What causes bad breath?Bad breath can be caused by such things as certain foods, poor oral hygiene, gum disease, a dry mouth (Xerostomia), tobacco products or a medical disorder. When bacteria accumulate because of poor oral hygiene or gum disease, or when saliva is lacking, bad breath can result. Saliva is necessary to wash away food particles and bacteria. Certain medications and disorders can lead to a dry mouth. Sometimes a sinus infection, postnasal drip or other respiratory tract infections can cause bad breath. If bad breath is persistent, contact your dentist to determine whether the cause is of dental origin.
I have very bad breath even after I brush my teeth! What can I do?There are several different sources of oral malodor. These include mouth and tongue sources, nasal and sinus sources, lower respiratory tract and lung sources, gastrointestinal diseases and disorders, systemic diseases, and ingestion of certain foods, fluids, and medications. The first challenge is to determine if a patient has chronic or acute bad breath. Chronic halitosis occurs all the time.
If the source of halitosis is orally–related, tooth decay and/or periodontal disease is probably involved. Other oral problems, such as dry mouth, fungal infection, and oral cancer, can also contribute to oral malodor.
You are advised to gently brush their teeth, tongue and palate. Several companies market tongue scrapers.
Your best defense against bad breath is to practice excellent oral hygiene. This includes regular brushing, flossing, and tongue–scraping.
Chew sugar–free gum, especially if your mouth feels dry. Clean your mouth after eating or drinking milk products, fish and meat. Ask your dentist to recommend a mouthwash which has been shown to be clinically effective in fighting bad breath.
Is Asian diet related to oral health?The Asian diet is not as rich in protein, fat, or calories compared with the typical American menu. In many ways, the Asian diet is healthier than fatty American cuisine. However, problems that can occur in a deficiency include:
- Protein deficiency may lead to problems with gingivitis (gum disease).
- Riboflavin deficiency may cause painful lesions at the corners of the mouth.
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) deficiency can cause the gum tissue, which covers erupting teeth, to appear purple, swollen, and spongy. When teeth are present, vitamin C deficiency can adversely affect the health of the gum tissue, causing it to be red and irritated. This condition is called scurvy and it is extremely rare in developed countries.
Do different liquids effect teeth differently?Different liquids affect teeth differently. One major factor to consider is the pH of the liquid. Liquids like saliva and milk do not dissolve teeth. In fact, it is widely recommended that you place a knocked–out tooth in saliva or, alternatively, milk until you can get to the dentist to have them try to replant the tooth.
Teeth do dissolve in cola or soda pop. This is due to a number of factors. Soda usually contains acetic and/or ascorbic acid (vitamin C). This makes cola acidic. Acid dissolves teeth. If the tooth is soaking in cola, the roots usually dissolve first because they lack enamel which covers the crown of the tooth to protect it from decay. As you know, even enamel will decay over time to cause a cavity.