Bad Breath (Halitosis) – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Halitosis or bad breath, is a condition in which a person has an unattractive odour from their mouth.
This can be from the everyday “morning breath” most people wake up with, to the five minutes of bad breath you’ll experience after eating the occasional pungent foods like onions or garlic.
If you are among the unlucky people who suffer from bad breath, you know the awkwardness and embarrassment that halitosis can cause.

Causes Of Bad breath:

  • Certain foods, such as onions, garlic and spices can cause bad breath.
  • Smoking can cause an unpleasant mouth odor and can lead to gum disease, which also causes bad breath.
  • Poor dental hygiene causes food particles to remain in your mouth, causing bad breath.
  • Dry mouth can contribute to bad breath because the production of cleansing saliva is decreased:
    • Dry mouth occurs naturally during sleep, causing “morning breath,” and it worsens if you breathe through your mouth.
    • Some medications have dry mouth as a side-effect, producing bad breath as a result. Others are broken down in the body and release chemicals that are carried on your breath.
  • Tooth decay, gum infection, and other infections in the mouth, nose and throat can contribute to bad breath.
  • Diseases in the body can cause bad breath as a result of the chemicals they produce.
  • Chronic reflux of stomach acids can be associated with bad breath.

Solutions to get rid of bad breath and boost confidence

Practice good oral care at home:

  • Brushing twice a day and flossing regularly will avoid dental health issues.
  • Change your toothbrush regularly: Bacteria can build up in a toothbrush and contribute to bad breath
  • Scrape your tongue: The bacteria that coat your tongue are a big contributor to bad breath. To remove this smelly bacteria, gently brush your tongue with your toothbrush.
For an even more thorough cleaning, invest in a tongue scraper.
If you have a denture, partial denture, or any other removable dental appliance, make sure you take it out and clean it according to your Dentists instruction!
  • Keep your mouth moist: Keeping well hydrated can improve your oral health immediately.
  • Avoid Smoking: In addition to increasing your risk for cancer, smoking also damages gums, stains teeth and gives you bad breath.
  • Avoid over the counter mouthwashes for everyday use:
Although effective temporarily to treat infections and bad breath, alcohol and strong chemicals in most mouthwashes dry out the mouth, which exacerbates bad breath.
Saliva maintains a healthy pH in the mouth and ensures that certain types of bacteria don’t propagate.
The population ratio of the good and bad bugs must be maintained (normal flora) and the pH inside the mouth is crucial for this state to be maintained.
Chemical mouthwashes are indiscriminate in which bacteria they kill, adversely affecting this important ratio and allowing bad breath causing bacteria to proliferate.
Oil pulling and warm salt water rinses with few drops of essential oils like clove, cinnamon and peppermint used 2-3 times a week can help reduce bad breath without the above adverse effects.

Diet for a healthy mouth:

Eat fruit and vegetables: Chomping on a crispy apple, carrot, or stick of celery can boost saliva and reduce bad breath by washing away bacteria from teeth, gums, and tongue.
  • Avoid eating too many sugary foods and drinks, which encourage bacterial growth in the mouth, and are also a cause of tooth decay.
  • Avoid foods that are known to cause bad breath, like onions and garlic.
  • Herbal home remedies include chewing and freshening your mouth with lemon or orange rind, cloves, fennel seeds, aniseed or mint.
  • Taking probiotics  everyday will help maintain good gut health.

Visit your Dentist:

If your bad breath remains despite taking the advice above, schedule a dental appointment at Smile Place Dental.
If you have tooth decay, gum disease, chronic dry mouth, poor oral habits or any other underlying issue, we can help. 
We can also help diagnose if your halitosis is the result of an internal source and direct you towards appropriate treatment.

How To Brush Your Teeth

Everyone craves a beautiful smile. White Shiny teeth make your smile attractive. Most of us don’t give our teeth the attention they need. We even brush teeth the wrong way. Failing to brush properly builds up plaque which may lead to gum disease. Use this step-by-step guide to find out how to properly brush your teeth.

