Reva Dental Blog

Category Archives: Bad Breath

Banish Bad Breath

Halitosis, more commonly known as bad breath, can be an embarrassing problem. If you are concerned about bad breath, first make sure that you are taking care of your mouth and gums by practicing good dental habits. The mouth is the source of over 90% of all malodours. If bad breath persists, your dentist at Reva Dental will identify the cause and develop a treatment plan to help you eliminate it. There are many causes of bad breath. The good news is that it can often be prevented with a few simple steps.

What causes bad breath?

Neglecting your brushing and flossing: If you don’t properly clean your teeth, gums, and tongue, particles of food and bacteria left in the mouth, especially at night-time, can cause an unpleasant odour.

The foods you eat: Certain foods, like garlic and onions, can cause bad breath because they contain pungent oils that are carried to your lungs and out of your mouth.

Dry mouth: Saliva is necessary to cleanse the mouth and remove odour causing particles and bacteria. It contains enzymes that break down food particles and other enzymes that kill bacteria. A condition called xerostomia (dry mouth) occurs when the flow of saliva is decreased and can cause bad breath. Decreased saliva flow also occurs naturally at night-time, so it is important to clean your mouth last thing at night.

Tobacco: Smoking not only causes bad breath, but can also stain your teeth, irritate your gums, and reduce your ability to taste foods.

Gum disease: Persistent bad breath is a warning sign of periodontal (gum) disease.

Medical disorder: In a small percentage of cases, bad breath could be a sign of a medical disorder, such as infection of the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance or a liver or kidney problem.

Good dental habits can banish bad breath

In most cases, embarrassing bad breath can be prevented by good oral hygiene.

  • Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day to remove food debris and plaque
  • Use floss daily to remove any food particles trapped between teeth. Any food particles left in the mouth can cause bad breath
  • Your tongue can harbour odour-causing bacteria. Be sure to brush your tongue with a toothbrush, or clean it with a tongue scraper
  • Use toothpastes containing zinc chloride/ triclosan/ baking soda for cleaning your tongue if you have malodour. This will give temporary relief for up to four hours
  • Visit your dentist for regular checkups. Professional cleanings will help to get rid of plaque and bacteria build-up that may contribute to bad breath. Your dentist may also be able to determine the source of persistent bad breath and formulate a plan for treatment. This may include a chlorhexidine spray for the pharynx (throat area behind the mouth), which is an additional source of malodour in a significant number of cases

Do I need to use a mouthwash or rinse?

Some antiseptic mouth rinses have exhibited therapeutic benefits in reducing plaque and gingivitis (gum disease). However, many mouthwashes or rinses are cosmetic and while these can be used to freshen breath, they do not generally have a long lasting effect on bad breath. If you choose to use mouth rinse, look for an over-the-counter antiseptic mouthwash containing zinc chloride or chlorhexidine. Mouth rinses should not be swallowed – follow the instructions on the bottle. If you find that you are constantly using a mouth rinse to mask odour, see your dentist.

Other solutions

Besides keeping your teeth, gums, and tongue clean and healthy, these are some other remedies that may help cure the problem of bad breath.

  • Quit smoking! Kicking the habit will go a long way to improving bad breath and your overall health
  • If you wear dentures or removable appliances, be sure to remove them at night and clean them thoroughly before replacing them in your mouth (more info here)
  • If you are experiencing problems with dry mouth, your dentist may prescribe artificial saliva. Other possible remedies for dry mouth include sucking a sugar-free sweet or a piece of sugar free gum to increase saliva flow, and increasing your fluid intake.

Call Reva Dental on 056 776 3786 to schedule your appointment. We offer a full Scale & Polish for just €50, and you may be entitled to a fee check-up; see www.revadental.ie

Causes of Bad Breath

The medical name for bad breath is halitosis, and usually results from poor dental habits.

Keeping your mouth and teeth clean is important to avoid cavities, gum problems and bad breath. Brushing and flossing should be part of your daily routine, and if your gums have become sore, a timely trip to Reva Dental will minimise damage.

Poor Oral Hygiene

As food is chewed, small pieces lodge between the teeth-some are obvious and may be removed easily; but microscopic food particles remain in the mouth. As these begin to decay they encourage growth of bacteria over the tongue, teeth and gums.

These bacteria cause an unpleasant smell, giving an odour to your breath that you may not notice yourself, but others find distasteful at close quarters.

Brushing your teeth twice a day will help dislodge the food particles, cleaning the mouth. Flossing between teeth is also important to remove food remnants from the nooks and crannies of teeth to eradicate the bacterial breeding ground.

A mouthwash containing an antibacterial agent is an excellent way to finish your dental home care regime to ensure fresh breath.

Dry Mouth & Gum Disease

Occasional bad breath is usually the cause of strong foods like garlic, coffee or onions, but persistent bad breath is often the result of gum disease or an unusually dry mouth (xerostomia) where decomposing cells from food build up in the mouth.

