Your Oral Health

A healthy smile can be a great asset.

Not only can it benefit you socially and help you in other things such as your careers and relationships, but it also has many more practical benefits.

Your teeth have such an important role to play in your life. They help you chew and digest food, they help you to talk and speak clearly and they also give your face its shape.

Because of this, it only makes sense to give your oral health the best care possible.

National Smile Month is a chance to take a look at oral health, learn more about why a healthy smile is so important and share tips on how to improve and maintain it.

The three key messages are the bread and butter principles for developing great oral health:

  • Brush your teeth last thing at night and on at least one other occasion with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
  • Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.

We at ProFresh would like to add another point about oral care.  We feel that tongue cleaning is just as important as brushing your teeth.  Why?  Mucus and food debris can get stuck on the tongue and this provides a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.  So get scraping!  Find out more about tongue cleaning here.

These messages provide a good starting point for us but there’s so much more we can learn.

Let’s be honest, maintaining a general level of good oral health is a fairly simple task. It’s not time consuming or costly, yet many people still choose to ignore the most basic day-to-day hygiene routines.

A staggering number of people brush for less than two minutes, our diet as a nation has become over-reliant on added sugars while millions of people haven’t seen a dentist in the last two years.

The consequences of these over a long period of time, can lead to unnecessary, invasive and expensive treatment. There are direct oral health problems that can arise such as gum disease and tooth decay while the repercussions of poor oral health go further than our mouth.

An increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, dementia, complications during pregnancy and male sexual health problems are just a few of the likely outcomes of not looking after our teeth.

Visit our Oral Health and Wellbeing page to learn more about the links between oral health and general health.

So there we have it. The benefits of developing and maintaining a healthy mouth are clear for all of us to see, as are the dangers of an unhealthy mouth. Following the basic rules and adopting a sensible daily routine should be high on all our agendas. By using National Smile Month as an opportunity to prioritise our oral health, we will soon see what a remarkably positive difference it makes to many aspects of our lives.

National Smile Month

 

Dr. Gary Herskovits a Dentist in New York has said that what you drink has a huge influence on your breath. Here’s what he had to say;

Alcohol

Alcohol dries your mouth out which in turn allows more bacteria to form and to make your breath smell bad.  Some alcoholic drinks have a strong smell which can linger in your mouth making the mouth odour smell even worse.

ProFresh Comment

Alcohol – If it’s a social occasion and you can’t or don’t want to avoid a drink, then how about drinking a glass of water in-between your alcoholic drinks.  This will stop your mouth drying out.  Also carry a bottle of the ProFresh Quick Spray in your pocket or your handbag, this will kill those bacteria that cause bad breath. 

Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks like fizzy drinks and energy drinks can also cause halitosis. Sugar not only causes tooth decay but it helps feed the bad breath bacteria in your mouth.  Cutting down on sugary drinks will help your breath smell fresher.

ProFresh Comment

If it’s squash you like drinking, simply water the juice down if you don’t want to cut it out completely.  Even fruit juices you can add water to. Why not limit fizzy drinks to the weekend and when you do drink them drink water too to wash away the excess sugar.  It’s best to cut sugary drinks out totally but we appreciate it’s not always easy. 

Coffee

Coffee can affect your breath in two ways.  Firstly the caffeine dries your mouth out, which allows the bacteria to fester.  Coffee also has a strong pungent smell which lingers in  your mouth so combined with the drying effects, coffee isn’t the best thing to drink if you want sweet smelling breath.  Don’t forget coffee (and tea!) stains your teeth too.

ProFresh Comment

We always associate coffee breath with teachers! Remember at school after break or lunchtime the teachers would come back into the classroom with coffee breath! They needed the caffeine fix to get them through the rest of the day with those pesky kids!  Which is worse – white coffee or black coffee?  To make white coffee you need to add milk which adds another bad breath causing drink so you are getting a double whammy.  Drink it black and it’s stronger smelling and your teeth will get stained very quickly.  The solution?  Why not try a light coloured herbal tea?  Some herbal teas contain ingredients that help keep your breath fresh.  We know it’s hard to kick the caffeine but how badly do you want to get rid of your bad breath?  Maybe just have one a day and use mouthwash and brush your teeth afterwards. 

