Bad breath is common among adults, and it is a dating deal-breaker for many! According to the American Dental Association, at least 50% of adults suffer from bad breath or chronic bad breath (AKA Halitosis). There are various reasons why adults have bad breath but 90% of bad breath comes from a dirty tongue, a problem that could easily be solved via the use of a tongue scraper. However, other factors such as poor dental health habits and other potential health problems can also result in bad breath. While at first glance bad breath is a simple and treatable condition, those who suffer from Halitosis can be indicative of serious ailments like diabetes and kidney disease. Read more to find out…

Did you know that 43% out of 5,000 respondents agreed that fresh breath matters the most when it comes to a potential date? The numbers have spoken and although it sounds a bit silly, this is no laughing matter. Bad breaths might just be the reason why you are not getting that second date.

What causes bad breath?

What-causes-bad-breath

The main cause of bad breath is bacteria that produce Volatile Sulphur Compounds (VSCs). VSCs are the main cause of what makes the breath smell bad. The type of bacteria that produces VSCs are mainly Gram-negative anaerobic bacteria. Anaerobic bacteria thrive in low oxygen regions and are commonly found where tartar build-up is excessive or in deep gum pockets.

A quick measurement of your gum pocket is indicative of the severity of your gum disease. This is because gum pockets create the perfect environment for anaerobic bacteria to thrive in. In terms of gum measurement, 2-4mm is considered normal, however, anything deeper than 5mm of gum pocketing with bleeding is indicative of a high accumulation of anaerobic bacteria that results in gum inflammation leading to possible bone loss. These harmful bacteria also produce toxins that enter the bloodstream and are also associated with other health concerns, such as diabetes, heart disease and stress. These are often the same bacteria that cause bad breath.

Bad breath can be caused by other factors too, such as food intake. When you go on a dinner date, watch out for food containing garlic and onions. These foods produce several sulfur-containing gases that are absorbed into our bloodstream, meaning our body would also exude an unpleasant odour. Tobacco products are perhaps the most notorious when it comes to bad breath as it dries up the fluids in our mouth that help wash away food stains and bacteria lingering inside.

Poor dental hygiene such as not brushing the teeth correctly, or not brushing at all, would also cause bad breath and gum disease. About 15% of bad breath may not be directly related to the mouth. It could be a result of upper and lower respiratory infection or a systemic illness such as diabetes or disorders of the kidney or liver.

The medical condition xerostomia (dry mouth in layman’s terms) can also cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten the mouth, as it helps prevent tooth decay and neutralise acids produced by plaque. It also washes away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and throat; if not removed, these cells will decompose and can cause bad breath. Dry mouth could be caused by a number of factors such as medication or continuous breathing through the mouth, to which we would further elaborate.

5 Tips to eliminate bad breath

1) Correct mouth breathing

1) Correct mouth breathing

According to a study, breathing through the mouth is much more harmful than breathing through the nose. Mouth breathing causes the saliva in your mouth to dry up faster. Bacteria then easily multiply and thrive in a dry environment. People who sleep through the night while breathing through their mouth would experience dry mouth in the morning, and subsequently, would experience bad breath. So, breathe the right way — always through the nose. Proper nasal breathing will reduce the number of harmful particles entering your lungs and also improve the efficiency of oxygen transfer from your blood to your cells.

2) Maintain good gum health

Maintain good gum health

2) Maintain good gum health

It is indeed important to practise good dental hygiene such as flossing the teeth regularly and brushing at least twice a day. However, it is equally crucial to keep our gums healthy. To do this, you can visit your dentist regularly for general maintenance of your gums. And if needed, deep cleaning with laser disinfection to reduce the anaerobic bacteria in the mouth.

3) Consume probiotics

3) Consume probiotics

Lactobacillus probiotics or “good bacteria” aids in digestion and makes the process of food and medication breakdown easier. It is known that oral administration of Lactobacillus improves bad breath and provides additional benefits that greatly improve your body’s health. Foods that contain Lactobacillus probiotics are yoghurt, miso soup and kimchi, just to name a few.

4) Drink plenty of water

Drink-plenty-of-water

4) Drink plenty of water

Besides preventing dry mouth, water, much like saliva, helps wash away food particles and bacteria in the mouth that causes bad breath. Furthermore, drinking water would also stimulate saliva secretion in the mouth, allowing the mouth to stay moist for longer periods of time.

