Bad breath is an incredibly common concern for many Americans. In fact, according to Medical News Today, bad breath affects an estimated 25% of the population. Even though there are various things that can cause bad breath, there are a few that concern your dentist in Reno. The truth is, several causes of bad breath are directly related to the overall health of your mouth and some of the problems linked to bad breath can be serious. Because of this, it’s important to first understand what causes bad breath before you can determine how to fix it.
What Causes Bad Breath?
As we’ve mentioned, bad breath can be caused by any number of things, some concerning and some not. For example, bad breath can be a result of what we eat or drink such as garlic or coffee. Bad breath caused by foods or drinks usually isn’t something to worry about as it’s quickly alleviated by brushing or chewing sugar-free gum. However, when bad breath is chronic and can’t be tied to a fragrant food, it’s typically a sign of oral health problem.
Why is Bad Breath Bad?
Bad breath that doesn’t go away is most often the result of too much bacteria lingering around the mouth. When bacteria build up in the mouth it increases the likelihood of decay, cavities, and gum disease. Gum disease, in particular, is an infection that can lead to tooth loss as well as other problems throughout the body such as heart disease, increased risk of stroke, and respiratory complications. Any sign of a lingering odor in your mouth is a clue that you should see your dentist in Reno.
Bad Breath Remedies
We understand that bad breath can be embarrassing, but there are things you can do to treat it.
Drink Water. Drinking water throughout the day will help keep your mouth moist and saliva flowing, both of which are important to neutralize acid, wash away bacteria, and keep breath fresh. If we don’t drink enough water or suffer from dry mouth, bacteria will flourish. The result is bad breath.
Have Good Oral Hygiene Habits. You’ve heard us say it a million times – having good oral hygiene can go a long way in keeping your mouth healthy and your breath fresh. Make sure that you’re brushing and flossing every day to remove any food particles and bacteria that have built up throughout the day. Don’t forget to gently scrub your tongue as those tiny bumps make perfect places for bacteria to hide.
See Your Dentist in Reno. Even though properly brushing and flossing every day can help protect teeth and breath, it’s still important to see your dentist at least twice a year for professional cleanings that remove plaque and tartar your regular toothbrush just can’t get. These visits are also crucial to catching any oral health problems, such as gum disease, early when treatment is more successful.
If you suffer from bad breath and you’re ready to get rid of it once and for all, schedule an appointment with your dentist. Your dental team will help diagnose the underlying cause of your bad breath and talk with you about the best way to treat it.
During this time of the year, it seems as if everyone we encounter is sneezing, sniffling, or coughing. While we do as much as we can to avoid getting a cold, sometimes we just get sick. When we do get a case of the coughs we just want it to go away, so we will try almost anything to make it stop. Most commonly, we’ll suck on cough drops and take cough syrup throughout the day. Even though these medications can alleviate our symptoms, your dentist in Reno wants you to know that the common ingredients in cough medicine do pose risks to oral health.
Many cough syrups and cough drops contain ingredients that can cause damage to teeth. More specifically, those medications containing sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, and alcohol are the most concerning to your Reno dentist. The truth is, these ingredients can make us feel better during the course of a cold but can have long-term negative side effects on oral health.
We’ve all heard Mary Poppins sing about how a spoonful of sugar will help the medicine go down, and she was right. Most cough syrups and cough drops contain sugar to help mask their naturally bad and bitter taste. But just like sugary snacks and foods, these sugars can be dangerous to teeth. When we introduce sugars into our mouths we can essentially create a feeding frenzy for bacteria. These bacteria will feed on sugar and then release an acidic byproduct. This acid will wear away tooth enamel and increases the risk of decay and cavities.
Besides sugar, some cold medicines contain small amounts of alcohol. Alcohol is known to cause dry mouth, even in smaller quantities. Normally, our mouths produce a lot of saliva — between 0.5 and 1.5 liters every day. This saliva helps neutralize dangerous acids and reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth. However, when alcohol causes dry mouth, saliva production slows and acids and bacteria stick around. This can increase the likelihood of decay.
