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.
Have you ever wondered where the toothbrush came from that you have in your bathroom medicine cabinet? According to the Library of Congress, the toothbrush that we use today was not invented until 1938. However, there are many other early forms of toothbrushes that have been around since 3000 BC. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used what was referred to as a “chew stick” which was a thin stick with a frayed end. The teeth were “cleaned” by chewing on the frayed end.
Bristle toothbrushes were invented in China in 1498. These brushes were made with hairs taken from the backs of hog’s necks and attached to bone or bamboo handles.
In 1938, Dupont de Nemours introduced the first nylon toothbrush called Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush. Compared to using a boar bristle toothbrush, this was probably looked on as a miracle! Now we have various toothbrush shapes, sizes, textures and handle styles to choose from.
Here are some other interesting facts about toothbrushes:
- The first mass-produced toothbrush was made by William Addis of Clerkenwald, England, around 1780.
- The first American to patent a toothbrush was H.N. Wadsworth, on November 7, 1857.
- Mass production of toothbrushes began in America around 1885.
- One of the first electric toothbrushes to hit the American market was in 1960. It was marketed by the Squibb company under the name of Broxodent.
- On average, each person in the U.S. purchases three toothbrushes every 2 years although the ADA recommends that toothbrushes be changed every 3 to 4 months.
(courtesy of The Library of Congress)
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.
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)
This is National Smile Month and here are some fun facts to think about.
- It takes 43 muscles to frown but only 17 to smile.
- The most popular food that makes us smile is Chocolate 🙂
- Half brush our tongue when brushing our teeth (cleaning your tongue helps to remove bacteria from your mouth)
- Top of the list of things we could not do without when going on holiday: A Toothbrush.
- The increase in consumption of sugary drinks is one of the key reasons for dental decay, particularly in kids.
- Fluoride has been proven to reduce dental decay by at least 40%.
Just reading some of these facts may have caused you to smile. At Brogdon Dental, we love your smile and want to see it more often.
So don’t hold back, let your smile out!
October is National Dental Hygiene Month. Two things important to good dental hygiene is brushing and flossing. Today we will focus on brushing.
According to American Dental Hygienists’ Association
Research shows that brushing for two minutes is the single most important method for reducing plaque and preventing cavities, gingivitis and other plaque-related diseases. Brushing for two minutes twice a day is crucial to maintaining healthy smiles. Proper brushing technique cleans teeth and gums effectively.
Knowyourteeth.com has some easy techniques for you to follow while brushing…
Place a toothbrush (soft, rounded, multi-tufted brush) beside your teeth at a 45-degree angle and gently brush teeth in an elliptical motion. Brush the outside of the teeth, inside the teeth, your tongue, the chewing surfaces and between teeth. Using a back-and-forth motion causes the gum surface to recede, can expose the root surface or make the root surface tender. You also risk wearing down the gum line.
Always brush two minutes, two times a day, every day! 2x 2x 1 = Good Dental Hygiene