5) Visit your dentist regularly

5) Visit your dentist
regularly

Be sure to see your dentist every 6 months to have your gums and teeth checked. Through professional help, any sign of anomalies would be detected and this could prevent any severe oral illnesses in the future.

Don’t ruin your chance for a second date and book an appointment with us now!

Have an interesting topic you would like us to cover? Just let us know!

References:

1. Probiotics: What is it, Benefits, Side Effects, Food & Types. (2020). Retrieved 23 September 2020, from
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14598-probiotics

2. Robertson, R. (2020). 9 Ways Lactobacillus Acidophilus Can Benefit Your Health. Retrieved 23 September 2020, from
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lactobacillus-acidophilus#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2

3. Nasal, S. (2020). Mouth Breathing vs Nose breathing – Sinus & Nasal Specialists of Lousiana. Retrieved 23 September 2020, from
https://www.sinusandnasalspecialists.com/mouth-breathing-vs-nose-breathing/

4. D, Wyatt Jr, A. (2020). Bad Breath Causes, Treatments, and Prevention. Retrieved 23 September 2020, from
https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/bad-breath#1

5. Xerostomia. (2020). Retrieved 23 September 2020, from
https://www.aaom.com/index.php%3Foption=com_content&view=article&id=107:xerostomia&catid=22:patient-condition-information&Itemid=120#:~:text=The%20exact%20number%20of%20people,types%20of%20patient%20populations%20studied.

6. Top 5 Foods That Cause Bad Breath. (2020). Retrieved 23 September 2020, from
https://www.listerine.com.my/top-5-foods-cause-bad-breath

7. Bad Breath Causes – American Dental Association. (2020). Retrieved 23 September 2020, from
https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/bad-breath#:~:text=Studies%20show%20that%2050%20percent,some%20point%20in%20their%20lives.

8. Campisi, G., Musciotto, A., Di Fede, O., Di Marco, V., & Craxì, A. (2011). Halitosis: could it be more than mere bad breath?. Internal and emergency medicine, 6(4), 315-319.

We all dream of having the perfect white pearlies to get that dazzling smile. In recent years, many home remedies have popped up claiming that they help maintain the whiteness of your teeth, but are they really that effective? Read more to find out…

White and polished teeth are something we all naturally want; it captures the radiant smile of a person and makes one more attractive overall. Hence, it is not a surprise that teeth whitening has become increasingly popular over the years, especially with the rise of social media where we have never been more insecure about our appearance. From using lemon juice to oil pulling, and even brushing with baking soda, these popular home remedies for whiter teeth can be found in every corner of the interweb. But the big question is: Do they really work? Are they safe to use? How does it compare to proper teeth whitening procedures and what are the side effects?

What affects the colouration of our teeth?

What-affects-the-colouration-of-our-teeth

First, let’s discuss what affects the change of colour of our teeth. The colour of our tooth enamel is naturally white. However, with constant chemical reactions such as erosion and increased age, the enamel would slowly become thinner and the dentin (tissues beneath the enamel) would be exposed, causing the colour of the tooth to turn yellow in the process.  Certain food and drinks such as tea and wine are causes for teeth discolouration as they leave behind stains. But the biggest culprit is smoking and consuming tobacco products, so stay away from those if you want to maintain the whiteness of your teeth.

The “natural” way of whitening your teeth

Many teeth whitening articles on the net share a common theme—all-natural is the keyword. Most people would quickly identify something natural as a healthier and better option while something that has been made chemically is bad. In most cases, this may be true but it is not always the case especially when natural doesn’t necessarily mean safe. Here are 5 of the most popular ways to whiten your teeth at home according to the internet, and the adverse effects of it.

1) Lemon juice

oral-health

1) Lemon juice

Due to the high level of acidity in lemon juice, it was strongly suggested that it is a great teeth whitening agent. However, a study in 2015 found that lemon juice eats away the tooth enamel which is supposed to protect your teeth from decay. Unfortunately, unlike other parts of your body such as your nails, tooth enamel doesn’t regrow. So best steer clear of this acidic substance when whitening your teeth!

2) Brushing with baking soda

Chewing

2) Brushing with baking soda

Baking soda in moderate quantities is safe to use as it has been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). In fact, it helps with the deep cleaning of the teeth if used correctly. However, do note that baking soda does not contain fluoride, which helps strengthen your teeth and prevent dental cavities, so you will still need to follow up with another round of brushing using a regular toothpaste.

