fear of pain. Sedation dentistry increases a patient’s pain threshold and reduces the likelihood that they will be uncomfortable.

• Cost Effective. While sedation dentistry usually costs a few extra bucks, it may save money in the long run. That’s because dentists are able to perform more work in a single appointment. This reduces the need for multiple appointments and means less money spent.

Choosing a Sedation Dentist

When looking for a sedation dentist, there are a few things to keep in mind. These include certification, continuing education, experience, and types of sedation performed. All of these should be considered and weighed appropriately. It’s never a good idea to go to a dentist who advertises sedation dentistry but does not have the appropriate education or experience. It’s best to ask around and get referrals from friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors.