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One thing that can put away talking to someone very interesting is bad breath. And it is not an uncommon problem. While most just try to use mouth wash and chewing gums to keep it away, it is important to note that bad breath can be a sign of underlying causes, both in the mouth and the body as a whole.
Identifying the reason can help in early diagnosis and prompt treatment of the actual disease condition.
There could be oral and general causes for bad breath or halitosis as it is medically called. Food habits and other lifestyle habits including smoking can also lead to bad breath.
- Presence of food debris in a moist environment (saliva) is ideal for the oral bacteria to act on the food particles and break them down. This causes a bad breath, when it leads to plaque formation and it then calcifies into a hardened substance called calculus. Plaque and calculus are the main ingredients for tooth decay and periodontal disease.
- Severe tooth decay leads to bad breath as does periodontal infections. In severe cases, there could even be abscess formation in the root area of the tooth with pus formation
- Unclean dentures are another source of halitosis. There could be food lodged in between teeth or the undersurface of the denture, leading to bad breath.
- Dry mouth or xerostomia - Certain diseases and drugs can lead to dry mouth with reduced amounts of saliva. Saliva has a natural flushing effect on the bacteria, and in its absence, the bacteria thrive, leading to a bad odour.
- Long-term smoking and/or chewing tobacco and alcohol are also reasons for bad breath.
- Crash diets: People on low-carb diets can have a bad breath, owing to burning of the fat and producing ketones, which have a strong smell.
- Medications: Nitrates to reduce angina, chemotherapy agents for cancer, phenothiazines for anxiety can all lead to bad breath. They reduce saliva and/or release chemicals causing bad breath.
Management: The first step in managing halitosis is to nail the cause down, which makes it easier to treat.
- Start with oral hygiene check, and if there is decay or gum disease, consider restorations and cleaning.
- Mouth rinses can be used in the maintenance phase.
- Cessation of tobacco use should be considered.
- General health conditions like GERD should be managed
- Artificial saliva in cases of xerostomia
- Alternative medications if they are causing the bad breath
Oral breath is definitely embarrassing but can be managed very easily.
Let us thank you for your efforts, and we assure you that your kids will be thankful to you in the future
BRUSHING- the WHEN & HOWs…?
You should start with cleaning your infant’s teeth with a wet wash cloth, however as your kid gets more teeth, you can start to use a soft children’s toothbrush. Brushing should be done in more circular motion covering both front and back side of all the teeth from gums towards teeth.
The TOOTHPASTE confusion? Your child may be at risk of too much fluoride intake, so your choice of toothpaste is simple yet essential. If using fluoridated toothpaste, use a small, pea-size amount of toothpaste, so that there is little danger for your child getting too much fluoride if he swallows it. The alternative off course is to use non-fluoridated toothpaste, until they are spitting the toothpaste out.
FLOSSING- simple yet effective tool ? Flossing is an important part of good oral hygiene. Your child should start flossing from the age of 3-4 years, but they likely won't be able to floss on their own, so your role will be to assist them. It should be encouraged at least once a day
FLUORIDE- the right balance ? Children begin to need supplemental fluoride by the age of six months. The additional requirement is dependent on child’s environment. If your kid is drinking tap water and you live in an area with the water is fluoridated, then he should be getting an adequate amount of fluoride. If he doesn't drink water much, or is drinking well water, un-fluoridated bottled water, then he may not be getting enough fluoride to keep his teeth healthy. Talk with your Pediatric Dentist for elaborate details about fluoride supplements in forms of gels and varnishes.
SEALENTS- Sealing the future cavity ? A sealant is a plastic material that provides a protective coating to the teeth, thereby acts as a barrier against plaque and bacteria from being present in the grooves and pits of the teeth. Molars can be hard to clean with all the grooves and are prone to developing cavities, so sealants can do wonders.
FIRST VISIT- the sooner the better…?
