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We can help you achieve fresh breath at Walkinstown Dental Care

Fresh Breath Centre

Prevention is better than cure...

A phrase often used, but nowhere is it truer than in dentistry. At Walkinstown Dental Care, preventative dentistry is at the heart of everything that we do.

Often, problems with gums are ignored as they aren't always associated with pain and the first sign a patient notices is when a tooth becomes loose or mobile. This is when it is too late as severe periodontal (the area that supports the tooth) conditions are almost impossible to reverse.

Our hygienists (available Tuesdays and Thursday) will carefully chart any early signs of gum disease (periodontal disease), inform the patient of any concerns and plan a course of action with the appropriate reviews.

Unlike other forms of dental treatment such as crowns, veneers or fillings the treatment is done once and despite cleaning, hopefully a patient can forget about the restoration. Periodontal disease, on the other hand, is something which can return again and again so regular monitoring is advised.

We are all human and with pressures at home and work we can let our oral hygiene slip. We don't believe in berating patients but instead helping them get back on track with their motivation to clean thoroughly.

Our aim is to both clean a patients teeth above and below the gum and provide the patient with the correct knowledge to maintain their mouth at a higher standard.

Poor oral hygiene or periodontal disease can be the cause of bad tastes in the mouth or even bad breath. Both can cause a great deal of embarrassment for the patient at home/work and socially. We are sympathetic to patients with these conditions and can provide confidential advice and treatment.

Plaque builds up really quickly - even after my clean with the hygienist...

Plaque build up can be faster with some patients. Patients with carbohydrate rich diets e.g. crisps, toast, biscuits, sandwiches, cereal, crackers, pasta, rice, potatoes will find plaque deposits mount fast.

Varying your diet with fresh fruit or vegetables can help keep teeth cleaner and chewing sugar free gum after meals has shown to reduce plaque build up and reduce decay by stimulating saliva flow.

To floss or not to floss?

I think people know that flossing is another aid to better oral hygiene, but why? The idea of flossing is to get rid of any plaque/food we may not be able to reach with our tooth brush. It will suit a lot of patients but everyone is different. Some find it tricky, especially towards the back of the mouth and others worry that "it only makes my gums bleed" or can even hurt.

Flossing is a bit of an art and demonstrations are helpful. It will require some practice. Often if an area bleeds it means it may need more attention by more regular flossing here or perhaps it's an area that should be mentioned to the dentist/hygienist at your next visit.

At Walkinstown Dental Care we are moving away from floss and introducing patients to interdental brushes. They are like small bottle brushes which vary in size to suit the space. Like floss they go in between the teeth and collect plaque/food on the bristle.

Different patients will find one technique to suit them. The emphasis should be that either interdental brushes or floss gets into this area regularly as it can be here that periodontal disease can start.

Electric Tooth Brushes

Another personal taste issue. Many patients have been able to keep their teeth clean for many years with a manual/normal tooth brush. Some patients prefer the feel of an electric tooth brush.

Dr Cromey prefers to use a rechargeable Braun Oral B Professional Series electric tooth brush!

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Have you ever suffered from bad breath? Would you like fresher breath?

It can be a socially debilitating disorder and it isn't something that you will want to share or discuss with many people!

We are sympathetic to patients with these conditions and can provide confidential advice and treatment.

The odour is caused by wastes from bacteria in the mouth, the decay of food particles, other debris in your mouth and poor oral hygiene. The decay and debris produce a sulphur compound that causes the unpleasant odour. At Walkinstown Dental Care our hygienist, Joann, plays a vital role in keeping your mouths healthy and reducing the causes of bad breath. Some obvious causes are:

The Atkins diet can have an associated 'ketone' breath which can also present when patients eat a lot of meat.

Does bad breath come from sources other than the mouth?

Bad breath also may occur in people who have a medical infection, diabetes, kidney failure or a liver malfunction. Xerostomia (dry mouth) and tobacco also contribute to this problem. Cancer patients who undergo radiation therapy may experience dry mouth. Even stress, dieting, snoring, age and hormonal changes can have an effect on your breath.

An odour that comes from the back of your tongue may indicate postnasal drip. This is where mucus secretion, which comes from the nose and moves down your throat, gets stuck on the tongue and causes an odour.

How do I control bad breath?

Often a course of visits to the hygienist can put you in the right direction.

It is also important to practice good oral hygiene, such as brushing and using interdental brushes/flossing your teeth at least twice a day. Proper brushing, including brushing the tongue, cheeks and the roof of the mouth, will remove bacteria and food particles.

The best way to brush your tongue is with your toothbrush. Tongue scrapers tend to loose their effectiveness quickly. Without toothpaste (it can actually burn the tongue!) brush the tongue all over and then rinse the brush thoroughly.Do this daily, especially if you notice a discolouration (can be a yellow or brown colour - particularly if you smoke) of your tongue.

Chewing sugar-free gum also may help control odour. Mouthwashes which are alcohol free will give longer lasting fresh breath. They are only an adjunct to good brushing/interdental brushing - not a substitute.

If you have dentures or a removable appliance, such as a retainer or mouthguard, clean the appliance thoroughly before placing it back in your mouth. Before you use mouthrinses, deodorizing sprays or tablets, talk with your dentist/hygienist, because these products only mask the odour temporarily and some products work better than others.

Call us on 01 450 6373 to arrange an appointment or ask us confidentially next time you are at the practice.


Recent research has shown a link between periodontal (gum) bacteria and possible premature labour/adverse pregnancy outcomes.

We suggest all pregnant women visit the hygienist at the start of the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

There are also established links between periodontal disease and an increase prevalence of heart disease. Periodontal disease can be described as a continuous low grade infection in the gums. If you had an infection in your leg wouldn't you seek medical attention immediately?

Good oral hygiene should be at the centre of all our daily routines. Walkinstown Dental Care will try to show you ways to achieve this and maintain it.

Some simple tips to help you enjoy better oral health?

  1. Stop smoking. As well as the well known problems in relation to lung cancer and heart disease, smoking is a major contributory factor in oral cancer. It can also cause gum inflammation and leads to gum recession which increases plaque build up. It can also contribute to bad breath - see the Fresh Breath Center.
  2. Enjoy alcohol in moderation. Alcohol is another contributory factor to oral cancer.
  3. Avoid fizzy drinks and sugary snacks. These lead to a massive increase in plaque which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
  4. Try and restrict food intake to mealtimes. Oral bacteria benefit from the constant nourishment that snacking can provide. If you must snack, then try and choose foods like fresh fruit or cheese which are better for your teeth.
  5. Eat a well balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals. This will lead to healthier gums and therefore healthier teeth. Brush your teeth carefully twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. (Children under 7 should only use a pea sized amount of a low fluoride toothpaste).
  6. Floss everyday. Ask us how to if you are not sure - don't worry - a lot of people don't know how to do it properly until they are shown!
  7. Visit Walkinstown Dental Care regularly for hygiene appointments.

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Walkinstown Dental Care | 133 St Peter's Rd, Walkinstown, Dublin 12 | T: 01 450 6373 | F: 01 450 6395