My Blog

Posts for tag: bad breath

By Joseph & Nina Zeigler, DMD, PC
April 10, 2017
Category: Oral Health
EvenCelebritiesLikeJenniferLawrenceArentImmuneFromBadBreath

Exchanging passionate kisses with big-screen star Jennifer Lawrence might sound like a dream come true. But according to Liam Hemsworth, her Hunger Games co-star, it could also be a nightmare… because J.Law’s breath wasn’t always fresh. “Anytime I had to kiss Jennifer was pretty uncomfortable,” Hemsworth said on The Tonight Show.

Lawrence said the problem resulted from her inadvertently consuming tuna or garlic before the lip-locking scenes; fortunately, the two stars were able to share a laugh about it later. But for many people, bad breath is no joke. It can lead to embarrassment and social difficulties — and it occasionally signifies a more serious problem. So what causes bad breath, and what can you do about it?

In 9 out of 10 cases, bad breath originates in the mouth. (In rare situations, it results from a medical issue in another part of the body, such as liver disease or a lung infection.) The foul odors associated with bad breath can be temporarily masked with mouthwash or breath mints — but in order to really control it, we need to find out exactly what’s causing the problem, and address its source.

As Lawrence and Hemsworth found out, some foods and beverages can indeed cause a malodorous mouth. Onions, garlic, alcohol and coffee are deservedly blamed for this. Tobacco products are also big contributors to bad breath — which is one more reason to quit. But fasting isn’t the answer either: stop eating for long enough and another set of foul-smelling substances will be released. Your best bet is to stay well hydrated and snack on crisp, fresh foods like celery, apples or parsley.

And speaking of hydration (or the lack of it): Mouth dryness and reduced salivary flow during the nighttime hours is what causes “morning breath.” Certain health issues and some medications can also cause “dry mouth,” or xerostomia. Drinking plenty of water can encourage the production of healthy saliva — but if that’s not enough, tell us about it: We may recommend switching medications (if possible), chewing xylitol gum or using a saliva substitute.

Finally, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is a great way to avoid bad breath. The goal of oral hygiene is to control the harmful bacteria that live in your mouth. These microorganisms can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath — so keeping them in check is good for your overall oral health. Remember to brush twice and floss once daily, stay away from sugary foods and beverages, and visit the dental office regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.

So did J.Law apologize for the malodorous makeout session? Not exactly. “[For] Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, yeah, I’ll brush my teeth,” she laughed.

Hemsworth jokingly agreed: “If I was kissing Christian Bale I probably would have brushed my teeth too. With you, it’s like, ‘Eh. Whatever.’”

If you would like more information about bad breath and oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath: More than Just Embarrassing.”

By Joseph & Nina Zeigler, DMD, PC
February 09, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: bad breath  

No one likes having bad breath. There are several potential causes, including certain foods, a dry mouth or poor dental hygiene. bad breathUnderstanding the cause of your bad breath can help you correct the problem and prevent it from coming back. If you are unable to eliminate the problem yourself, a dentist can often help. Dr. Joseph Zeigler and Dr. Nina Zeigler are your Saint Louis, MO, area dentists and can help address problems with bad breath.

Causes of Bad Breath

There are many factors can cause bad breath, such as smoking or having an oral infection. Certain foods, such as garlic and onion, can give you bad breath when eaten. A dry mouth can also lead to bad breath. Saliva in the mouth helps wash away bacteria that can cause bad breath. When the mouth is dry with insufficient saliva, bad breath can result. Additionally, not brushing your teeth regularly can lead to breath problems when bacteria are left to linger on the teeth and gums. Potential causes of bad breath can include:

  • Poor Dental Hygiene
  • Certain Foods
  • Dry Mouth
  • Smoking Tobacco Products
  • Oral Infections
  • Medications

How Dental Visits Can Help

Your Saint Louis dentist can help you keep bad breath at bay with regular dental checkups that include professional teeth cleaning. A mouth that is healthy and clean is less likely to develop bad breath due to bacteria on the teeth and gums, an oral infection or a dry mouth condition. In short, seeing a dentist regularly helps prevent bad breath by keeping your mouth, teeth and gums healthier. Additionally, if you do develop chronic bad breath, your dentist can help determine the cause so that you can correct the problem and prevent its recurrence.

When you have tried unsuccessfully to get rid of bad breath or are uncertain of the cause, a dentist might be able to help. A thorough dental checkup and professional cleaning with your Saint Louis, MO, dentist can eliminate bacteria that contribute to bad breath. Additionally, regular dental checkups help keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthier so that you are less likely to develop bad breath due to poor dental hygiene, a dry mouth or an oral infection. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Joseph Zeigler or Dr. Nina Zeigler, call (314) 872-7590.

By Joseph & Nina Zeigler, DMD, PC
October 22, 2012
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tongue scraper   bad breath  
BadBreathTryaTongueScraper

Bad breath can have a serious impact on a person's social and business life. Americans are well aware of this fact, and spend nearly $3 billion each year on gums, mints, and mouth rinses in order to make their breath “minty fresh.”

Bad breath or halitosis (from the Latin halitus, meaning exhalation, and the Greek osis, meaning a condition or disease-causing process) can originate from a number of causes; but oral bacteria are the most common source. About 600 types of bacteria grow in the average mouth. If bacteria act on materials that have been trapped in your mouth, many of them produce unpleasant odors.

Most often, bad breath starts on the back of the tongue, the largest place in the mouth for a build-up of bacteria. In this area bacteria can flourish on remnants of food, dead skin cells, and post-nasal drip. As they grow and multiply these bacteria produce chemical products called volatile sulfur compounds or VSCs. These compounds emit smells of decay reminiscent of rotten eggs.

In addition to bacteria on the tongue, halitosis may come from periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay, or other dental problems. If you have halitosis, it is thus important to have a dental examination and assessment, and to treat any such problems that are found. Treating bacteria on the tongue without treating underlying periodontal disease will only temporarily cure bad breath.

The next step is to take control of tongue bacteria by brushing or scraping your tongue, with possible addition of antiseptic mouth rinses. People who have bad breath have more coating on their tongues than those who don't, and regularly cleaning the surface of the tongue has been demonstrated to reduce bad breath.

Implements have been designed specifically for the purpose of scraping or brushing the surface of the tongue. Using a toothbrush is not as effective because it is designed to clean the hard tooth surface, rather than the spongy surface of the tongue. To keep your breath fresh, you must regularly remove the coating from your tongue. This means acquiring a tongue scraper or brush and using it every day.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your questions about tongue cleaning and bad breath. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Tongue Scraping” and “Bad Breath.”