1. Put the toothbrush against your teeth, tilting the brush to 45 degrees against the gum line. Brush in small circular movements on all the surfaces of each mouth.

2. Brush the outer areas of each tooth, both upper and lower. Keep the bristles against the gum line.

3. Brush the inner areas of each tooth, both upper and lower. Keep the bristles against the gum line.

4. Brush the surface of the teeth that you use for biting.

5. Brush your tongue to help remove bacteria and prevent bad breath.

Follow all the 5 steps and you will have a fresh breath and clean mouth in no time!

How To Floss Your Teeth

We know we should floss atleast once a day, but not everyone knows the right way to do it.

1. Pull about 45cm of dental floss from the dispenser and wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with.

2. Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up -and-down between your teeth.

3. Move the floss back and forth in a push-pull motion, up and down against the side of each tooth.

4.Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go to the gum line.

teeth whitening after care

Teeth Whitening Aftercare

After having an in chair whitening session there are some do’s and don’ts to optimise the benefits of your whitening treatment.

Do’s

  • Brush and floss regularly. Maintaining your standard dental routines will help you keep your teeth looking shiny and clean for weeks after the treatment.
  • Be patient as teeth whitening procedures continue to work even after you have left our surgery.
  • Drink beverages using s straw. This reduces the amount of fluid that has contact with the front surfaces of your teeth.
  • Use the provided at home whitening kit for maintenance. This is a convenient and easy way to maintain your bright smile.
  • Use the Tooth Mousse provided if you experience sensitivity.
  • Rinse after each meal. This helps to remove food particles from the mouth and gives you fresher breath. If you choose to use a mouth rinse, look for one with teeth whitening properties.

Maintaining a healthy smile after your teeth whitening procedure will help make the most of your session and keep your teeth looking great for longer. This can be done by being consistent with your dental hygiene routine, regular visits to your dentist, eating the right types of foods and avoiding dark coloured beverages.

Don’ts

  • Don’t wear lipstick immediately after the teeth whitening session as it can stain the teeth and leave behind a residue.
  • Don’t drink red wine, tea or coffee immediately after you have your teeth whitened.
  • Both of these can stain your teeth. Avoid any dark coloured beverages as often as possible to prevent staining.
  • Don’t eat dark coloured foods for a few weeks after your treatment. These foods include, beetroot, tomato based sauces, soy sauce, curries, dark berries,
  • Don’t smoke
  • Don’t use your at home bleaching kit until 2 weeks after your in chair treatment.

 

A general rule of thumb is to remember if it would stain a white t-shirt; it may stain your teeth.

5 Ways to brighten your smile this Mother’s day

With Mother’s Day around the corner hopefully something nice has been planned for you. But whether or not it has, we think you deserve to feel your best on the day so we’re sharing seven tips you can use to brighten your smile for that special day.

1 – Eat raw fruits, vegetables and nuts

Eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and nuts isn’t just good for your body. These foods can do wonders for your teeth too, though not in the same way. Whereas these foods provide nutrients and vitamins that we all need to be healthy when you chew crunchy members of these food groups they act somewhat like your toothbrush and help remove the plaque and debris that can stain your teeth and cause decay. Thus these are particularly good foods to have for lunch and as snacks.

2 – Rinse your mouth after eating citrus fruits

While we’re on the subject of food, it’s a good idea to rinse your mouth after eating citrus fruits and other particularly acidic foods as the acids they contain can degrade the enamel on your teeth, darkening them and making them more susceptible to staining and decay.

3 – Don’t eat dark foods or drink energy drinks

If you want a bright smile, avoid eating dark foods like soy sauce, chocolate and red wine as these will stain your teeth more easily than lighter-coloured foods. We also recommend avoiding energy drinks as these are acidic but don’t provide the same health benefits as citrus fruits. If you really want to drink these things though, the alternative is to use a straw so the liquid bypasses your teeth.

