Health Oral

Bad Breath(Halitosis)

What is bad breath?

It is also known as halitosis or fetor oris. Bad breath can cause significant worry, embarrassment, and anxiety but it is relatively easy to remedy.

Fast facts on bad breath

Here are some key points about bad breath. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.

  • Bad breath is estimated to affect 1 in 4 people globally.
  • The most common cause of halitosis is bad oral hygiene.
  • If particles of food are left in the mouth, their breakdown by bacteria produces sulfur compounds.
  • Keeping the mouth hydrated can reduce mouth odor.
  • The best treatment for bad breath is regular brushing, flossing, and hydration.

What is halitosis?

Share on PinterestAlthough bad breath is associated with certain diseases, oral hygiene is the most common cause.

Bad breath is a common problem that can cause significant psychological distress. There are a number of potential causes and treatments available.

Anyone can suffer from bad breath. It is estimated that 1 in 4 people have bad breath on a regular basis.

Halitosis is the third most common reason that people seek dental care, after tooth decay and gum disease.

Simple home remedies and lifestyle changes, such as improved dental hygiene and quitting smoking, can often remove the issue. If bad breath persists, however, it is advisable to visit a doctor to check for underlying causes.

Treatment

The best method to reduce halitosis is good oral hygiene. This ensures that cavities are avoided and reduces the likelihood of gum disease.

It is recommended that individuals visit the dentist for a check-up and cleaning twice a year.

The dentist may recommend a toothpaste that includes an antibacterial agent or an antibacterial mouthwash.

Alternatively, if gum disease is present, professional cleaning may be necessary to clear out the build-up of bacteria in pockets between the gums and teeth.

Causes

Potential causes of bad breath include:

  • Tobacco: Tobacco products cause their own types of mouth odor. Additionally, they increase the chances of gum disease which can also cause bad breath.
  • Food: The breakdown of food particles stuck in the teeth can cause odors. Some foods such as onions and garlic can also cause bad breath. After they are digested, their breakdown products are carried in the blood to the lungs where they can affect the breath.
  • Dry mouth: Saliva naturally cleans the mouth. If the mouth is naturally dry or dry due to a specific disease, such as xerostomia, odors can build up.
  • Dental hygiene: Brushing and flossing ensure the removal of small particles of food that can build up and slowly break down, producing odor. A film of bacteria called plaque builds up if brushing is not regular. This plaque can irritate the gums and cause inflammation between the teeth and gums called periodontitis. Dentures that are not cleaned regularly or properly can also harbor bacteria that cause halitosis.
  • Crash diets: Fasting and low-carbohydrate eating programs can produce halitosis. This is due to the breakdown of fats producing chemicals called ketones. These ketones have a strong aroma.
  • Drugs: Certain medications can reduce saliva and, therefore, increase odors. Other drugs can produce odors as they breakdown and release chemicals in the breath. Examples include nitrates used to treat angina, some chemotherapy chemicals, and some tranquilizers, such as phenothiazines. Individuals who take vitamin supplements in large doses can also be prone to bad breath.
  • Mouth, nose, and throat conditions: Sometimes, small, bacteria-covered stones can form on the tonsils at the back of the throat and produce odor. Also, infections or inflammation in the nose, throat, or sinuses can cause halitosis.
  • Foreign body: Bad breath can be caused if they have a foreign body lodged in their nasal cavity, especially in children.
  • Diseases: Some cancers, liver failure, and other metabolic diseases can cause halitosis, due to the specific mixes of chemicals that they produce. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause bad breath due to the regular reflux of stomach acids.

Rarer causes of bad breath

As mentioned earlier, the most common reason for bad breath is oral hygiene, but other situations can also be to blame.

Rarer causes of bad breath include:

  • Ketoacidosis: When the insulin levels of a person with diabetes are very low, their bodies can no longer use sugar and begin to use fat stores instead. When fat is broken down, ketones are produced and build up. Ketones can be poisonous when found in large numbers and produce a distinctive and unpleasant breath odor. Ketoacidosis is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition.
  • Bowel obstruction: Breath can smell like feces if there has been a prolonged period of vomiting, especially if a bowel obstruction is present.
  • Bronchiectasis: This is a long-term condition in which airways become wider than normal, allowing for a build-up of mucus that leads to bad breath.
  • Aspiration pneumonia: A swelling or infection in the lungs or airways due to inhaling vomit, saliva, food, or liquids.

Symptoms

The specific odor of breath can vary depending on the cause of the problem. It is best to ask a close friend or relative to gauge your mouth odor, as it can be difficult to assess it yourself.

If no one is available, one way of checking the odor is to lick your wrist, leave it to dry, and then smell it. A bad smell on this area of the wrist is likely to suggest that you have halitosis.

Some individuals are concerned about their breath even though they may have little or no mouth odor. This condition is called halitophobia and can lead to obsessive mouth-cleansing behavior.

Home remedies

Share on PinterestOral hygiene is the key to most bad breath issues.

Other lifestyle changes and home remedies for bad breath include:

  • Brush the teeth: Be sure to brush at least twice a day, preferably after each meal.
  • Floss: Flossing reduces the build-up of food particles and plaque from between the teeth. Brushing only cleans around 60 percent of the surface of the tooth.
  • Clean dentures: Anything that goes into your mouth, including dentures, a bridge, or a mouth guard, should be cleaned as recommended on a daily basis. Cleaning prevents the bacteria from building up and being transferred back into the mouth. Changing toothbrush every 2 to 3 months is also important for similar reasons.
  • Brush tongue: Bacteria, food, and dead cells commonly build up on the tongue, especially in smokers or those with a particularly dry mouth. A tongue scraper can sometimes be useful.
  • Avoid dry mouth: Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol and tobacco, both of which dehydrate the mouth. Chewing gum or sucking a sweet, preferably sugar-free, can help stimulate the production of saliva. If the mouth is chronically dry, a doctor may prescribe medication that stimulates the flow of saliva.
  • Diet: Avoid onions, garlic, and spicy food. Sugary foods are also linked to bad breath. Reduce coffee and alcohol consumption. Eating a breakfast that includes rough foods can help clean the back of the tongue.

If breath odor persists despite controlling these factors, it is recommended that an individual visits a doctor for further tests to rule out other conditions.

Diagnosis

Often, a dentist will simply smell the breath of a person with suspected halitosis and rate the odor on a six-point intensity scale. The dentist may scrape the back of the tongue and smell the scrapings as this area can often be a source of the aroma.

There are a variety of sophisticated detectors that can rate odor more precisely.

They include the following:

  • Halimeter: This detects low levels of sulfur.
  • Gas chromatography: This test measures three volatile sulfur compounds: Hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, and dimethyl sulfide.
  • BANA test: This measures levels of a specific enzyme produced by halitosis-causing bacteria.
  • Beta-galactosidase test: Levels of the enzyme beta-galactosidase have been found to correlate with mouth odor.

Our dentists at Astradental services will then be able to identify the likely cause of the bad breath.

Dental Health

SOME BEST DETAL PRACTICES TO KEEP YOUR TEETH HEALTHY

Taking care of your teeth.

Achieving healthy teeth takes a lifetime of care. Even if you’ve been told that you have nice teeth, it’s crucial to take the right steps every day to take care of them and prevent problems. This involves getting the right oral care products, as well as being mindful of your daily habits.

1. Don’t go to bed without brushing your teeth

It’s no secret that the general recommendation is to brush at least twice a day. Still, many of us continue to neglect brushing our teeth at night. But brushing before bed gets rid of the germs and plaque that accumulate throughout the day.

2. Brush properly

The way you brush is equally important — in fact, doing a poor job of brushing your teeth is almost as bad as not brushing at all. Take your time, moving the toothbrush in gentle, circular motions to remove plaque. Unremoved plaque can harden, leading to calculus build-up and gingivitis (early gum disease).

3. Don’t neglect your tongue

Plaque can also build up on your tongue. Not only can this lead to bad mouth odour, but it can lead to other oral health problems. Gently brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth.

4. Use a fluoride toothpaste

When it comes to toothpaste, there are more important elements to look for than whitening power and flavours. No matter which version you choose, make sure it contains fluoride.

While fluoride has come under scrutiny by those worried about how it impacts other areas of health, this substance remains a mainstay in oral health. This is because fluoride is a leading defence against tooth decay. It works by fighting germs that can lead to decay, as well as providing a protective barrier for your teeth.

5. Treat flossing as important as brushing

Many who brush regularly neglect to floss. Flossing is not just for getting little pieces of food or broccoli that may be getting stuck in between your teeth, as Jonathan Schwartz, DDS. points out. “It’s really a way to stimulate the gums, reduce plaque, and help lower inflammation in the area.”

Flossing once a day is usually enough to reap these benefits.

At Astradental services we offer various types of flosses, you can always contact us.

6. Don’t let flossing difficulties stop you

Flossing can be difficult, especially for young children and older adults with arthritis. Rather than give up, look for tools that can help you floss your teeth. Ready-to-use dental flossers from the drugstore can make a difference.

7. Consider mouthwash

Advertisements make mouthwash seem necessary for good oral health, but many people skip them because they don’t know how they work. Schwartz says mouthwash helps in three ways: It reduces the amount of acid in the mouth, cleans hard-to-brush areas in and around the gums, and re-mineralizes the teeth. “Mouthwashes are useful as an adjunct tool to help bring things into balance,” he explains. “I think in children and older people, where the ability to brush and floss may not be ideal, a mouthwash is particularly helpful.”

Ask your dentist for specific mouthwash recommendations. Certain brands are best for children, and those with sensitive teeth. Prescription mouthwash is also available.

Purchase mouthwash online.

8. Drink more water

Water continues to be the best beverage for your overall health — including oral health. Also, as a rule of thumb, Schwartz recommends drinking water after every meal. This can help wash out some of the negative effects of sticky and acidic foods and beverages in between brushes.

9. Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables

Ready-to-eat foods are convenient, but perhaps not so much when it comes to your teeth. Eating fresh, crunchy produce not only contains more healthy fiber, but it’s also the best choice for your teeth. “I tell parents to get their kids on harder-to-eat and chew foods at a younger age,” says Schwartz. “So try to avoid the overly mushy processed stuff, stop cutting things into tiny pieces, and get those jaws working!”

10. Limit sugary and acidic foods

Ultimately, sugar converts into acid in the mouth, which can then erode the enamel of your teeth. These acids are what lead to cavities. Acidic fruits, teas, and coffee can also wear down tooth enamel. While you don’t necessarily have to avoid such foods altogether, it doesn’t hurt to be mindful.

11. See your dentist at least twice a year

Your own everyday habits are crucial to your overall oral health. Still, even the most dutiful brushers and flossers need to see a dentist regularly. At minimum, you should see your dentist for cleanings and checkups twice a year. Not only can a dentist remove calculus and look for cavities, but they will also be able to spot potential issues and offer treatment solutions.

Some dental insurance companies even cover more frequent dental checkups. If this is the case for you, take advantage of it. Doing so is especially helpful if you have a history of dental issues, such as gingivitis or frequent cavities.

You can book for a dental checkup here https://astradental.co.ke/astradental-booking-form/ or call us on 0727591579 or 0732561588 for consultations and dental enquires.

Dental Health

Dental Care for Elderly

Advancing age puts many Elderly at risk for a number of oral health problems, such as:

. Darkened teeth.

Caused, to some extent, by changes in dentin — the bone-like tissue that underlies the tooth enamel — and by a lifetime of consuming stain-causing foods and beverages. Also caused by thinning of the outer enamel layer that lets the darker yellower dentin show through. A darkened tooth or teeth may be a sign of a more serious problem and should be checked by your dentist.

  • Dry mouth.

  Caused by reduced saliva flow, which can be a result of cancer treatments that use radiation to the head and neck area, as well as certain diseases, such as Sjogren’s syndrome, and medication side effects. Many medicines can cause dry mouth.

  • Diminished sense of taste.

 While advancing age impairs the sense of taste, diseases, medications, and dentures can also contribute to this sensory loss.

  • Root decay.

This is caused by exposure of the tooth root to decay-causing acids. The tooth roots become exposed as gum tissue recedes from the tooth. Roots do not have any enamel to protect them and are more prone to decay than the crown part of the tooth.

