H is for Halitosis

Halitosis, which is the scientific name for bad breath, happens to most all of us at one time or another. So what causes bad breath? Mostly it comes down to bad oral hygiene.

According to a recent article in Medical News Today, potential causes of bad breath can include the following:

  • Tobacco: Tobacco products cause their own types of mouth odor. Additionally, they increase the chances of gum disease which can also cause bad breath.
  • Food: The breakdown of food particles stuck in the teeth can cause odors. Some foods such as onions and garlic can also cause bad breath. After they are digested, their breakdown products are carried in the blood to the lungs where they can affect the breath.
  • Dry mouth: Saliva naturally cleans the mouth. If the mouth is naturally dry or dry due to a specific disease, such as xerostomia,  odors can build up.
  • Dental hygiene: Brushing and flossing ensure the removal of small particles of food that can build up and slowly break down, producing odor. A film of bacteria called plaque builds up if brushing is not regular. This plaque can irritate the gums and cause inflammation between the teeth and gums called periodontitis. Dentures that are not cleaned regularly or properly can also harbor bacteria that cause halitosis.
  • Crash diets: Fasting and low-carbohydrate eating programs can produce halitosis. This is due to the breakdown of fats producing chemicals called ketones. These ketones have a strong aroma.
  • Drugs: Certain medications can reduce saliva and, therefore, increase odors. Other drugs can produce odors as they breakdown and release chemicals in the breath. Examples include nitrates used to treat angina, some chemotherapy chemicals, and some tranquilizers. Individuals who take vitamin supplements in large doses can also be prone to bad breath.
  • Mouth, nose, and throat conditions: Sometimes, small, bacteria-covered stones can form on the tonsils at the back of the throat and produce odor. Also, infections or inflammation in the nose, throat, or sinuses can cause halitosis.
  • Foreign body: Bad breath can be caused if they have a foreign body lodged in their nasal cavity, especially in children.

What can you do to avoid bad breath?  Brush at least twice daily especially after a meal. Floss at least once a day to remove food particles and plaque left after brushing.  Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months. Brush your tongue where bacteria and dead cells  can develop. Drink plenty of water to avoid dry mouth and avoid onion, garlic, spicy and sugary foods that are all linked with bad breath.

Above all, call our office at Brogdon Dental to set up an appoint for your annual cleaning and to discuss your concerns.  We look forward to hearing from you.

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Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss – and a Fork 12

This is the last in our series on food and your teeth.  Our subject today is Wasabi. That may seem like a odd food, but Wasabi, or Japanese horseradish, is a hot ingredient used in relation with Oriental cooking. This spicy condiment is known to safeguard healthy teeth by fighting bacteria that cause cavities and gum abscesses.

Wasabi root also helps reduce Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a bacteria that leads to stomach ulcers, unpleasant burping and bad breath, according to a 2004 study at Juntendo University School of Medicine in Tokyo. 

So the next time you order sushi, don’t forget the Wasabi.  It’s good for your stomach as well as your teeth.

wasabi

Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss – and a Fork 11

Today we are going to talk about Onions. Onions you might ask? How can that help your teeth besides giving you bad breath? But onions have medicinal purposes too.

Your grandmother may not have known why onions relieve toothaches, but she knew that it would help when she put a piece on a painful tooth or gum.

Onions contain vitamin C as well as antibacterial compounds like quercetin and isothiocyanates, according to research by the NIH. These plant-based antioxidants reduce bacteria and relieve inflammation.

onions

So next time you order a hamburger, don’t forget the onions. Not only do they taste good, but can help with any inflammation you might be experiencing.

And don’t forget to call us at Brogdon Dental for all your dental needs 423-870-5698.

 

 

Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss -and a Fork 10

This post we will be talking about herbs and spices.  Although great taste is just one reason to use many sweet smelling herbs, did you know that spices like cinnamon, mint, parsley and thyme are packed with monoterpenes, which are a highly volatile compound that help your breath smell fresh. Also, they contain antibacterial properties that prevent cavity causing Streptococcus mutans bacteria.

Cloves are rich in anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which help in fighting infections causing tooth decay. Also their anesthetic property is associated with alleviating any tooth pain.

Chewing gums that use essential plant oils have been shown to reduce bacteria that cause bad breath and cavities.

Though the oils were used for flavor, even a small amount reduced bacteria. In fact, the original formula for Listerine was made from a blend of menthol (from mint) and thymol (from thyme).

So next time you find a spring of mint or parsley on your plate, it’s not there just for decoration. Go ahead, chew on it. It’s good for your teeth.

cakemint

 

Is Your Toothbrush Making you Sick?

You may have heard that your toothbrush can contain germs that can make you sick.  The fact is that there is more bacteria in your mouth than anywhere else in your body, so some of these germs can get on your toothbrush when you brush your teeth.  Also, since most people store their toothbrush in the bathroom, which is a warm, moist environment, the likelihood of more airborne bacteria increases.

Toothbrush

So are there some simple methods you can do to protect your toothbrush from bacteria and yourself from being sick?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a simple regimen for toothbrush care is sufficient to remove most microorganisms from your toothbrush and limit the spread of disease. Here are some common-sense steps you can take:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after brushing or flossing.
  • After brushing, rinse your toothbrush with warm water and store it upright to air-dry.
  • Don’t cover your toothbrush or place it in a closed container until it is completely dry. A moist environment can foster bacterial growth.
  • Use a completely dry toothbrush. Everyone should have two toothbrushes to give ample time (24 hours) for it to dry out in between uses.
  • Don’t share a toothbrush with anyone. Also, don’t store toothbrushes in a way that might cause them to touch and spread germs.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months. Dentists recommend this practice not as prevention against contamination, but because toothbrushes wear out and become less effective at cleaning teeth.
  • Always replace your toothbrush after a cold or other illness to prevent contamination.
  • If you or someone else in your family is sick, that person should use a different tube of toothpaste (travel size, for example), to prevent spreading germs to other toothbrushes.

(Courtesy of the American Dental Association)