8 Surprising Causes of Bad Breath

8 Surprising Causes of Bad Breath

Do you know what’s causing your bad breath?

It’s important to find out. Identifying the cause is often the key to successfully treating bad breath (also called halitosis).

Additionally, foul-smelling breath can have a very serious underlying cause that needs treatment.

So instead of just masking your halitosis with a breath mint, consider some possible factors that may be behind it.

1.  Poor Oral Hygiene

One of the first things to consider is how well you’re brushing and flossing. If you’re slacking off, then there’s likely to be a huge population of plaque bacteria growing in your mouth.

These germs love to build up on the tongue and they give off gases that cause bad breath. Brushing and flossing every day will lower the numbers of smelly bacteria. You may also want to try brushing your tongue and using an antibacterial rinse.

2.  Diet

Garlic and onions are notorious for causing bad breath. But did you know there are other foods that contribute to a short-term case of halitosis? These can include:

●    Coffee and other caffeinated beverages
●    Fish
●    Dairy
●    Horseradish
●    Alcohol

To counter the lingering effects of a stinky meal, try these natural breath fresheners:

●    Celery
●    Parsley
●    Mint
●    Fennel
●    Green tea
●    Fresh fruit like apples or pears

3.  Respiratory Issues

An infection in the sinuses can lead to a temporary case of bad breath. This often has to do with the fact that obstructed breathing dries out the mouth, and this, in turn, leads to an overgrowth of bacteria.

If you have a cough along with bad breath, then that could indicate a lung infection like pneumonia.

4.  Digestive Problems

Your breath may stink if you have a condition such as acid reflux. Excess gas or acid from the stomach that makes its way back to your mouth can leave a sour odor. Persistent and inexplicable bad breath may even be linked to deeper problems in the kidneys or liver.

5.  Tonsil Stones

Have you ever seen a strange whitish lump on one of your tonsils? If it’s not painful but smells terrible, then it could be a tonsil stone.

Tonsil stones form when food and bacteria collect in pits on and around the tonsils. They stink due to the bacteria content. A dentist or doctor can give you advice on how to remove and prevent these stones.

6.  Cavities or Abscess

Bad-smelling breath could mean you have a tooth that needs to be filled.

A cavity happens when tooth enamel and dentin are eaten away by bacteria. Decaying tooth smells bad enough. But if the infection reaches the inside of the tooth and causes a pus-filled abscess, then that may cause an odor you can’t ignore.

7.  Dry Mouth

Saliva naturally cleanses the mouth of odor-causing bacteria and debris. But when there’s a saliva shortage, germs proliferate. A dry mouth is also the perfect spot for a yeast infection to set in, another potential factor in halitosis.

8.  Gum Disease

Gum disease is a serious condition because it leads to tooth-loss if not treated. It’s also a chronic inflammatory disease which can increase the risk of or worsen other conditions like diabetes.

Also called periodontitis, gum disease happens when plaque triggers inflammation in the gums. This leads to an immune response which backfires and causes ligaments and bone around the teeth to break down, as well.

Similar to a rotting tooth, rotting gums don’t smell pleasant. You should definitely schedule a gum health examination if you have chronic bad breath that won’t go away.

Bad Breath Treatment in Tacoma

Bad breath doesn’t have to be a curse on your social life, forever! Get help treating the cause of halitosis and say hello to a healthier and sweeter smile. A Tacoma dentist is the best place to start. Contact Dr. Duke Bui today to schedule your dental checkup.

Stubborn Partner Would Not See the Dentist? 7 Tips to Convince Them to Go

Stubborn Partner Would Not See the Dentist? 7 Tips to Convince Them to Go

You shop for and prepare nutritious food because you want your family to have strong and healthy bodies. You keep your home clean because you don’t want your family to get sick.

But there’s one aspect of your family’s health that you have limited control over: their dental health.

You can’t keep a family member’s teeth healthy if they won’t see a dentist.

Like many people, you’re worried about the fact that your partner stubbornly refuses to get dental treatment.

You know how important oral hygiene is and you’re an avid flosser. You’ll visit the dentist any time you suspect that something is wrong with your teeth.

How can you convince your partner to get the dental care they need?

Before you do anything else, try to talk with your mate about what is holding them back from getting dental treatment. Be patient and understanding. Once you find out what their concern is, you’ll know which suggestions apply best in your situation.

How to Get Your Stubborn Partner to See the Dentist

Try these seven tips and lines of reasoning to convince a stubborn partner to visit the dentist.

1.  The problem will only get worse. Just ignoring a dental issue won’t make it go away. Oral health problems tend to worsen with time. The longer your partner waits to have dental treatment, the more difficult and expensive the treatment will be.

2.  Your dental health can jeopardize your overall health. Having “bad teeth” is far more than a cosmetic issue. Even if your mate doesn’t care about how their smile looks, they still need to realize that their health in general is at risk if they neglect oral hygiene. Neglect can lead to major infections, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, to name just a few complications.