4 – Get a new toothbrush

Many people don’t realise how ineffective their toothbrush is once the bristles get worn. If your toothbrush has seen better days and the bristles are all bent and disordered then it’s time to get rid of it and start using a fresh new brush. This will ensure you can get your teeth really clean, removing all that debris that may be dampening your smile.

5 – Brush your tongue

Once you’ve got a shiny new toothbrush, make sure you brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth and gums. Why does this help? Well, it isn’t just your teeth and gums that accumulate bacteria that can stain your teeth, your tongue is just as good a place for bacteria to hide out. Brushing it will help you eliminate much more of the discolouration-causing bacteria in your mouth.

Happy Mother’s Day!

We hope you enjoyed this early gift and that you have a lovely Mother’s Day.

Caring for your Kids Teeth

Did you know that one in three preschoolers have never been to the dentist?(1) Given the RCH National Child Health Poll showed the same proportion of children don’t brush their teeth enough and 10% have such bad dental decay that they have to have at least one tooth removed before their ninth birthday(1), this is a very worrying statistic. So, with World Oral Health Day on the 20th of March, I thought I’d share some tips on how you can best care for your child’s teeth and hopefully avoid your child having to have any teeth removed.

Babies

One of the best ways to care for your child’s teeth is to start cleaning them very early on. In fact, you can start good oral hygiene practices before your baby’s first tooth erupts. Gently wiping Bub’s gums once a day with a clean, damp piece of gauze or muslin is the way to go and will get Bub used to the teeth cleaning process.

Once your baby’s teeth start appearing, you should switch to brushing twice a day and can start using a toothbrush designed for children. Such brushes have small heads and soft bristles that allow you to reach all areas of the mouth and clean all the areas of gum and teeth without discomfort or causing damage. Your child’s first dentist visit should occur around their first birthday and they should go back for checkups yearly in order to catch any problems before they require treatment. Check if your child is eligible for the government’s free dental care scheme to help with the cost of these visits.

Toddlers

If you live in an area with fluoridated tap water, you don’t need to introduce toothpaste until your toddler is about 18 months old.

You can then start using a smear of age appropriate toothpaste that has lower fluoride content because young children can’t spit the toothpaste out .  You should however encourage your child to try to spit out the toothpaste, so that he/she develops the skill more quickly.

Young children

Young children will be more likely to clean their teeth without fuss if it’s part of their normal routine, they see their parents and carers brushing too and it’s fun. You can make it a more enjoyable experience by singing songs, letting your child choose their own special toothbrush and letting them brush a toy’s teeth while you brush theirs.

Older children

At age six, your child can begin using adult toothpaste but you should continue helping them brush until they’re eight to ensure their teeth are brushed correctly.

All children

Brushing isn’t the only way to care for your child’s teeth. You can also help by:

–    providing a healthy, low-sugar diet

–    providing tap water instead of bottled water (this doesn’t have fluoride in it), fruit juice or other sugary drinks

Genetics

Regardless of your child’s genetics, following the above tips will prevent dental decay and ensure your child’s teeth are as healthy as possible.

Dental Bridge vs Implant

Over a lifetime, a surprisingly large number of people will lose one or more of their permanent, adult teeth. There are a variety of reasons why this might happen but in general, the most common reasons for the loss of a tooth are tooth decay and a blow to the mouth (we highly recommend you wear a mouth guard for sports where you might get hit in the mouth to prevent exactly this situation).

If you’re missing multiple teeth, you can choose to repair your smile with dental implants or a bridge. Both are effective solutions but the best option for you will depend on a number of factors. If you’re keen to know more, read on to learn about your options.

What is a bridge?

As the name suggests, a dental bridge is designed to span a gap between your teeth. Just like a traditional bridge, a dental bridge needs to be firmly anchored to strong supports, on each side of the gap – in this case, two healthy teeth (or two implants, should the adjacent natural teeth be missing).

