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Posts Tagged ‘dry mouth’

Tic Tac Anyone?

In Dental Care on March 3, 2011 at 4:30 AM

Although we can never mistake bad breath on someone else, we don’t often know when we’re guilty of it ourselves. Bad breath can be chalked up to eating certain foods, or it could be a sign of a more serious oral health concern. If you’re not really taken with scarfing down cloves of garlic, munching onions like apples, or fasting on the latest see-no-food diet, the only way to find out why your breath is always kickin’ is to ask your dentist!

According to the ADA (see the info here:, maintaining good oral health is essential to reducing bad breath. Schedule regular dental visits for a professional cleaning and checkup. If you think you have constant bad breath, keep a log of the foods you eat and make a list of medications you take. Some medications may play a role in creating mouth odors. Let your dentist know if you’ve had any surgery or illness since your last appointment.

Thanks to the ADA website, we’ve compiled the 5 most common causes for bad breath:

What we eat – What you eat affects the air you exhale. Certain foods, such as garlic and onions, contribute to objectionable breath odor. Once the food is absorbed into the bloodstream, it is transferred to the lungs, where it is expelled. Brushing, flossing and mouthwash will only mask the odor temporarily. Odors continue until the body eliminates the food. Dieters may develop unpleasant breath from infrequent eating.

Inadequate Brushing & Flossing – If you don’t brush and floss daily, particles of food remain in the mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Food that collects between the teeth, on the tongue and around the gums can rot, leaving an unpleasant odor.

Dry Mouth – Dry mouth may be caused by various medications, salivary gland problems or continuously breathing through the mouth. If you suffer from dry mouth, your dentist may prescribe anartificial saliva, or suggest using sugarless candy and increasing your fluid intake.

Tobacco – Enough said but yes, your dentist can give you advice on kicking the habit.

Medical Disorder – Bad breath may be the sign of a medical disorder, such as a local infection in the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, liver or kidney ailment. If your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy, you may be referred to your family doctor or a specialist to determine the cause of bad breath.

Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque. Brush your tongue, too. Once a day, use floss or an interdental cleaner to clean between teeth.

Mouthwashes are generally cosmetic and do not have a long-lasting effect on bad breath. If you must constantly use a breath freshener to hide unpleasant mouth odor, see your dentist. If you need extra help in controlling plaque, your dentist may recommend using a special antimicrobial mouth rinse. A fluoride mouth rinse, used along with brushing and flossing, can help prevent tooth decay.

See how Tommy the Greyhound has been overlooked by more than 300 new owners because of his chronic bad breath, which he developed due to an immune system problem. Good news is he’s cured thanks to a daily gargle with some special K-9 mnouthwash!

Read more here:


You Heard it First on Yahoo…

In Dental Care on November 30, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Here’s some more info on why and how your oral health can affect your overall health – and vice versa!

This topic was recently posted on the front page of Yahoo last week (11/24), but looks to have originally appeared from Paula Spencer, a Senior Editor at around October 21st. We just figured since everyone was comatose from turkey ingestion or frazzled from frantic shopping, we could re-post some information on the oral systemic connection.

Thank you Paula for the highly beneficial information – we can all learn something from your article. We just want to give credit where credit is due, and further the message of pay attention to your teeth!

The condition of your teeth and gums says a lot about your overall health; listen to what your chompers are saying!

Click here to learn why dry mouth could mean you’re thirsty, or be an early indicator of diabetes! The article is titled: “7 Things Your Teeth Say About Your Health.”

Now go forth and share the info with family and friends!

If you noticed a lot of exclamation points, please leave a comment!!!

Can We Get You a Drink?

In Dental Care on September 12, 2010 at 3:00 AM

“I want you to connect with me through sharing and understanding the concept of dry mouthedness[1].”

It should be easy to seal an envelope, but those who suffer from a condition called xerostomia, or “dry mouth,” usually have to reach for some tape instead. It may not sound traumatic, but it’s a bigger nuisance than you might realize.

And even though we poke fun through movie quotes and sarcasm, dry mouth can not only hinder your enjoyment of food, but affect the health of your teeth.

Heavy plaque and food accumulations tend to occur with this condition, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Saliva is the body’s self-cleansing mechanism. It helps remove food, debris, and plaque from the tooth surfaces, protecting you from oral diseases. It cleans your teeth and neutralizes acids, which prevents tooth decay. People who have dry mouth are very susceptible to cavities, especially on the roots of their teeth.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

There are a number of known causes of dry mouth. It can be part of the normal aging process, caused by medication or the result of cancer therapy, nerve damage or other health conditions. Smoking and chewing tobacco can contribute as well. Symptoms include: difficulty speaking or swallowing, a burning sensation on your tongue, an altered sense of taste, sores or split skin at the corners of your mouth, bad breath and increased plaque or tooth decay.

What Can I Do about It?

If you feel you’re suffering from dry mouth, see a doctor for diagnosis. If a physician believes medication is to blame, he or she may adjust your dosage. You might also be prescribed something to stimulate saliva production. If the cause of the problem can’t be resolved, there are a few things you can do to make life easier. Try to get your saliva flowing by sucking on sugar-free hard candy or chewing sugar-free gum. To protect your teeth, brush with a fluoride toothpaste. It’s a good idea to schedule a dental appointment as well.  A prescription toothpaste or brush-on fluoride gel may be in order.

Additional self-care includes:

– Sipping plenty of water throughout the day

– Over-the-counter saliva substitutes

– Breathing through your nose instead of your mouth

– Using a humidifier at night

– If you use tobacco, kick the habit!

Source: Internet Dental Alliance, Inc.

[1] Dialogue from the movie, “White Men Can’t Jump” (1992) – read The Washington Post review here: