Halitosis -- known as bad breath to most & is an embarrassing condition that can affect anyone at anytime, and is caused by several factors. The most common causes of bad breath are preventable and easily treated, however certain medical conditions may also cause bad breath. Chronic halitosis may indicate an underlying medical concern that should be addressed by your dentist or medical doctor.
Causes of Bad Breath:
Treating and Preventing Bad Breath
In order to treat your bad breath, the root cause of halitosis needs to be identified. Visit your dentist if you experience chronic bad breath (in other words bad breath that never goes away).
Over-the-counter breath fresheners such as gum, mints, breath strips, breath sprays, and certain mouth rinses will only provide a temporary relief from bad breath. These general guidelines will assist you in managing, and hopefully eliminating, your experience with bad breath.
How To Prevent Bad Breath
The following guidelines will help you eliminate or significantly reduce your halitosis. If you experience chronic bad breath, see your dentist or doctor as there may be a more serious cause for the embarrassing condition.
- Prevent bad breath by brushing your teeth and flossing twice a day, especially after meals that contain food and spices known to cause bad breath. Remember to brush your tongue, or try using a tongue scraper, to remove any trapped food and plaque caught in the tiny hair-like fibers on the tongue. Finish off your brushing by rinsing thoroughly with water or mouthwash.
- Prevent bad breath by visit your dentist on a regular basis (every six months or as indicated by your dentist) for a complete examination of your teeth and gums and thorough cleaning by the dental hygienist.
- Preventing bad breath is achievable when you have dental problems treated as they occur, such as tooth decay, gum abscesses, and abscessed teeth.
- Place a few drops of tee tree oil or peppermint oil on your tongue or use the oil on your toothbrush along with your toothpaste. Alternatively, select a toothpaste or mouth rinse that contains these natural oils known for their antibacterial properties to assist in the fight against halitosis causing bacteria.
- Preventing bad breath from smoking is easy when you take the necessary steps to quit smoking, as this is the only way to eliminate bad breath from the use of cigarettes, which is also responsible for periodontal disease.
- Avoid foods known to cause bad breath such as garlic, onions, cabbage, certain spices, and coffee.
- Chew sugar-free gum or dissolve a sugar-free candy slowly in your mouth to keep help produce more saliva.
- Occasionally use a mixture of 50% hydrogen peroxide and 50% water, as a mouth rinse. Hydrogen peroxide will help kill the bacteria that cause bad breath.
- The use of commercially marketed breath freshening kits and bad breath remedies may help prevent bad breath, although there is generally insufficient research that had narrowed down a cure for bad breath. Ask your dentist or pharmacist before you invest in these products.
Cavities and Decay
What is a Cavity?
A cavity is a hole in the tooth that is caused by decay. Decay occurs when plague, the sticky substance that forms on teeth, combines with the sugars and / or starches of the food we eat. This combination produces acids that attack tooth enamel. The best way to prevent tooth decay is brushing twice a day, flossing daily and going to your regular dental check ups. Eating healthy foods and avoiding snacks and drinks that are high in sugar are also ways to prevent decay.
What is Tooth Decay?
Decay is the destruction of tooth structure. Decay occurs when plague, the sticky substance that forms on teeth, combines with the sugars and / or starches of the foods that we eat. This combination produces acids that attack tooth enamel. The best way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing twice a day and flossing daily.
If decay reaches the pulp of the tooth, a root canal may be necessary to save the tooth. Eating healthy foods and avoiding snacks and drinks that are high in sugar are also ways to prevent decay.
What Causes Decay?
Decay occurs when plague, the sticky substance that forms on teeth, combines with the sugars and / or starches of the foods that we eat. This combination produces acids that attack tooth enamel. The best way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Eating healthy foods and avoiding snacks and drinks that are high in sugar are also ways to prevent decay.
What is Plaque?
Plaque is a soft, sticky, and colorless deposit that is continually forming on our teeth and gums. Often undetected, plaque attacks the teeth and gums with the acid it produces from bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria uses the sugars from foods and beverages along with saliva, to thrive and multiply. This acid attack breaks down the tooth's enamel, causing tooth sensitivity and ending with varying degrees of tooth decay. Plaque is also responsible for gum disease and contributes to bad breath.
Plaque is controlled by brushing and flossing daily at home and during regular cleaning from your dentist or dental hygienist. Reduce plaque by limiting sugar and carbohydrates in your diet. Plaque accumulates in hard to reach areas of the mouth. If it is not removed daily, it begins to harden into a calcified substance called calculus, also known as tartar.