Feel Better While Protecting Teeth
Even though cold medicine can increase the risk of tooth decay and cavities, you shouldn’t suffer through a cold by not taking it. However, your dentist in Reno my recommend:
Taking a pill instead of liquid medication. Liquid medication can basically coat your mouth with sugar and alcohol, while pills greatly reduce how much contact your mouth has with those ingredients.
Taking cold medication with food. When we eat we tend to produce more saliva which, as we know, will help wash away sugar and alcohol before they have a chance to cause damage.
Brushing your teeth after you take medicine, especially before bed. Taking medicine then brushing your teeth will help reduce the amount of sugar and alcohol left in the mouth. This is particularly important before bed. Taking cough syrup before bed without brushing your teeth after means the ingredients are lingering in the mouth all night long.
While we truly hope our patients and neighbors stay healthy all year round if you do happen to get sick, try taking medicine using the tips above to protect your smile.
If you want to keep your smile in great health over the years, you should understand that effective practices today may be less helpful in later years. Our bodies can go through considerable changes as we age, and those changes can impact our health. Our oral health can also be impacted by different issues. The level of care you provide your smile over the years can keep you from issues that might leave you in poor condition. That being said, natural friction can lead to the wearing away of protective enamel, and health problems like dry mouth can make it easier for cavities to form. Professional preventive dental care can be highly important for older patients struggling to adapt to these changes. Continue reading “Common Dental Problems Older Patients Can Experience”→
An unfortunate new trend has started to develop, one that can cause serious harm to your smile. The concept of “DIY orthodontics,” the practice of attempting to correct your own teeth, has started to grow in popularity. Hopefully, you already understand why this is an ill-conceived idea. Without the training and tools at the disposal of your orthodontist, you are likely to do far more harm than good to your dental alignment when you embark on this project. Many of those who have attempted to shift their teeth without the direct involvement of their orthodontist have experienced serious dental troubles. Remember that advanced dental work is best left to the professionals, who have years of training and education behind the comprehensive oral care they provide. Continue reading “The Real Problem Of DIY Orthodontics”→
What does it mean to have a healthy mouth? You might be tempted to say that a healthy smile is simply one that is cavity-free, but you should keep in mind that gum disease can also be a serious oral health threat. Fortunately, you can protect your gums with the actions you take to protect your teeth. Brushing and flossing will eliminate oral bacteria – by removing these harmful agents, you prevent them from infiltrating your gums, and requiring some form of periodontal treatment. In the case of tooth decay and gum disease, prompt restorative dental care is important. These conditions will grow in severity, and you can find yourself dealing with a more complicated dental trouble. Continue reading “Quiz: Dealing With Tooth Decay And Gum Disease”→
While human bites to the hand only account for two to three percent of bite injuries they can be serious. Many of you know that cat bites can often become infected. Infections due to dog bites occur at not even half the rate of cat bites. It is estimated that anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of cat bites become infected. Fifty percent of infected cat bites become infected within three hours of the bite. Although you are aware that dog and cat bites can be dangerous would you be as cautious if you incurred a human bite to the hand?
You learned about digestion in biology; that it begins with chewing and ends with…well you know. What does that have to do with your dental health? Without teeth you can’t chew. Take our true or false quiz to find out how much you still remember about digestion and what it has to do with your dental health.
Your bodily systems don’t function alone. For instance, your heart wouldn’t beat unless your brain told it to. Your lungs can’t function without your heart. You couldn’t feel or move without your nervous system. So it stands to reason that if one part of your body is not healthy it can affect the other systems of your body. Research shows that if your mouth isn’t healthy you may have other health issues as well, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and lung infections. A recent study has shown that people in emotionally and physically aggressive relationships have more rotten teeth. Read on to find out if violence can rot your teeth.Continue reading “Q And A: Can Violence Rot Your Teeth?”→
Have you ever experienced a toothache? An aching tooth can range from mild irritant to serious discomfort. What causes a toothache to occur in the first place? By understanding the common causes of toothaches, and what you can do to potentially avoid them, you can enjoy a healthier, happier smile.