Dental Education: How to Get Rid of Bad Breath

Dental Education: How to Get Rid of Bad Breath

February 27, 2019

Have you ever had consistent bad breath that just didn’t seem to go away with brushing, flossing, or rinsing with mouthwash? Could it be what you eat? Your home care habits? Or something more serious? Let’s go into what causes bad breath and what you can do.

Bad breath can come in many forms: morning breath, coffee breath, periodontal disease, food stuck between your teeth, or inadequate home care. Any of these can have an effect, but some are more serious.

Less serious halitosis, or bad breath, can be caused by short-term issues: not brushing your teeth, not flossing food particles from your teeth, drinking coffee, or eating certain foods like onions or garlic. You can increase the frequency of proper brushing, start flossing to remove food particles, and add an ADA approved mouthwash to your routine. You can also try to avoid foods and drinks that may have that negative affect such as morning coffee, onions at lunch, or garlic bread at dinner.

Other more serious issues can occur in which halitosis would be a symptom. Periodontal disease, which is caused from a lack of regular home care and regular visits to your dentist, is the deterioration of bone that holds your teeth in place. If left untreated, this could result in removing teeth. In addition, some medical conditions and genetics can make this breakdown happen faster. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss and is usually preventable. This disease may affect other aspects of health including Alzheimer’s, arteriosclerosis, and more.

Some other issues may be: tonsil stones, GERD, acid reflux, other GI issues, or a plethora of other issues.

Ultimately, if you find yourself doing the “sniff test” and discovering that you may indeed have bad breath, please see your dental professionals and don’t be afraid to discuss this with them. 

Return to News
The Beating Facts of the American Heart

The Beating Facts of the American Heart

February 26, 2019

In the month of February, we are surrounded by roses, chocolates, and most importantly, hearts. This is the time to not only share what is in our hearts, but also to recognize its physical condition. American Heart Month brings awareness to an issue that continues to drastically increase.

Nearly 33% of adults in the United States have high blood cholesterol, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms, such as high cholesterol and blood pressure, can lead to potentially fatal outcomes.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.

Due to the prevalence of heart disease, it is important to regularly check the condition of your heart. There are multiple ways to check your heart health such as a scheduled appointment through your primary care provider or a through a simple at-home test.

“There are many different tests and assessments a provider can perform to evaluate a patient's heart health like monitoring blood pressure, Electrocardiogram, Echocardiogram, and stress tests”, states Bess Stephens, Nurse Practitioner at COMTREA Health Center.

Along with seeing your provider, it is also recommended to monitor your heart while at home. “A blood pressure monitor is a great way to watch your heart health, and is typically available to purchase at any local drugstore. A healthy blood pressure is less than 120/80”, continues Stephens.

 Exercising and eating a healthy diet are also major influences in maintaining the well-being of your heart. Some suggestions from Stephens are to, “Limit foods that are high in saturated fats and sodium. Incorporate the right amount of fruits, veggies, and whole grains in your diet; this will assist in maintaining a healthy body weight”.

Stephens strongly advises against smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, getting enough sleep, and managing stress. These behaviors can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease.

COMTREA Health Center, along with many other health care organizations in Jefferson County, exist to provide assistance with your heart health.

Return to News
COMTREA Leadership and community members before cutting the ribbon at COMTREA Welcome Center.

COMTREA Offering Walk-in Behavioral Health Care

February 22, 2019

COMTREA Leadership and community members before cutting the ribbon at COMTREA Welcome Center.

COMTREA Leadership and community members before cutting the ribbon at COMTREA Welcome Center.
(Left to right) Tony Sokolic, Linda Hurley, Margo Pigg, Sue Curfman, Dr. Raymond V. Cummiskey, Colton Baker, Becky Ruth, Dennis Gannon, and Timothy Fasnacht.


200 residents each month are now receiving walk-in behavioral health services in Jefferson County. COMTREA Welcome Center located in Crystal City offers walk-in care on a first-come first-served basis for mental health and substance use treatment.

“In 2017, COMTREA was designated as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Center,” said Sue Curfman, CEO of COMTREA. “With that designation, we were tasked to find ways to provide walk-in access for individuals seeking behavioral health care. We have done that through our Welcome Center.”

At the Ribbon Cutting and Open House on February 22, 2019, attendees toured the facility, met with COMTREA leadership, and heard from Sue Curfman, CEO of COMTREA, Margo Pigg, Chief Behavioral Health Officer at COMTREA, Tim Fasnacht, Welcome Center Assessment Manager at COMTREA, and Colton Baker, Recovery Coach at COMTREA.

Since opening on February 5, 2018, COMTREA Welcome Center has completed 3,400 screenings with 2,372 individuals receiving further assessment.

New clients can receive care Monday through Friday from 7:30-11:00 AM with a limited number of assessments available each day. Residents should bring proof of Missouri residency; if eligible, staff will coordinate treatment that best meets the individual’s needs. The center is located at 2310 North Truman Blvd in Crystal City, Missouri.

The facility is designed to separate adult and youth services to ensure all clients feel comfortable. Staff are trained to provide personalized care, even in emergency life situations.

COMTREA takes all forms of insurance, and provides one-on-one meetings to help navigate and apply for Medicaid or a sliding fee scale.

COMTREA serves Jefferson County from twenty locations as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Center and a Federally Qualified Health Center offering health care services in primary care, dental care, and psychiatry, and community services such as mental health, substance use treatment, children’s advocacy, school liaison services, canine therapy, and a domestic violence shelter.

In emergencies, call the Behavioral Health Response Hotline at 1-800-811-4760 or call 911.

Return to News
COMTREA Health Center - Dunklin ribbon cutting. From left to right (Becky Ruth, Missouri Congresswoman, Sue Curfman, COMTREA CEO, Allison Izsak, Director of Communications of Delta Dental, and Stan Stratton, Dunklin District Superintendent).

COMTREA Opens Health Center in the Dunklin R-5 School District

February 1, 2019

Healthcare is now easier to access in the Dunklin R-5 School District. With a grant from Delta Dental of Missouri, COMTREA Health Center – Dunklin has opened as a new school-based health center at Senn-Thomas Middle School.

“This school-based health center would not have been possible without the support of Delta Dental of Missouri,” said Sue Curfman, CEO of COMTREA.

At the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting of the center on February 1, 2019, attendees toured the facility and heard from Stan Stratton, Dunklin District Superintendent, Sue Curfman, CEO of COMTREA, Allison Izsak, Director of Communications of Delta Dental, and Becky Ruth, Missouri Congresswoman.

School-based health centers promote healthy living to students and their families, offering quality care without leaving school property.

All students in the district can receive dental care or behavioral health services during regular school hours. A shuttle bus transports students between buildings, removing barriers of access such as parents leaving work early or students missing multiple class periods.

COMTREA takes all forms of insurance, and provides one-on-one meetings to help navigate and apply for Medicaid or a sliding fee scale.

Delta Dental granted COMTREA $99,724 to fund renovations of an existing classroom in the school, along with acquiring equipment and supplies for a two-chair dental clinic.

Fox C-6 School District and Northwest R-1 School District have previously partnered with COMTREA Health Center to open school-based health centers, reaching students, families, and communities in need of accessible and affordable health care.

COMTREA Health Center serves Jefferson County from twenty locations offering health care services in primary care, dental care, and psychiatry, and community services such as mental health, substance use treatment, children’s advocacy, school liaison services, canine therapy, and a domestic violence shelter.

Return to News
Go to top