Also Known As: "Sugar Bugs" is often used to describe plaque to children
7 Ways to Prevent Cavities
Tooth decay is the second most prevalent disease in the United States (the common cold is first). Fortunately, cavities can be easily prevented.
- Brush Your Teeth
In the fight against cavities, it is essential that you brush your teeth properly at least twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride.
- Floss Daily
Food debris gets caught in between our teeth when we eat. If the debris is not removed, it can lead to cavities. Flossing everyday is the best way to remove food debris from in between the teeth.
- Eat Healthy
Proper nutrition plays an important role in good dental health. Eating nutritional snacks and limiting the amount of sugary drinks will help to prevent plaque from forming on the teeth.
- Visit Your Dentist
Many cavities can only be detected by a dentist or a dental X-ray. Visiting your dentist for regular check ups and cleanings are a key factor in preventing cavities and staying on top of good oral hygiene.
- Have Sealants Placed
Dental sealants are a protective coating that is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant protects the tooth from getting a cavity by shielding against bacteria and plaque. Sealants are more common in children because of the new growth of permanent teeth, however, sealants can benefit adults to.
- Use a Mouthrinse
There are several antimicrobial mouth rinses on the market that have been clinically proven to reduce plaque, such as Listerine or Crest Pro Health. Rinsing with one of these mouth rinses after brushing or eating can aid in cavity prevention.
- Chew (Sugarless) Gum!
Believe it or not, chewing certain sugarless gums can actually help to prevent cavities by increasing the flow of saliva in your mouth. In 2007, the American Dental Association awarded their Seal of Acceptance to Wrigley's Orbit, Eclipse and Extra chewing gums for helping to prevent cavities.
What is Tooth Erosion?
Tooth erosion is the wearing away of tooth enamel by acid. The enamel is the hard calcified tissue that covers and protects the outside of the tooth. It is the hardest substance in our bodies.
The saliva in our mouth contains calcium which helps to strengthen and remineralize the teeth, however, remineralization can not occur when a great deal of acid is present.
The high amount of acids in the food and drink that you consume can cause tooth erosion. Soft drinks and pure fruit juices contain a high amount of acid.
Tooth erosion can also be caused by medical factors such as a decrease in saliva, acid reflux disease, certain gastrointestinal conditions and the eating disorder bulimia.
Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Erosion
Symptoms of tooth erosion can range from sensitivity to more severe problems such as cracking. Be sure to let your dentist know if you experience any symptoms of tooth erosion.
Early Symptoms of Tooth Erosion
How to Prevent Tooth Erosion
Tooth erosion can do severe damage to your teeth, but it can also be prevented. The Academy of General Dentistry offers these tips to prevent tooth erosion:
What is Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is the reduced flow of saliva. Sufficient saliva is needed in the mouth to wash away food debris and reduce plaque by neutralizing the acids that plaque produces.
Gingivitis, gum disease and severe tooth decay often occur if dry mouth is left untreated. Other common problems linked to dry mouth are:
Dry Mouth - What Causes Dry Mouth?
While anyone get dry mouth, also called xerostomia, it is a common problem among older adults. In fact, the Oral Cancer Foundation estimates that 20% of elderly people suffer from dry mouth and this condition is also a hidden cause of tooth loss and gum disease in 30 percent of adults.
Dry mouth, which is the reduced flow of saliva, could be a symptom of a particular medical condition or a side effect of certain medications. Sufficient saliva is needed in the mouth to wash away food debris and reduce plaque by neutralizing the acids that plaque produces.
Common medications taken that may cause dry mouth are:
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
Numerous elements can help tooth finish misfortune:
Drinking an excessive amount of sodas or apples and oranges drinks, as well as poor dental hygiene. Microscopic organisms flourish on sugar and produce high harsh corrosive levels that can consume lacquer.
Consuming bunches of sharp nourishments or confections. Acidic sustenances can disintegrate tooth veneer.
Dry mouth or low salivation volume. Salivation helps forestall rot by killing acids and washing endlessly extra nourishment in the mouth.
Indigestion infection (GERD), or acid reflux. Heartburn carries stomach acids up to the mouth, where the acids can disintegrate veneer.
Bulimia, liquor addiction, or strategic alcoholism, in which regular retching opens teeth to stomach acids.
Certain medications or supplements with high harsh corrosive substance, for example ibuprofen or vitamin C, can additionally dissolve finish.
