Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Halitosis: Bad Breath

Bad breath or halitosis can come from many sources. The most obvious cause of halitosis is of course, food, but gum disease, tooth decay, and tobacco are also common causes. The most frequent reason for bad breath is inadequate hygiene which can lead to more serious problems if not addressed. When food particles and debris are not cleaned from your teeth and tongue, bacteria can collect and result in unpleasant mouth odors. Bad breath is often the first indicator of periodontal (gum) disease. This may be a warning sign of a more serious problem and should not be ignored.

In certain cases, dry mouth can cause bad breath as well. This condition results from sleeping with an open mouth or daytime mouth breathing. Certain medical conditions, medications or sinus and respiratory infections can also lead to halitosis. It is important to see a dentist to determine the origin of the odor so it can be treated properly. Depending upon the source of your problem an individual treatment program can be set up to control your bad breath.

Monday, July 7, 2014


Tartar control toothpaste does not remove tartar. It must be removed by professional cleaning. Plaque is the soft yellowish film that forms on your teeth and can be brushed away with toothpaste. Tartar, however, is calcified plaque and can not be removed with simple tooth brushing. Tartar control toothpaste can help prevent tartar from forming above the gumline with the help of active ingredients like pyrophosphates. It is important to remove plaque daily to keep the minerals in your saliva from causing it to harden.

Many people believe that baking soda in toothpaste prevents tartar. It is a mild abrasive and can help remove stain. Companies now offer whitening toothpastes that they advertise lighten teeth. However, many toothpastes that make this claim do not actually contain any whitening ingredients such as peroxide. Like baking soda products, they simply contain abrasive material that removes surface stain, causing the teeth to appear whiter. It is important to make this distinction because some toothpastes, do in fact contain peroxide and will directly whiten the enamel. The concentration of peroxide in toothpaste is generally not enough to bleach your teeth and does not remain in the your mouth long enough to have any significant effect.

It is important to note there is no evidence that baking soda or peroxide prevents gum disease, which is vital to oral health. You should use these abrasive and peroxide-containing products carefully because they can lead to sensitivity as the top layer of enamel is removed. This effect can also be exacerbated by aggressive brushing. When searching for a toothpaste, always look to see that it has been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) and check the ingredients for peroxide if it promises to whiten teeth.