Common practice is that one may not visit a dentist unless your child has risk factors for having problems with teeth, such as sleeping with cup/bottle, teeth staining, thumb sucking, night pain etc. However, an early visit to the child dentist is a good way to learn proper about basics of oral hygiene at an early age.
Did you know that your tooth brush could be home of over a million bacteria including the flu virus, E coli, staph and yeast fungus? But, can your tooth brush really make you fall ill? Luckily, our immune system ensures that toothbrushes do not make us ill. However, in rare cases, the bacteria on a toothbrush can get past our defenses.
The problem lies in how a toothbrush is stored. The bathroom is humid and moist making it the best place for bacteria to multiply. Storing a toothbrush near the toilet further adds to the problem. Here are a few tips to make your toothbrush healthier.
- Wash your hands before and after brushing. Also rinse your toothbrush well before putting toothpaste on it. Using hot water is better than cold water.
- Change your toothbrush every three months or whenever the bristles are worn out; whichever comes first. In addition, also change your toothbrush after recovering from any illness. If you use an electric toothbrush, change the head every 3-4 months. Children’s brushes need to be changed more often than adult’s toothbrushes.
- Do not share a toothbrush and avoid storing toothbrushes together. If the bristles touch each other, germs could move from one toothbrush to the other.
- Toothbrush caps may not be as good an idea as they seem as it traps moisture inside and does not allow the brush to dry properly. Instead, keep your brush submerged in hydrogen peroxide or any alcohol based mouthwash.
- Do not store your toothbrush horizontally. Your toothbrush should always be stored vertically with the brush side on top.
- When travelling, if you use a toothbrush cap, allow the brush to dry completely before putting the cap on.
- Store your toothbrush away from the toilet and away from the sink such that it cannot get contaminated form water that splashes when you wash your hands or face.
- If possible, store your toothbrush in your medicine cabinet.
- Always put the cover down before flushing the toilet. This will reduce the number of air borne bacteria that can attach themselves to your toothbrush,
- Along with your toothbrush also clean out your toothbrush holder regularly.
- Do not try sterilizing your toothbrush in a microwave. Toothbrushes are not designed to withstand extreme temperatures and hence this could damage your toothbrush.
- Use a mouthwash after brushing to rinse out any bacteria that may be left behind form your teeth or your toothbrush. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dentist.
Whenever I eat anything my whole mouth hurts and has become little red from inside. And at the same time my teeth gum is also paining and has swollen little bit.
Tooth decay is one of the most common diseases affecting the oral cavity. Dental cavities is a highly prevalent condition, especially among children. In most cases, improper hygiene leads to deposition of food on the tooth. This in turn is acted upon by harmful bacteria, thus releasing acid that dissolves the tooth structure. In most cases, the decay starts on the outside of the tooth and gradually reaches the inner layers.
Gum diseases and bad breath:
One would think that if you are decay free, you have a healthy mouth. However, overall oral health requires healthy gums as well. They cover the teeth and provide anchoring support to the jawbones. Minor infection (gingivitis) can progress to a severe condition (periodontitis), which causes teeth to shake and even fall out! It is one of the main causes of bad breath or halitosis too. Swelling of the gums gradually, leads to spontaneous bleeding, which is the first sign of trouble. This can be managed by simply improving oral hygiene. It is advisable to see the dentist.
Treat cavities and bleeding gums:
Listed below are some common methods to manage bleeding gums and bad breath:
- Brushing: Advisable at least twice a day using a soft bristled toothbrush.
- Flossing: Flossing removes plaque from between the teeth and reduces chances of decay and gum problems
- Eating Healthy: Bad food habits are one of the main reasons of bad breath. A bad digestive system manifests as bad breath and so eating healthy is very important for healthy gums. Adequate water, fiber, calcium and Vitamin C are essential for gum health, so ensure they find a place in your diet.
- Annual Dental Visits: Visit your dentist once in 6 months. Simple procedures that do not require time or money like regular scaling will help improve the teeth and gum health while reduce bad breath issues.