Would off-brand Lumineers make my breath stink?

I have been undergoing a total makeover for the last year or so. For a long time, I didn’t take good care of myself and I ignored my health, as well as my teeth. I always promised myself that when I got back into shape and was doing well again, I’d reward myself with Lumineers. I really wanted a bright smile. My dentist said I had periodontal disease and that I needed to treat that first. Ok. I did it. I went in for a million appointments, had several “deep cleanings” and even went the periodontist for additional treatments. My dentist doesn’t do Lumineers, he does some other kind of super thin veneer, which I was fine with and when he gave me the green light three months ago, we jumped right in. I LOVE MY TEETH!!! They are beautiful and are everything I hoped they would be. I don’t want to change a thing about how they look.

Here’s the problem: I now have bad breath. I never noticed it before, but I can smell it – even on my toothbrush. My dentist says it’s my homecare, but I swear I’m thorough. Is this happening because he went with some kind of inferior brand? What do I do?  — Cora

Dear Cora,
A lot of dentists use alternatives to Lumineers, and it’s usually because of the quality. Some dentists have better results with the functionality and fit of alternative brands. Others choose them because they like to use their own lab and have more control over the aesthetics. You’ll run into this a lot with dentists who are highly-skilled with cosmetic work.

As for the bad breath, it’s difficult to pinpoint the true cause online. Most of the time, the issue is related to diet. Try to think back and see if you made any changes around the time you noticed the smell. With that said, you do have periodontal disease, which is a highly-likely culprit as well. Perio disease naturally has an unpleasant odor, one to which you were probably accustomed to before and didn’t notice. After everything you went through, no doubt, your teeth and gums became cleaner than they’ve been in a long time, and the odor went away. As time has passed since your professional cleanings and treatment, your gums could be signaling distress again.

Speak to your office about having another cleaning done and let the hygienist know what you’re battling with. There may be hidden shelves or ledges that you’re not accustomed to and are missing while cleaning, which are building up stinky bacteria and trapping food. She’ll be able to pinpoint it and give you tools and advice on how to reach those spaces. Depending on the severity of your gum disease, it’s also possible that you really need more frequent cleanings for the time being.

Continue to work at it from a hygiene and diet perspective. If you get nowhere with that, head to another dentist for a second opinion. From time to time, Lumineers fail to bond properly or are awkwardly shaped. If this is the case with you, you may need to have them adjusted or reshaped.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Alana Macalik. For more information on the services she provides, visit her Arlington cosmetic dentist website.