Erosion and wear and tear from brushing teeth too enthusiastically or grinding teeth can disintegrate veneer.
What Are the Symptoms of Tooth Enamel Erosion?
The point when tooth lacquer disintegrates, teeth are more helpless to depressions and rot, and they might expedite these manifestations:
Touchy teeth or tooth torment when consuming hot, chilly, or sweet nourishments or drinks
Harsh or spasmodic edges on the teeth, which can get broke or chipped when veneer is lost Smooth, sparkly surfaces on the teeth lacquer disintegration causes mineral misfortune on these regions Yellowed teeth from diminished lacquer Measuring, or gouges, that appear on the gnawing or biting surfaces of the teeth In what capacity Can You Protect Tooth Enamel From Erosion? Great dental forethought at home and at the dental practitioner's office can help forestall tooth finish disintegration. Here are 12 tips that can offer assistance:
Eliminate acidic beverages and nourishments, for example carbonated beverages and citrus foods grown from the ground. Assuming that you do drink them, do so at mealtimes to minimize their impacts on the finish.
Switch to altered items, for example low-harsh corrosive squeezed orange.
Wash your mouth with water directly in the wake of having acidic nourishments or drinks.
Drink soft drinks and products of the soil squeezes with a straw, which helps acids to detour the teeth. Don't rinse acidic beverages around in your mouth.
Complete a dish with a glass of milk or bit of cheddar to kill acids.
Bite without sugar gum with xylitol, which decreases acids from sustenances and drinks. Mulling over gum additionally expands salivation stream, which helps forestall lacquer disintegration since spit reinforces teeth with key minerals.
Drink more water throughout the day provided that you have dry mouth or low spit issues.
Utilize a delicate toothbrush and abstain from brushing too combatively.
Hold up for no less than one hour to brush teeth after you've had acidic sustenances or drinks. Harsh corrosive leaves the finish mollified and more inclined to disintegration throughout brushing.
Use fluoride toothpaste or a fluoride mouth wash to fortify your teeth.
Ask your dental practitioner to propose a toothpaste to diminish tooth affectability or to secure against harsh corrosive disintegration.
Get medicine for clutters that can carry harsh corrosive into the mouth, for example bulimia, liquor addiction.
Gum Diseases, Periodontitis and Gingivitis
Often taken for granted, the monotonous task of brushing and flossing our teeth daily has never been more important in order to avoid gum disease and the risks gum disease place on our overall health. It has been estimated that 75% of Americans have some form of gum disease, which has been linked to serious health complications and causes various dental problems that are often avoidable.
What is Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is mainly caused by bacteria from plaque and tartar build up. Other factors that have the potential to cause gum disease may include:
- Tobacco use
- Clenching or grinding your teeth
- Certain medications
Types of Gum Disease Include:
Gingivitis - The beginning stage of gum disease and is often undetected. This stage of the disease is reversible.
Periodontitis - Untreated gingivitis may lead to this next stage of gum disease. With many levels of periodontitis, the common outcome is chronic inflammatory response, a condition when the body breaks down the bone and tissue in the infected area of the mouth, ultimately resulting in tooth and bone loss.
Signs of Gum Disease Include:
- Red, bleeding, and/or swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Mobility of the teeth
- Tooth sensitivity caused by receding gums
- Abscessed teeth
- Tooth loss
Treatments for Gum Disease
Depending on the type of gum disease, some of the available treatment options are:
- Removal of plaque and calculus by way of scaling done by your dental hygienist or dentist.
- Medications such as chlorhexidine gluconate, a mouth rinse prescribed by your dentist or hygienist to help kill the bacteria in your mouth, along with frequent cleanings.
- Surgery may be necessary in certain cases to stop, halt, or minimize the progression of periodontal disease. Surgery is also used to replace bone that was lost in advanced stages of the disease.
8 Warning Signs of Gum Disease
Gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) is one of the leading causes of tooth loss among adults. Gum disease can be easily treated if it is diagnosed in the early stages. It is important to notify your dentist if you have any of these following warning signs of gum disease:
- Your gums bleed easily.
- Your gums are very red, tender and / or swollen.
- You can see pus in between your teeth and gums when they are pressed.
- Your gums seem to be pulling away from your teeth.
- You have chronic bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.
- You notice a change in your bite or in the way your teeth fit together.
- Your teeth are loose or they are separating.
- The fit of your partials or dentures have changed.
Canker sores, also known as Aphthous Ulcers, are small lesions that occur inside the mouth, and are not contagious.
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