You should avoid brushing with baking soda if you are wearing braces. Due to its alkalinity, baking soda will soften the orthodontic glue that attaches the braces to your teeth.

3) Coconut oil

3) Coconut oil

Although research has shown that coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties and reduces the chance of plaque formation, there is not enough scientific evidence to prove oil pulling is beneficial to your oral health overall. That being said, it is safe to use coconut oil as “mouthwash” but in terms of effectiveness, there is no guarantee.

4) Activated charcoal

Gum-diseases

4) Activated charcoal

The toothpaste industry has seemed to push the idea that charcoal toothpaste can whiten your teeth and remove stains more effectively than regular toothpastes. However, the ADA has published their findings that using activated charcoal threatens the enamel and its high abrasive nature erodes the enamel easily, leading to the exposure of the dentin. Once the dentin is exposed, it can lead to dental complications such as tooth sensitivity.

5) Hydrogen peroxide solution (HPS)

Bad-breath-dry-mouth-and-cracked-lips

5) Hydrogen peroxide
solution (HPS)

Hydrogen peroxide is present in most whitening toothpastes, which makes it safe to use. It removes extrinsic stains (outside enamel), giving you the appearance of whiter teeth. However, high concentrations of the solution which is more than 3% would leave significant damage to the enamel and gum irritation. For people with sensitive teeth, please consult with your dentist before using hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth.

The effectiveness of DIY teeth whitening compared to conventional whitening kits

Seek-support-from-loved-one

According to a scientific journal, a group of researchers compared the efficacy of DIY whitening such as strawberry puree mixed with baking soda and compared it to a conventional whitening kit, Crest 3D intensive, in order to test the colour change of the tooth. To summarise, the researchers use visual colour assessment to test the effectiveness of teeth whitening between the two methods.

The results? DIY teeth whitening remedy with the use of a strawberry mixture is not an effective tooth whitening modality as opposed to professionally dispensed whitening solution for at-home use.

Regardless of the method you choose, it is crucial for you to check with your dentist before attempting to whiten your teeth at home. Just like how skincare products would react differently on different skin types, there is no one-size-fits-all with teeth whitening remedies too. The best solution, still, is to let the professionals do it.

If you wish to consult us for safe and efficient teeth whitening, be sure to book an appointment with us!

References:

1. Does Coconut Oil Whiten Teeth? (n.d.). Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/teeth-whitening/does-coconut-oil-whiten-teeth

2. Natural Teeth Whitening: Fact vs. Fiction. (n.d.). Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/natural-teeth-whitening

3. Teeth Whitening Myths: Is Hydrogen Peroxide Safe. (2020, July 15). Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://int.hismileteeth.com/blogs/news/teeth-whiteningmyths-is-hydrogen-peroxide-safe

4. 6 ways your teeth can become yellow. (2019, May 28). Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://healthengine.com.au/info/6-ways-your-teeth-can-become-yellow

5. Wyatt Jr, A. D. (Ed.). (2019, May 12). Foods That Stain Your Teeth. Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/ss/slideshow-foods-stain-teeth

6. The effect that smoking has on your oral health. (2020, February). Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://www.qvh.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/The-effect-that-smoking-has-on-your-oral-health-Rvw-Feb-2020.pdf

7. Bell, B. (2019, December 10). 6 Simple Ways to Naturally Whiten Your Teeth at Home. Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/whiten-teeth-naturally

8. Zimmer S, Kirchner G, Bizhang M, Benedix M (2015) Influence of Various Acidic Beverages on Tooth Erosion. Evaluation by a New Method. PLoS ONE 10(6): e0129462.
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0129462

9. Ciancio, S. G. (2017). Baking soda dentifrices and oral health [Abstract]. Baking Soda Dentifrices and Oral Health, 148(11), s1-s3, 1-3. doi:
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adaj.2017.09.009

10.  Does Baking Soda Whiten Teeth? (n.d.). Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/teeth-whitening/does-baking-soda-whiten-teeth

11. Peedikayil, F. C. (2019). Is coconut oil good for oral health? A review [Abstract]. Is Coconut Oil Good for Oral Health? A Review, 6(1), 1-3. doi:
https://www.jhrr.org/text.asp?2019/6/1/1/257477

12. Peedikayil, F., Sreenivasan, P., & Narayanan, A. (2015). Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis – A preliminary report. Nigerian Medical Journal, 56(2), 143.
doi:10.4103/0300-1652.153406

