Westminster, MD Dentist
Gallagher & Eden Family Dentistry
715 Baltimore Blvd.
Westminster, MD 21157
(410) 848-3866
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Posts for: August, 2016

By Dr. Patrick Gallagher, D.D.S.
August 19, 2016
Category: Oral Health
EvenCelebritiesLikeJenniferLawrenceArentImmuneFromBadBreath

Exchanging passionate kisses with big-screen star Jennifer Lawrence might sound like a dream come true. But according to Liam Hemsworth, her Hunger Games co-star, it could also be a nightmare… because J.Law’s breath wasn’t always fresh. “Anytime I had to kiss Jennifer was pretty uncomfortable,” Hemsworth said on The Tonight Show.

Lawrence said the problem resulted from her inadvertently consuming tuna or garlic before the lip-locking scenes; fortunately, the two stars were able to share a laugh about it later. But for many people, bad breath is no joke. It can lead to embarrassment and social difficulties — and it occasionally signifies a more serious problem. So what causes bad breath, and what can you do about it?

In 9 out of 10 cases, bad breath originates in the mouth. (In rare situations, it results from a medical issue in another part of the body, such as liver disease or a lung infection.) The foul odors associated with bad breath can be temporarily masked with mouthwash or breath mints — but in order to really control it, we need to find out exactly what’s causing the problem, and address its source.

As Lawrence and Hemsworth found out, some foods and beverages can indeed cause a malodorous mouth. Onions, garlic, alcohol and coffee are deservedly blamed for this. Tobacco products are also big contributors to bad breath — which is one more reason to quit. But fasting isn’t the answer either: stop eating for long enough and another set of foul-smelling substances will be released. Your best bet is to stay well hydrated and snack on crisp, fresh foods like celery, apples or parsley.

And speaking of hydration (or the lack of it): Mouth dryness and reduced salivary flow during the nighttime hours is what causes “morning breath.” Certain health issues and some medications can also cause “dry mouth,” or xerostomia. Drinking plenty of water can encourage the production of healthy saliva — but if that’s not enough, tell us about it: We may recommend switching medications (if possible), chewing xylitol gum or using a saliva substitute.

Finally, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is a great way to avoid bad breath. The goal of oral hygiene is to control the harmful bacteria that live in your mouth. These microorganisms can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath — so keeping them in check is good for your overall oral health. Remember to brush twice and floss once daily, stay away from sugary foods and beverages, and visit the dental office regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.

So did J.Law apologize for the malodorous makeout session? Not exactly. “[For] Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, yeah, I’ll brush my teeth,” she laughed.

Hemsworth jokingly agreed: “If I was kissing Christian Bale I probably would have brushed my teeth too. With you, it’s like, ‘Eh. Whatever.’”

If you would like more information about bad breath and oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath: More than Just Embarrassing.”


By Patrick Gallagher DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
August 08, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  

Do you feel as though your teeth are subpar? If you have ever wished for a brand new smile, you are in luck. Dental veneers are a permanent and effective way to change the shape, size, length, and even color of your teeth. Learn more about dental veneers with your Westminster, MD dentist, Dr. Patrick Gallagher.Veneers

How do dental veneers work? 
Dental veneers fit over the surface of a tooth to mask its imperfections, stains or improve its shape. Veneers can improve the look of chipped, cracked, discolored, yellowed, overcrowded or under crowded teeth. A dental laboratory creates each veneer separately and customizes them to fit into your smile based on an impression of your natural teeth. Made from porcelain, dental veneers have similar light-reflecting qualities as natural teeth and are stain-resistant. Veneers are a durable dental restoration made to last many years with the proper care.

Creating a New Smile With Dental Veneers in Westminster, MD 
Veneers usually require only two dental appointments. The first appointment gives your dentist an opportunity to take an impression of your mouth which the laboratory uses to design your veneers. Additionally, this appointment is your time to ask any questions or address any concerns you may have. Your dentist then prepares the teeth by shaving a tiny amount of enamel from their surfaces. Temporary veneers protect your teeth until the dental laboratory completes the final restorations. At your second appointment, your dentist removes the temporary veneers then fits, adheres and cleans up the permanent veneers.

Caring for Your Veneers 
A good candidate for dental veneers should have a strong at-home oral care routine. This is necessary to avoid complications like tooth decay or gum disease which could shorten the life of your veneers. Caring for your veneers is easy. Simply brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day and floss at least once to keep both your veneers and natural teeth healthy between bi-annual dental examinations and cleanings.

For more information on dental veneers and how they can help your smile, please contact Dr. Gallagher in Westminster, MD. Call (410) 848-3866 to schedule your consultation for dental veneers today!


By Dr. Patrick Gallagher, D.D.S.
August 04, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: loose teeth  
LoosePermanentTeethisaProblem-takeActionNow

If you've noticed one of your teeth feeling loose, you're right to believe it's not a good thing. Loose permanent teeth are a sign of an underlying problem.

Periodontal (gum) disease is usually the culprit. Caused by bacterial plaque, a thin film of food particles, gum disease causes the tissues that support teeth to weaken and detach. While a tooth can become loose from too much biting force (primary occlusal trauma), it's more likely bone loss from gum disease has caused so much damage that even the forces from normal biting can trigger looseness.

A loose tooth must be treated or you may lose it altogether. If it's from gum disease, your treatment will have two phases.

In the first phase we need to stop the gum infection by removing plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits). Hand instruments known as scalers or ultrasonic equipment are usually sufficient for removing plaque and calculus around or just below the gum line. If the plaque extends deeper near or around the roots, we may need to consider surgical techniques to access these deeper deposits.

Once the infection is under control and the tissues have healed, we can then undertake the second phase: reducing biting forces by breaking clenching and grinding habits, doing a bite adjustment for advanced problems and securing loose teeth with splinting.

Although there are different types of splinting — both temporary and permanent — they all link loose teeth to adjacent secure teeth much like pickets in a fence. One way is to bond dental material to the outer enamel of all the teeth involved; a more permanent technique is to cut a small channel extending across all the teeth and bond a rigid metal splint within it.

To reduce biting forces on loose teeth, we might recommend wearing a bite guard to keep the teeth from generating excessive biting forces with each other. We may also recommend orthodontics to create a better bite or reshape the teeth's biting surfaces by grinding away small selected portions of tooth material so they generate less force.

Using the right combination of methods we can repair loose teeth and make them more secure. But time is of the essence: the sooner we begin treatment for a loose tooth, the better the outcome.

If you would like more information on treating loose teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Treatment for Loose Teeth.”