Chewing a sugar-free gum will help stimulate saliva to keep the mouth moist. In the case of possible gum disease, your dentist will examine and evaluate your gums and suggest a care plan to address the issue.

Bad breath may be a possibly be a symptom of a more serious medical issue in the stomach or throat, and your dentist will identify whether this is the case or if the issue is indeed a dental one.

Smoking

Smoking leads to increased levels of gum disease, risk of a huge array of cancers, and stains your teeth. It also irritates the inside of your mouth and causes inflammation of the palate. All tobacco products cause bad breath, as particles linger in the lungs and lead to stale breath.

Tobacco smoke contains aromatic hydrocarbons, (most of which are carcinogenic) which are pungent; permeating the saliva and leading to ‘Smoker’s Breath’.

Smoking dries out the palate; repeated inhalation of hot gases parches the tongue and gums to leave a dry mouth where bacteria gather. It also causes tartar build-up on the teeth, which increases the risk of periodontal disease.

Reva Dental Can Help

At Reva Dental your dental examination will assess your particular issues, ensuring any concerns are addressed properly. An oral exam will be able to identify any periodontal disease, and stop it from worsening.

A professional cleaning called a scale and polish, along with good home care, makes a large difference to your breath.  Brushing after meals may be recommended, and using a special little interdental toothbrush will help to ensure the whole mouth remains clean if there is an ongoing issue with food lodging between teeth.

Fluoride toothpaste and an antibacterial mouthwash (not just one that masks unpleasant odour) complete your arsenal in the fight against bad breath.

At Reva Dental our dentists also recommend gently brushing your tongue, as much of the bacteria in the mouth gathers on top of the tongue and can be removed with a tongue scraper or toothbrush.

Drinking plenty of fluids will keep the mouth moist; avoiding coffee where possible. Your dentist will suggest a plan for quick, efficient home care to establish healthy dental habits.

Call Reva Dental on 056 776 3786 to schedule your appointment. You may be eligible for a free check-up; see www.revadental.ie

5 Things Your Smile Says About You…

Feeling happy? Go ahead and smile — but know that you may be telling others more about yourself than you think.

The meaning of a smile changes depending on the social context, studies show. Some smiles bring benefits, but others reveal hidden weakness. Humans smile more depending on who they’re talking to, and those smiles can hint at their futures.

Without further ado, here are five things your smile tells others about you.

1. Will your marriage last?

Wedded bliss may be linked to an easy grin. According to a study published in 2009 in the journal Motivation and Emotion, the way people smile in old photographs predicts their later success in marriage.

In one study, psychologists rated people’s college yearbook photos for smile intensity (muscle stretching around the mouth and eyes). They found that none of the biggest grinners divorced later in life. In comparison, 25% of the most straight-faced experienced divorce.

A second study of childhood photos of people over age 65 found a similar link. Among those with the biggest smiles in the childhood pictures, 11 percent later experienced divorce, compared with 31 percent of the least smiley.

A bigger smile may reflect a happy-go-lucky approach to life, the researchers reported. Or bigger smiles may attract a happier partner, and lead to a happier relationship.

2. How fertile are you?

A healthy smile can reflect your overall health, multiple studies show. For women, smiles can even reveal fertility.

Women with gum disease take an average of two months longer to conceive than women without, according to research published in 2009 in the US Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Gum disease is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, respiratory disease and kidney disease. The link appears related to increased inflammation that accompanies gum disease, the researchers found.

3. How much earning power do you have?

A teenager’s grin can predict how much cash he or she will rake in as an adult. According to a study published in 2012 in the journal Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences, happy teens earned 10 percent more income than average at age 29, while gloomy adolescents earned 30 percent less than average at that age.

Happiness is likely linked with fewer worries and less stress, study researchers reported. Less worry means more mental space to focus on job-related tasks.

4. How powerful are you?

Smiles aren’t just about happiness. They’re also a sign of social status. A 1998 study in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that high-powered people, as well as people interacting with others of equal power, smiled when they felt happy.

In contrast, people with less social power than the person they were interacting with smiled regardless of their own emotions.

The findings suggest that powerful people have the privilege of smiling when they please, whereas those with less power are obligated to smile in order to ingratiate themselves.

5. How good a fighter are you?

The link between smiles and power holds in the physical realm, as well. In one study, professional mixed martial arts fighters who grinned in photographs taken the day before a match were more likely to lose than fighters who presented a tough mug for the camera.

Fighting is about dominance, and smiles may inadvertently signal that a person is less dominant, hostile or aggressive, researchers reported online Jan. 28, 2013, in the journal Emotion.

Even untrained observers caught on to the message in the smiles, the same study found. People viewed a fighter as more trustworthy and agreeable, but less aggressive and less physically dominant, if they saw him smiling versus posing with a neutral expression.

The takeaway? Smiles grease the social wheels in most situations, and happiness is usually a boon. But if you’re going head-to-head in a contest of dominance, put your game face on.

(via Huffington Post)