13. Mullen, C. (2019, March 23). Charcoal is trendy. But in toothpaste? Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://www.bizjournals.com/bizwomen/news/lates-tnews/2019/05/charcoal-is-trendy-but-in-toothpaste.html?page=all

14. Brooks, J. K., DDS, Bashirelahi, N., PhD, & Reynolds, M. A., PhD. (2017). Charcoal and charcoal-based dentifrices [Abstract]. Charcoal and Charcoal-based Dentifrices, 148(9), 661-670. doi:
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adaj.2017.05.001

15. Exposed Dentin: Causes and Treatment. (2020, March 14). Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://www.proteethguard.com/blog/exposed-dentin-causes-and-treatment/

16. Johnsson, J. (2019, August 23). Hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening: Does it work and is it safe? (1080855568 821090807 C. Frank DDS, Ed.). Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326148

17. Kwon SR, Meharry M, Oyoyo U, Li Y. Efficacy of do-it-yourself whitening as compared to conventional tooth whitening modalities: an in vitro study. Oper Dent. 2015 Jan-Feb;40(1):E21-7.
doi: 10.2341/13-333-LR. Epub 2014 Oct 3. PMID:25279797.

18. Watson, S. (2020, April 17). Crest 3D White Whitestrips Whitening + Therapy Dental Whitening Kit. Retrieved November 25, 2020, from
https://crest.com/enus/products/crest-3d-white-whitestrips-whitening-therapy-dental-whitening-kit

Gum lines are different for everyone. Although a gummy smile might look good on others, it can also affect one’s self-consciousness. Uneven gum lines can be corrected via laser gum contouring. Open to read more:

Gum lines are different for everyone—some are high, some are low, some are in between and some are uneven. This can occur for a variety of reasons. Genetics and environmental causes such as mouth breathing are some of the common reasons. The usage of some medications such as nifedipine (anti-hypertensive) and phenytoin (anti-epileptic) are other causes that may contribute to the excess gum tissue.

Our gum lines are part of what defines our smile. For some people, having uneven gum lines or a gummy smile can make them feel self-conscious. Excess gum tissue can also give the illusion of having smaller teeth that may not compliment the smile. There are plenty of ways to overcome this. If your uneven gums are stopping you from showing off that beautiful smile, you might want to consider having laser gum contouring as one of the available options.

What is laser gum contouring?

What-is-laser-gum-contouring

Laser gum contouring, or also known as gingival sculpting, is a dental procedure that reshapes your gum line by removing excess gum tissue around your teeth. This procedure not only improves the cosmetics of the smile but can also improve the general maintenance of the gums by removing excess gum tissue that may contribute to poor oral hygiene.

Laser gum contouring with the Waterlase is a fast, efficient and comfortable way to remove excess gum tissue. The Waterlase uses water, air and laser energy to gently vaporise the excess gum tissue. This not only helps to seal the wound while killing off the bacteria but also brings greater precision and less trauma to the gum tissue.

Laser-Gum-Contouring

The procedure is carried out with minimal downtime where off-the-counter pain relief medication is sufficient to manage any discomfort. The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic with a numbing cream which makes the actual procedure relatively pain free.

A similar procedure can also be carried out to resolve hyperpigmentation (dark gums). Sometimes, gum hyperpigmentation can be mistaken to be due to smoking, however, this is a non-smoking related cause. If you have always disliked the dark colour of your gums, the Waterlase can be used to remove the pigmentation in the gums.

Benefits of laser gum contouring

Benefits-of-laser-gum-contouring

Laser gum contouring also doesn’t require cutting, stitches, and sutures. What this means is that the procedure is relatively painless and requires a shorter healing time.

All in all, laser gum contouring is a very safe procedure. So, if you are looking to correct your gummy smile or uneven gum lines, you can book an appointment with us at Coast Dental!

References:

1. Benefits of Laser Gum Recontouring: San Francisco: Marin: Oakland CA. Glen Park Dental. (n.d.).
https://www.glenparkdental.com/benefits-laser-gum-recontouring/.

2. Laser Gum Contouring: What You Need to Know. Image Dental. (2021, February 19).
https://www.myimagedental.com/blog/laser-gum-contouring/.

3. Laser Gum Depigmentation: What It Is and Is It Right for You? Dr. John Paul Gallardo. (2021, June 1).
https://www.miamiperio.com/blog/what-is-laser-gum-depigmentation.