3.  Take small steps. Once your partner is open to discussing the possibility of seeing the dentist, suggest that they take small steps. The dentist doesn’t even have to look in their mouth on the first visit. Your partner can go in just to have a consultation where they get all their questions answered.

4.  Try dental sedation. Dentistry has come a long ways from what it used to be. There’s no need to fear painful extractions or root canals. Anesthesia injections and sedation meds make dental treatment a breeze. Let your partner know of sedation options that can help them create positive memories of the dental office.

5.  Make the appointment for them (with their permission). Your partner may need more than just a nudge to see the dentist. Stand by them every step of the way and be willing to schedule the appointment for them. Remind them when the date is coming up and even accompany them to the office, if that would help reassure them.

6.  Remind them of the benefits of a healthy smile. Gently remind your partner of how they would feel having a healthier, more attractive smile. After all, our smile is one feature that we can successfully improve, if we want to! If your partner would like to have a more youthful or professional appearance or fresher breath, then the dentist is the perfect place to start.

7.  Support, don’t criticize. Strive to be encouraging and understanding. If your partner stubbornly refuses to go to the dentist’s, then criticizing and shaming them will only make them more resistant. Introduce your partner to support networks such as online forums where people discuss how they conquered their own dental apprehensions. By exploring these resources together, you’ll get more insight into each other’s thinking.

A Competent and Compassionate Dentist in Tacoma

Once you can get your partner to agree to at least a dental consultation, then it’s time to find the right dentist. Your partner will feel right at ease talking with Dr. Duke Bui, a Tacoma dentist who understands why some people have a hard time with getting dental care.

Call our team here at Duke N. Bui, DDS, PS to schedule a consultation. We’ll also be happy to give you more advice on getting a stubborn partner into the dental office!

Why Does My Tongue Look Like This?

Why Does My Tongue Look Like This?

Your tongue has a busy and active role in your daily life. It’s essential for chewing, swallowing, tasting food, cleans your teeth, and helps you speak. So when there’s something wrong with your tongue, you don’t want to ignore it.

Here are some common tongue concerns and the possible causes behind these issues.

What Causes a White Tongue?

One of the first things you should do if you have a white tongue is check your oral hygiene routine.

A tongue turning white is often due to poor oral hygiene. When plaque bacteria grow on the tongue, it can develop a white film. Try brushing your teeth more often, also scrubbing your tongue each time you do.

If tooth brushing doesn’t improve the color of your tongue, then you should consider the possibility of a yeast infection. Also called thrush, this overgrowth of fungus is easy to treat. You may be susceptible to thrush if you use an inhaler, have diabetes, are taking chemotherapy, or are on a course of antibiotics.

Be alert to signs of leukoplakia if you use tobacco. Leukoplakia is a patch of irritated and scarred tissue that’s over-producing cells to protect itself. These white patches that can develop on your tongue could become cancerous so they should be checked by a dentist regularly.

Oral lichen planus creates a webbed network of lacy white lines over the surface of the tongue. Lichen planus is still something of a mystery to medical professionals. It’s most often linked to immune system problems. Improved oral hygiene may help but you can also talk with your doctor about taking an appropriate medication if the condition is painful for you.

Why Is Your Tongue Bright Red?

Healthy tongues should be pink, but a bright red tongue can signal trouble.

A red tongue may be connected to conditions such as:

●    Strep throat
●    Scarlet fever
●    Vitamin deficiencies
●    Dry mouth

To make a red tongue pink and healthy again, you’ll need to address the underlying cause with your dentist and even your doctor.

Lumps and Bumps on Your Tongue

Tongues are covered with bumps called papillae. These bumps come in different sizes and can get inflamed when injured. Canker sores and cold sorescan also cause strange lumps on the tongue. If you have an area that’s hard after biting it repeated times, then the growth could be a fibroma.

Is a Black Tongue Normal?

Those papillae on your tongue will keep growing if there’s nothing there to wear them down. As they grow long, they pick up stain and darken turning into a harmless condition called black hairy tongue. While there isn’t any actual hair involved, most people hate the look of a black tongue. The good news is that it will usually go away on its own, especially with improved oral hygiene.

Strange Shapes and Spots on Your Tongue

Your tongue may have a deep line down the middle. This is called a fissured tongue. It’s just a variation that’s usually present since birth. You may have to brush your tongue carefully every day to prevent bacteria from growing in the groove, but this condition is harmless otherwise.

A geographic tongue may cause some strange shapes. Geographic tongue is when patches of taste buds have worn away with time, leaving outlines that look like continents on a map. They come back and the worn patches can move around to different areas of your tongue. This condition is also not dangerous.

You may have a scalloped tongue if your teeth press against it and leave an impression. The marks should go away on their own.

Is Your Tongue Healthy?

Not sure if what you see on your tongue is normal? Get a complete oral health checkup in Tacoma by scheduling a visit to Duke Bui, DDS.

Dr. Bui will help you find out what’s behind the appearance of your tongue.