Milk

Milk and dairy products are known to cause foul smelling breath.  It’s caused by the leftover lactose in your breath being broken down by bacteria.  This causes an excess amount of hydrogen sulphide in your mouth.  What does hydrogen sulphide smell like?  Rotten eggs.  Not good.

ProFresh Comment

After eating or drinking dairy most of us will get a sticky feeling in the mouth, dairy makes your mouth feel very gloopy and it can also trigger an increase in mucus production in those of us that are sensitive to dairy.  With the gloop in your mouth and the mucus dripping onto the back of your tongue, it’s not a great combination.  Again, if you can’t or don’t want to avoid dairy, simply have a glass of water or use ProFresh Mouthwash after consuming.

 

 

Helicobacter pylori is a bacteria that’s found in the stomach of 40% of the population.

This infection is most commonly associated with stomach ulcers but it has also been linked to bad breath.   A study from the Peninsula School of Medicine and Dentistry in Plymouth found that getting rid of helicobacter pylori with antibiotics reduced halitosis dramatically in the people who had the bacteria and bad breath.

Helicobacter pylori produces sulphur compounds and ammonia that alter the smell of the breath.  The way that the smell ends up in the mouth and breath is through acid reflux.  If the reflux contains this bacteria this changes the smell of the breath. If you are suffering from heartburn, a hoarse voice or are regurgitating your food then ask your doctor to test for this bacteria.

Testing for H. Pylori Infection

If your Doctor thinks your symptoms may be caused by this bacteria they may recommend one of the following tests:

  1.  Urea Breath Test – you will be given a special drink and then your breath is analysed to see whether or not you have H. Pylori.
  2. Stool Antigen Test – a stool sample is taken and tested for the bacteria.
  3. Blood Test – A sample of your blood is tested for antibodies to the H. Pylori bacteria but this test is less popular now as the Stool Antigen Test is more commonly used.

What Happens If I test Positive for H. Pylori?

The infection will need to be cleared and the ulcer healed.  If your stomach ulcer is caused by this bacteria then you will be given a course of antibiotics.  To see if you have a stomach ulcer, you may be referred for a gastroscopy to look inside your stomach directly.

For more information please contact your GP.

 

Anything that dehydrates the mouth will increase the risk of bad breath as saliva helps wash away odour-causing bacteria or cells.  That’s why mouth odour is worse in the morning because saliva flow has been reduced during the night.  Bad breath is more common in those who breathe through the mouth too.

Talking a lot is another cause of bad breath, it exposes the mouth to air, drying out saliva. Those in professions that are more vocal such as teachers, lawyers and people working in call centres are prone to suffering from bad mouth odour.

There is a simple solution, you can just sip water throughout the day to keep the mouth moist.  This provides more favourable conditions that will help slow down the growth of bad bacteria.

Saliva flow is reduced as we get older and bad breath often gets worse with age.  Your doctor can prescribe you sprays or lozenges to help promote saliva flow.

Keeping the mouth moist with sipping water and using a mouthwash like ProFresh that kills bad bacteria can help anyone suffering from bad breath.  We would recommend those in the above mentioned professions keep the ProFresh Quick Spray to hand during the day as well as a bottle of water to sip from.

 

 

Christmas is a time for socialising and enjoying time with your family and friends, the last thing you want to do is worry about bad breath.

We are unable to smell our own breath so the only signs that you do have bad breath is when people turn away when you are talking to them, pull a funny face or touch their nose.   If you aren’t lucky enough to have a friend or family member to confide in and ask about your breath, then you have to try and prevent it happening in the first place.  Here is how you can do that.

