No reason to be “long-winded” about this topic. Here are the do’s and don’ts for bad breath prevention.
Research shows that up to 50% of people suffer from bad breath (halitosis) which can impact your professional social and romantic lives in many negative ways. Studies also show that 90% of cases of bad breath are of dental origin.
The causes are many with the main precursor being bacteria. The solutions are effective, but it requires discipline for maintenance.
1. Forgetting to brush your tongue
2. Becoming dehydrated (sometimes due to medications)
3. Odors from garlic, onions, cabbage, and certain spices may result in halitosis when the suspected food is absorbed into the blood stream after digestion
4. Drinking coffee and alcohol can have the same effect
5. Gasses produced during the digestive process may escape through your mouth, emanating the odor it produces
6. Poor Oral hygiene leaving decaying food particles and bacteria trapped in your mouth
7. Periodontal disease along with the accumulation of plaque
8. Smoking (and chewing tobacco) cause bad breath in conjunction with the habit contributing to gum disease
9. Ketoacidosis occurs in diabetics and results in a fruity-smelling odor in the breath
10. Sinusitis and lung infections also cause bad breath
11. Oral piercings
12. Tonsil stones (tonsilloliths)
13. Oral cancer
1. Brush your teeth for two minutes at least two times per day
2. Brush your tongue
3. Floss every day
4. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
5. Chew sugar free gum to maintain good saliva flow
6. 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
7. Have your teeth cleaned at least every six months
8. Quit smoking
9. An easy way to prevent bad breath is to chew parsley after a meal. Parsley contains chlorophyll, a known breath freshener.
10. 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. Salt water rinsing also helps kill bacteria. Use of the waterpik with salt water is also
a very good hygiene tool.
Chronic bad breath may stem from deeper health issues. You should consult a dental professional or medical professional if you think you may have a systemic health issue contributing to bad breath, such as:
Feeling fatigued? Can't lose weight? Marketers and friends would tell you that you need is a shot in the arm of the trendy vitamin B12 injections. Don’t be so easily convinced. The truth is that unless a B12 deficiency has been identified by a physician or primary care doctor, there is no need for B12 shots.
Symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency include:
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, so when you consume more than you need, the body excretes the excess. So, toxicity is not a major concern, however, the cost of B12 injections (ranging from $15 to $50) might be!
If you suspect that your B12 intake is inadequate, aim to include some of the following foods in your diet:
There are three basic types of teeth staining:
1. Extrinsic staining is the most common type and is a result of the outer layer (enamel) of tooth becoming discolored due to darker pigments found in food and/or beverages, and it can also be caused by smoking or chewing tobacco. Brushing at least twice per day with sodium fluoride toothpaste, decreasing the intake of these pigments, and seeing your dentist at least every six months will help reduce the amount of extrinsic staining that may occur.
2. Intrinsic staining occurs when the inner layer (dentin) of a tooth becomes discolored, which can be caused by several factors:
Professional tooth whitening treatment has become very effective, predictable, and affordable. Over-the-counter whitening systems are available at your local grocery store or pharmacy, but the efficacy is much less and shorter-lasting than the treatment provided by your dentist. There are basically two forms of tooth-whitening treatment: take-home or in-office. The key differences between these treatments are the concentration of the bleaching material, the time needed for treatment, and the total cost of the treatment. Both methods use the same material, either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, with concentrations ranging from 10 to 45%. The take-home system is applied in trays that are worn for 30 to 60 minutes and for a duration of 5 to 10 days. The in-office system uses a high concentration of peroxide (45% or higher), but usually only takes about an hour of chair time. The in-office treatment is generally 3 to 5 times the cost of the take-home system.
Sometimes, especially with intrinsic staining, teeth whitening bleaching systems are not effective and require internal bleaching of the tooth (drilling into the tooth and doing a root canal), replacing stained tooth structure with bonded composite, or covering the entire tooth with a porcelain veneer.
No matter what the case, minor or major, whitening the teeth makes a big difference in the appearance of one’s smile, which in turn leads to increased self-confidence, more smiling disposition, and overall improved quality of life.