How would my dentist install a bridge in my mouth?

To install a dental bridge, your dentist will gently file the chosen anchoring teeth to provide a good surface on which the bridge will be attached. Your dentist will also install crowns over both teeth. Once this is done, your dentist can take an impression of your teeth and from that, build your new bridge complete with artificial teeth and crowns.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a small metal (usually titanium) post that is, as the name suggests, implanted into your gum, replacing the root of a missing tooth. A replacement tooth or crown is then attached to this new artificial root.

How would my dentist install a dental implant in my mouth?

To install a dental implant, your dentist will either surgically implant the metal post into your jawbone or fit a metal frame to the jawbone. Over about 3-6 months, the bone will then grow over and fuse with the implant in a process known as osseointegration. Once this process is complete, your dentist will attach an abutment to the implant and then cement or screw a dental crown onto the abutment.

Why should I get a dental bridge or implant?

If you’re missing one or more teeth, you might find that chewing is more difficult. You may also notice a difference in your speech – you might develop a lisp for instance. Replacing your missing tooth or teeth will correct both of these issues, which is sure to increase your quality of life.

If you’re missing a tooth or teeth near the front of your mouth, you’ll likely have an incomplete smile, which might make you self-conscious. Getting a dental implant or bridge will repair your smile, giving you the confidence to grin and laugh whenever the mood takes you without you having to worry what others might think of your missing tooth/teeth.

Regardless of where your missing tooth or teeth are, if left for a prolonged period of time, you’ll likely find your remaining natural teeth start to shift to fill the gap/s. This can cause a variety of problems so it’s best to nip them all in the bud by filling the gap/s with an implant or bridge.

What are the pros and cons of dental bridges and implants?

As a bridge relies on healthy neighbouring teeth, they may fail and need to be replaced if those anchor teeth become damaged in the future. Most crowns that support dental bridges tend to need to be replaced after about 7-10 years. One advantage of a dental implant is that it doesn’t rely on other teeth for support so this isn’t an issue. Implants also help maintain underlying bone density by stimulating the bones, which prevents shrinking.

On the other hand, installation of an implant requires surgery, takes at least 3 months to complete and is more expensive than a bridge. Some habits and medical conditions can also increase the likelihood that your implant will fail.

Summary

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when choosing a dental bridge or implant. This information, should arm you with the knowledge you need, to have an informed discussion with your dentist about the best option for you.

dental veneers

The truth and myths about dental veneers

The application of dental veneers is a very useful dental procedure. There are however, many myths associated with dental veneers that often prevent people from seriously considering getting them. If you’ve ever wondered whether dental veneers might be right for you, here are the facts and a few debunked myths.

What are dental veneers?

Dental veneers are covers that are often fitted to the front of the front teeth. They can however, be applied to any tooth and are sometimes used to fill damaged teeth. Regardless of where they’re fitted, they’re always custom-made for each tooth to ensure a perfect fit.

Veneers can be used to improve the appearance of teeth that have been damaged, are malformed or have become discoloured. In the case of discoloured teeth, they’re a great alternative for teeth that cannot be treated by a whitening procedure. They can also correct misaligned teeth as well as teeth with large gaps between them.

Types of dental veneers

There are two types of dental veneers: composite resin and porcelain. Composite resin veneers are the less expensive option but they aren’t as durable. Porcelain veneers last up to 25 years but are more expensive than their resin counterparts.

Myth 1 – My teeth will need to be filed down a lot

One of the most common myths about dental veneers is that they can only be applied after a substantial portion of the tooth has been filed away. It is true that part of the enamel does need to be removed but it is only a very thin layer – less than 1 mm thick in fact.