  1. Make sure you have a good oral care routine. This involves: Use ProFresh Mouthwash, tongue scrape, ProFresh Mouthwash again, brush teeth for 2 minutes with a fluoride toothpaste.
  2. Food can be trapped between teeth and will putrify if not removed.  Always use interdental brushes or floss.
  3. Use an antibacterial mouthwash like ProFresh.  Most mouthwashes simply mask bad breath and some contain alcohol which dry the mouth out making bad breath worse.
  4. Tongue scraping – cleaning your tongue is so important.  Bacteria collects on the tongue and and this needs to be removed each time you brush.  Don’t scrape too hard however, as this will damage the surface of the tongue and make it sore.
  5. Avoiding strong smelling foods such as garlic, onion and spices.  If you do eat these foods, if possible rinse your mouth with mouthwash and brush your teeth. Dairy in particular (look out for the cheeseboards!)  isn’t great for the breath. Dairy products can increase mucus secretion in the sinuses, leading to post nasal drip (which gets stuck on the back of the tongue)  and it’s possible that excessive dairy consumption can leave to low level infection (sinusitis). Sinus infection is another potential cause of halitosis.
  6. Alcohol.  It’s hard to avoid over the festive period but if you can’t resist then try and drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have.  This not only keeps your mouth lubricated but it might help with the hangover too!
  7. Excessive consumption of coffee will have an effect on your breath, try and cut down as much as you can.
  8. You can have the most immaculate oral care routine but if you smoke then your breath, clothes, hands and hair will smell.  So you know what to do!
  9. Make sure you visit the dentist and hygienist regularly. Gum disease and tooth decay has an affect on the breath.
  10. If you have ticked every box on this list and you are still suffering with bad breath then you need to visit your dentist and your doctor as there may be a medical problem you aren’t aware of.

If you want to enjoy the festive period with confidence in your breath then use ProFresh Mouthwash.  It’s antibacterial and destroys 99% of volatile sulphur gases and compounds.  For fresh breath on the go then use the ProFresh Quick Spray Bottle, this pocket sized bottle will enable you to get rid of the bacteria that causes bad breath wherever you are.

 

The latest oral care advice on brushing your teeth from the BDA (British Dental Association) suggests that rinsing your mouth after brushing washes away the fluoride from your toothpaste.

This suggests our ProFresh Oral Care Routine is PERFECT because our ProFresh Mouthwash works best BEFORE brushing your teeth. We have always recommended using ProFresh Mouthwash first and then brushing your teeth afterwards.  This is what the BDA had to say:

“Don’t use mouthwash straight after brushing your teeth or it will wash away the fluoride in your toothpaste (even if the mouthwash has fluoride, your toothpaste’s fluoride is more effective at protecting teeth)”

teeth-brush

 

Our ProFresh Routine 

Step 1 – Rinse and Gargle for 10 seconds

Step 2 – Clean the tongue using a tongue scraper

Step 3 – Rinse and Gargle for 20 seconds

Step 4 – Brush your teeth for 2 minutes

 

We all love watching Embarrassing Bodies on C4 from behind our cushions but this Doctor from EB gives some really useful advice about bad breath and how to get rid of it. This is what they had to say:

There’s no shame in having halitosis (or bad breath, as it is more commonly known). In fact, 95% of us suffer from bad breath at some time in our lives, and one in four adults suffers from bad breath on a regular basis. A quick way to test the potency of your breath is to lick the inside of your wrist with the back of your tongue, let it dry for a few seconds, and then smell. If you subsequently find yourself recoiling in horror from a foul stench, then you should perhaps consider visiting your dental hygienist. Bad breath usually stems from poor oral hygiene (including neglecting the tongue area, which hosts the bacteria that cause bad breath). However, smoking and drinking too much alcohol can also contribute. Sprays, mints and chewing gum will only temporarily mask your bad breath, whereas improving your oral hygiene will ultimately pay-off.

This video talks about gum disease being on of the main causes of bad breath, but we know there are other causes too.  To see what other factors cause bad breath, read our article here What Causes Bad Breath and Halitosis

 

When we are young, our parents teach us to take care of our teeth. They tell us how important it is to visit the dentist, not to eat too many sweets and to brush our teeth at least twice a day. After all we only get one set of natural teeth.

So once we have our healthy adult teeth through, can we be more relaxed about our teeth and oral hygiene? Is it less important to visit the dentist as an adult?

older couple teeth

The answer is we have to take even MORE care of our teeth as inadequate dental care is the major cause of oral diseases which can result in losing teeth.  Oral hygiene can also have a negative impact on a person’s physical health.

! A person with gum disease are twice as likely to develop coronary artery disease or heart disease.

! Pneumonia has also been linked to poor oral care as the bacteria droplets from the mouth end up in the lungs.

! If you have diabetes, advanced gum disease can interfere with our body’s ability to use insulin.

! Saliva keeps the mouth moist and helps protect teeth from decay, if we need to take medications, these can sometimes have the side effect of a dry mouth.