  • Gum disease.

Caused by plaque and made worse by food left in teeth, use of tobacco products, poor-fitting bridges and dentures, poor diets, and certain diseases, such as anaemia, cancer, and diabetes, this is often a problem for older adults.

  • Tooth loss.

Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss.

  • Uneven jawbone.

This is caused by tooth and then not replacing missing teeth. This allows the rest of the teeth to drift and shift into open spaces

  • Denture-induced stomatitis.

 Ill-fitting dentures, poor dental hygiene, or a build-up of the fungus Candida albicans cause this condition, which is inflammation of the tissue underlying a denture.

  • Thrush.

Diseases or drugs that affect the immune system can trigger the overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans in the mouth.

Age in and of itself is not a dominant or sole factor in determining oral health. However, certain medical conditions, such as arthritis in the hands and fingers, may make brushing or flossing teeth difficult to impossible to perform. Drugs can also affect oral health and may make a change in your dental treatment necessary.

Oral Hygiene Tips for Seniors

Daily brushing and flossing of natural teeth is essential to keeping them in good oral health. Plaque can build up quickly on the teeth of seniors, especially if oral hygiene is neglected, and lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

To maintain good oral health, it’s important for all individuals — regardless of age — to:

  • Brush at least twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash once or twice a day
  • Visit your dentist on a regular schedule for cleaning and an oral exam
  • Antibacterial mouth rinse can reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease, according to the American Dental Association.

What Seniors Can Expect During a Dental Exam

If you’re a senior headed for a check up, your dentist should conduct a thorough history and dental exam.

 Questions asked during a dental history

  • The approximate date of your last dental visit and reason for the visit
  • If you have noticed any recent changes in your mouth
  • If you have noticed any loose or sensitive teeth
  • If you have noticed any difficulty tasting, chewing, or swallowing
  • If you have any pain, discomfort, sores, or bleeding in your mouth
  • If you have noticed any lumps, bumps, or swellings in your mouth

During an oral exam, your dentist will check the following: your face and neck (for skin discoloration, moles, sores); your bite (for any problems in how the teeth come together while opening and closing your mouth); your jaw (for signs of clicking and popping in the temporomandibular joint); your lymph nodes and salivary glands (for any sign of swelling or lumps); your inner cheeks (for infections, ulcers, traumatic injuries); your tongue and other interior surfaces — floor of the mouth, soft and hard palate, gum tissue (for signs of infection or oral cancer); and your teeth (for decay, condition of fillings, and cracks).

If you wear dentures or other appliances, your dentist will ask a few questions about when you wear your dentures and when you take them out (if removable). They will also look for any irritation or problems in the areas in the mouth that the appliance touches and examine the denture or appliance itself (looking for any worn or broken areas).

Health

How do Oral Health Needs Change Throughout a Woman’s Life?

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Women have special oral health requirements during the unique phases in their lives. Changes in female hormone levels during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause exaggerate the way gums react to plaque. So at these times, women need to be especially thorough when brushing and flossing every day in order to prevent gum disease.

Other important information you should know:

Menstruation — some women find that their gums swell and bleed prior to their periods, while others experience cold sores or canker sores. These symptoms usually go away once your period starts.

Oral contraceptives — inflamed gums are one of the most common side effects.

Pregnancy — studies show many pregnant women experience pregnancy gingivitis, when dental plaque builds up on the teeth and irritates the gums. Symptoms include red, inflamed and bleeding gums. Prenatal care is especially important.

Menopause — oral symptoms experienced during this stage of a women’s life include red or inflamed gums, oral pain and discomfort, burning sensations, altered taste sensations and dry mouth.

Osteoporosis — a number of studies have suggested a link between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jaw. Researchers suggest this may lead to tooth loss because the density of the bone that supports teeth may be decreased. When combined with gum disease, osteoporosis speeds up the process of bone loss around the teeth.

Dental visits

Doing periodical dental visits can greatly help you maintain your oral health throughout all your life cycles. You can always visit Astradental services for more information.

Book today at https://astradental.co.ke/astradental-booking-form/

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