Myth 2 – Dental veneers will weaken my teeth

Given how many people believe the first myth, it’s unsurprising that many people also believe veneers weaken the teeth. Given barely any tooth is removed however, dental veneers do not weaken the teeth. In fact, they provide a small amount of protection to the tooth.

Myth 3 – My teeth won’t look natural with dental veneers

Another common misconception about dental veneers is that they’re ‘too white’. However, the truth is that veneers are custom-made to match the colour of the natural tooth. The shape and thickness of each veneer is also designed to match a person’s other natural teeth. In short, dental veneers are designed to complement existing teeth.

Myth 4 – Dental veneers are fragile

This myth probably arose because of an association with porcelain crockery and dolls etc. Porcelain veneers are however, just as strong as tooth enamel. While composite resin veneers are not quite as durable as their porcelain cousins, they too are very strong. With proper care, dental veneers can last for many years.

Myth 5 – I’ll experience lots of side effects if I get dental veneers

For a few days after dental veneers are applied, teeth can be a little more sensitive than usual. This fades quickly however, and in the long run, some people find their teeth are less sensitive than they were previously. Also, if you’re worried about pain, a local anaesthetic is used when veneers are applied.

Myth 6 – Dental veneers are only for celebrities

Many people think only Hollywood stars get veneers, or that they’re frivolous or too expensive for the average person. While they’re generally considered a cosmetic dental procedure, there’s no reason why everybody couldn’t improve their smiles with veneers if they wanted to and they’re more affordable than you might think. They’re also an effective solution for restoring teeth that aren’t damaged enough for extensive treatment like a crown.

So, now you know the truth about dental veneers could your smile benefit from this treatment?

teeth whitening

Tips of the trade to get those pearly whites you dream of

Is your smile a little less than perfect? Do you want to change your smile for the better? If so, cosmetic dentistry is the service you need to get the pearly whites you dream of. Cosmetic dentistry is a broad term that covers many different options for improving your smile, from relatively simple procedures like inlays and onlays to complex procedures like composite bonding. If you’re looking for something simple though to boost your smile, one of the most basic procedures in cosmetic dentistry is teeth whitening. With just a little bit of work and a small expense, this procedure can drastically improve your smile.

Why might I want teeth whitening?

Over time, teeth can become stained. All food and drink can stain teeth but things like tea, coffee and red wine, which contain chromogens (colour pigments), are particularly prone to causing tooth discolouration as the chromogens can adhere to the outer surface of your teeth. Some medications, such as antihistamines and high blood pressure medication, are also known to stain teeth. Habits, such as smoking, are very effective at staining teeth too. In addition, no matter how well you brush your teeth, as you age, your teeth are unlikely to remain the pristine white they were when they first popped through your gums as a child because enamel usually thins over time allowing the colour of the more yellowish dentin layer underneath to show through. Tooth trauma can also cause your body to produce more dentin.

What does teeth whitening involve?

Before the actual whitening procedure commences, your dentist will remove any plaque, tartar or debris from all of your teeth. In other words, your teeth will get a thorough clean. Once that’s done, your dentist will then apply bleach (typically hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide) to whiten your teeth just like you might use bleach to lighten your hair or remove stains from clothing.

How common is teeth whitening?

The short answer is, very common. In fact, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the most common improvement people wish to make to their smile is to get whiter teeth and nearly 90% of American patients request a teeth whitening procedure according to the American Association of Orthodontists.

Does whitening work for everyone?

Unfortunately no. Yellow discolouration is usually easy to correct through bleaching but brown teeth are harder to whiten and grey stains may not be possible to bleach at all. Bleaching is also ineffective if stains are due to medication or injury to a tooth. Bleaching also only works on teeth themselves (it doesn’t work on fillings or veneers for instance).

Can I just use a home whitening solution?

Yes, but there are side effects such as sensitive teeth due to the bleach going through the enamel and dentin to irritate the nerves underneath, and gum damage due to overuse of whiteners. If you want to avoid these side effects, it’s best to leave it to a professional.