We always recommend visiting your dentist regularly but between visits your must drink water to re-hydrate your mouth and keep it from drying out, brush frequently with a toothpaste containing fluoride and avoid excessive sugar products.   Using a tongue scraper, dental floss and a good mouthwash is also very important.

 

Everyone suffers from a bit of bad breath from time to time but there are some habits that we have that make our breath smell a lot worse than it should.

Sleeping with your mouth opensleeping with mouth open bad breath

Sleeping with your mouth open dries the mouth out, stripping the mouth of bacteria-killing saliva.   So the dribble that ends up on the pillow is much more useful in your mouth!  There isn’t a lot you can do if you sleep with your mouth open but brushing your teeth and using a good mouthwash before bed is a start.

Skipping Meals

If you skip a meal either on purpose to lose weight or because you have been too busy to eat, then that can cause bad breath.  Skipping meals causes ketoacidosis which is the breakdown of body chemicals when you fast or skip meals.  It causes a slightly fruity smell to the breath.  Try to eat every 3-4 hours.

 A Low-Carb Diet

low carb diet causes bad breath

 

If you are on a low-carb diet, you body is in a fat-burning state of ketosis.  The chemicals that are released into the breath are called ketones.  So even though the good news is you are losing weight – the bad news is your breath may stink! Keep sipping water to keep the mouth moist, use a good mouthwash and try not to stay on the low-carb diet for too long.

 

Brushing your Teeth at the Wrong Time

Some people like to brush their teeth as soon as they get up in the morning.  This is fine but it’s best to brush them again after having breakfast.  Ideally it’s best to brush your teeth after every time you eat but this is not always possible.  The least you can do is have a glass of water after you eat (try rinsing the water round your mouth before you swallow).  If there is food left in your mouth after eating, this could end up between your teeth and start breaking down.  Not a nice thought.  Or smell.

You use the Wrong Mouthwash

Look at the ingredients in your mouthwash.  If your mouthwash has alcohol in it, it could potentially dry your mouth out causing bad mouth odour or halitosis.  Try an alcohol free mouthwash or antibacterial mouth rinse a try.  ProFresh is anti-bacterial and is alcohol free.

You Drink too much Alcoholalcohol causes bad breath

It has been noted that alcohol dries the mouth out (as above).  It triggers a certain odour when the body metabolises alcohol causing your breath to smell bad.  If you are having an evening out and can’t avoid that glass of wine (or two!), then try to have a glass of water between drinks.  (Helps with a hangover too!).

Your Oral Health

A healthy smile can be a great asset.

Not only can it benefit you socially and help you in other things such as your careers and relationships, but it also has many more practical benefits.

Your teeth have such an important role to play in your life. They help you chew and digest food, they help you to talk and speak clearly and they also give your face its shape.

Because of this, it only makes sense to give your oral health the best care possible.

National Smile Month is a chance to take a look at oral health, learn more about why a healthy smile is so important and share tips on how to improve and maintain it.

The three key messages are the bread and butter principles for developing great oral health:

  • Brush your teeth last thing at night and on at least one other occasion with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
  • Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.

These messages provide a good starting point for us but there’s so much more we can learn.

Let’s be honest, maintaining a general level of good oral health is a fairly simple task. It’s not time consuming or costly, yet many people still choose to ignore the most basic day-to-day hygiene routines.

A staggering number of people brush for less than two minutes, our diet as a nation has become over-reliant on added sugars while millions of people haven’t seen a dentist in the last two years.

The consequences of these over a long period of time, can lead to unnecessary, invasive and expensive treatment. There are direct oral health problems that can arise such as gum disease and tooth decay while the repercussions of poor oral health go further than our mouth.

An increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, dementia, complications during pregnancy and male sexual health problems are just a few of the likely outcomes of not looking after our teeth.

Visit our Oral Health and Wellbeing page to learn more about the links between oral health and general health.

So there we have it. The benefits of developing and maintaining a healthy mouth are clear for all of us to see, as are the dangers of an unhealthy mouth. Following the basic rules and adopting a sensible daily routine should be high on all our agendas. By using National Smile Month as an opportunity to prioritise our oral health, we will soon see what a remarkably positive difference it makes to many aspects of our lives.