Dental Tips Blog


Bad Breath—A Sign You’re at Risk for Stroke?

Posted in Bad Breath

One unfortunate episode of halitosis can have major social repercussions. But bad breath could even be a sign of something far more serious—a high risk for stroke.

The Connection Between Gum Disease and Stroke Risk

Recent studies have strengthened a link that’s been proven between gum disease and other health problems including stroke.

One study in particular showed that those who regularly visit the dentist have a 50% less chance of having a stroke than those who don’t. And further research revealed that those with inflammatory gum disease are nearly three times more likely to have a stroke than those without the disease.

The evidence is strong that chronic gum disease increases the risk of stroke. Additionally, the bacteria that cause gum disease and gum inflammation have been found in the plaque deposits inside arteries.

So what does any of this have to do with bad breath?

Bad Breath and Stroke Risk

Gum disease affects some 80% of adults in the United States. It occurs in varying degrees. Some people only suffer the occasional bout of gingivitis while others develop a more serious form called periodontitis.

Periodontitis is when the tissues in the gums, ligaments, and surrounding bone start to break down in a reaction to plaque bacteria. As the tissues become swollen and inflamed, they pull away from tooth roots and start to rot.

This results in teeth loosening up and producing an extremely foul odor.

If you suffer from chronic bad breath, then it’s possible that advancing gum disease is the cause. See your local dentist for a checkup to see what you can do to lower your risk for gum disease and the ensuing complications like stroke.

Posted on behalf of:
Marietta Dental Professionals
550 Franklin Gateway SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 514-5055


Is Your Bad Breath Caused by Gum Disease?

Posted in Bad Breath

The occasional bout of bad breath can be annoying and embarrassing. But halitosis may also be a sign of a serious underlying problem.

For example, did you know that bad breath can be a sign of gum disease? Here are some indications that your foul breath might merit a trip to the dental office.

Your Gums Are Looking Puffy or Redder Than Usual

Gum disease causes inflammation in the tissues around teeth. This means that there are likely some signs of swelling or redness in the gums. Add to these symptoms a decaying odor, and you may very well have an infection in your gingiva.

The Smell Never Goes Away

Bad breath is often due to lingering food odors or plaque bacteria. If the cause of your stench is that simple, then brushing your teeth should take care of it.

Halitosis caused by gum disease, however, won’t go away no matter how much mouthwash you swish around.

People Avoid Standing Near You When You Talk

We all naturally back away when blasted with a full-force wave of halitosis. But if most people who know you find excuses to keep their heads turned away whenever you start a conversation, that means your breath has a bad reputation. Folks are prepared to avoid it!

If your bad breath doesn’t just give off the occasional funky odor but consistently sends others running away, then that could be a sign of a chronic health issue like gum disease.

Don’t leave your gum health to chance – it’s closely linked to your overall health. See a dentist or periodontist right away for a periodontal evaluation and help conquering your halitosis.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 666-3642


How to Get Rid of Tonsil Stones

Posted in Bad Breath

Tonsil stones, or tonsiliths, are small deposits that form in pits on tonsils and other areas in the throat. These deposits are a combination of food, bacteria, and other debris found in the mouth. They form over time and can harden or calcify if they aren’t removed.

Not everyone gets tonsil stones but if you do, then you know how challenging they can be. Tonsil stones can cause halitosis (bad breath) and a foul taste in the mouth. If you get large stones, they can be difficult to remove. Stones may even dislodge on their own and you might cough them up at inopportune times.

Here are a few methods you can try to remove these stones before they cause you trouble.


Gargling with saltwater and/or a mouthwash on a regular basis will flush away debris from your throat and reduce bacteria.

Cotton Swabs or Toothbrush

Daring individuals with control over their gag reflex can use tools to physically scoop out tonsil stones. If you go this route, choose a tool that won’t scrape your tonsils and that you can’t accidentally choke on.

Try a Water Flosser

Water flosser shoot out a gentle stream of water through a toothbrush-like device. This tool is easy to move around and blast away stones in your tonsils.

Improve Your Oral Hygiene

A plaque-filled oral environment provides more bacteria for creating tonsil stones. You may experience fewer stones if you brush, floss, and rinse daily.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Smiles Dentistry
2655 Dallas Highway Suite 510
Marietta, GA 30064


Why and How You Should Clean Your Tongue

Posted in Bad Breath

Your tongue is a very important muscle. It helps you taste, speak, chew, and swallow. But it also hides bacteria! Just like your teeth, your tongue deserves a daily cleaning.

Why Clean Your Tongue?

You may have noticed that your tongue is covered in bumps called papillae. Papillae help you sense textures and contain taste buds. They also provide the perfect hideouts for biofilm and other types of bacterial growth.

These germs give off noxious compounds that cause bad breath. Additionally, no matter how well you brush and floss, if you don’t clean your tongue, all that bacteria will come right back on your teeth within minutes after brushing.

Rinsing is not enough to clean your tongue. Antibacterial mouthwash only kills a few germs on the surface. You have to physically remove the film and food debris from off your tongue to get it really clean.

How to Clean Your Tongue?

Brushing is one method. There’s no need to be rough –  just scrub enough to loosen debris. Using a tongue scraper is another good option. A scraper is a thin flexible metal or plastic band that you pull gently over the surface of your tongue from back to front. Rinse it off after each pass.

Brush or scrape your tongue twice a day if bad breath plagues you. Stay hydrated with lots of water since dry mouth promotes bacterial growth and halitosis. Chew on sugar-free gum to stimulate a cleansing and hydrating saliva flow and to keep breath fresh.

Despite having a clean tongue, halitosis (bad breath) could indicate there’s a more serious issue such as gum disease or tooth decay. Contact your dentist for more oral hygiene tips and a dental health checkup.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-6336


Bad Breath? Your Gums May Be to Blame

Posted in Gum Disease

We all experience those occasional cases of halitosis.

It could be due to lots of garlic at dinner, or it could just be a morning thing.

But if you have bad breath that won’t go away, it may be time to put aside the mints and see a dentist for a gum check.

REALLY Bad Breath!

There is a difference between bad breath caused by food and that caused by a serious medical issue.

You might notice an unpleasant taste in your mouth, but there’s a good chance you don’t know you have a bad breath issue until someone tells you.

Bad breath associated with gum disease is described as something rotting. This kind of bad breath is hard for others to ignore and may even result in people avoiding you.

Why so much stink?

Periodontal Disease and Bad Breath

When gums get inflamed by bacteria, this is called gingivitis. It doesn’t usually stink, in itself. Mild bad breath may just result from the fact that plaque bacteria are left in the mouth too long.

Gingivitis, left untreated, can turn into something far worse.

Periodontitis (periodontal disease) is when the inflammation and infection spread far beyond the gums. The underlying ligaments and bone that support the teeth start to break down. This creates pockets around tooth roots that trap more bacteria.

That ever-accumulating mass of germs along with decaying ligaments create a powerful stench.

So if you notice persistent and very foul breath, it could be a sign that your gums are in trouble.

Get a diagnosis for the cause of your bad breath and get rid of it for good by seeing your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Gainesville Dental Group
1026 Thompson Bridge Rd
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 297-0401


Oral Hygiene Hacks for Better Breath

Posted in Bad Breath

Tired of halitosis and breath malodor? Don’t rely on mints or alcohol-based mouthwashes…those could make the problem worse. Here are a few other tips to try to get that halitosis under control:

Add a Few Drops of Essential Oil to Your Toothbrush 

Essential oils like peppermint can make your breath feel fresh for hours. Add just one or two drops to your toothbrush once or twice a day, then brush as normal. Or, you can add the drops to a small cup of water to rinse and gargle with it for the same effect. 

Don’t Forget to Clean Your Tongue 

Approximately 90% of bad breath bacteria originates on the tongue. Have the right tools necessary to clean your tongue and you’ll be amazed at what you see come off. While a soft toothbrush is ok to use, a tongue cleaner/scraper is even better. 

Drink Lots of Water 

Water helps to keep your mouth lubricated while washing away excess bacteria. It doesn’t “break down” the way other drinks will, and as such, it won’t add to the problem. 

Treat Your Seasonal Allergies 

Nasal congestion and drainage at the back of your throat may be what’s causing you to have halitosis. If your physician recommends an over the counter allergy medication, be sure to take it every day…even if you think you won’t have a flare up.

If you’re also suffering from signs of gum inflammation or recession, or if your gums bleed when you floss, you could have periodontal disease. Untreated, gum disease can cause significant bad breath. Talk to your dentist to find out how they can help.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Smiles Dentistry
2655 Dallas Highway Suite 510
Marietta, GA 30064


How Mouth Breathing Affects Your Smile

Posted in Bad Breath

There is an unfortunate stigma attached to the habit of breathing through your mouth. But rather than being a gauge of intelligence and/or a sign of a social failure, mouth breathing is an indicator that something is interfering with the way your body normally breathes.

Mouth breathing can be caused by:

  • Nasal obstruction
  • Large tonsils
  • Inflammation
  • Common cold
  • Allergies
  • Sinus infection

Even the way the lips and/or tongue are attached to the mouth can cause mouth breathing. If these are positioned uncomfortably, it can be hard for the lips to stay closed together naturally, and if the mouth is open, air will pass through.

The Effects on the Mouth

Why is mouth breathing bad? The air is filtered differently when you breath constantly through your mouth. The byproduct tends to increase the acidity of your blood and saliva. This results in your teeth swimming in a more acidic environment, putting them at risk for cavities.

But the “swimming” may not happen much, at all.

Mouth breathing also tends to dry out the oral tissues. A dry environment will make your gums uncomfortable, while increasing your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Dry mouth also leads to halitosis (stinky breath).

What to Do

There’s often not much you can do if your body is already anatomically predisposed to mouth breathing. But, your dentist can provide you with tooth-strengthening treatments to combat increased cavity risk. A minor surgery could even correct the position of your lips or tongue. It’s also a good idea to see your doctor about any chronic sinus issues or enlarged tonsils.

Schedule a visit to your dentist today for help controlling the effects of mouth breathing.

Posted on behalf of:
Red Oak Family Dentistry
5345 W University Dr #200
McKinney, TX 75071
(469) 209-4279


Why is My Breath so Horrible?

Posted in Bad Breath

When you’ve tried different breath-freshening products time and again, it can be so frustrating to have persistent bad breath. The reason you still struggle is that bad breath cannot be effectively masked. It must be treated at the source -and you just might have your gums to thank for that!

What Do My Gums Have to Do with This?

Bad breath is typically the result of bacteria in the mouth creating an odor. The more you let bacteria grow, the stinkier your breath gets. So poor oral hygiene is a common cause of bad breath.

But it can get worse.

Plaque bacteria that is not flossed and brushed away will eventually cause gums to get inflamed and break down. This is called periodontitis, a serious form of gum disease. Periodontitis is what happens when your gums become infected because of bacteria. This process can create some very strong and unique smells.

Fight Back!

It’s never too late to improve your oral hygiene routine. In fact, by making some adjustments to your routine, you can prevent gum disease from affecting you in the first place. However, you can’t do this alone. You need to have your gums assessed for signs of disease. This is where the dental expert comes in. A professional dental cleaning will give you a clean slate to work with.

Fresh Breath: A Sign of Health

Don’t forget to schedule a tooth and gum consultation with your local dentist. The sooner you take action, the quicker you can get a handle on your breath concerns.

So stop trying to mask the problem. Face it down with a little help and start enjoying a new take on life!

Posted on behalf of:
Seven Hills Dentistry
1305 Cedarcrest Rd. #115
Dallas, GA 30132
(678) 257-7177


5 Tips to Freshen Your Breath Naturally

Posted in Bad Breath

You might be surprised to learn that freshening your breath doesn’t always mean adding something to your mouth. A lot “breath fresheners” include ingredients that can make your breath even worse.

The following five tips should give you a good handle on good breath:

  1. Keep Your Mouth Clean

Bad breath is most frequently linked to plaque bacterial buildup. Lots of brushing will keep the action of stinky germs to a minimum! Make sure to floss daily to get those bits brushing misses.

  1. Drink Lots of Water

A dry mouth tends to hold onto the smells of everything you eat…as well as all those smelly bacteria. Staying hydrated helps your mouth stay clean and fresh. Choose water over drinks high in caffeine, acid, and sugar. These things are what encourage bad breath.

  1. Go Green (Herbs, That Is)

Chewing on some fresh herbs is a pleasant way to freshen your breath minus the sugar that comes in a lot of gum and lozenges. Instead of a minty sweet, try chewing on a sprig of mint, itself. Parsley is also a nice option.

  1. Spice is Nice

If you want something potent to mask all that garlic you just ate, try crunching on a dried spice such as:

  • Clove
  • Cardamom
  • Fennel

These spices are sugar-free, natural, and strong – perfect for bad breath.

  1. Check Your Gut Reaction

Your mouth tends to reflect whatever you put in it. The foods you eat could be adversely affecting your digestion. Persistent bad breath can be a sign of gastrointestinal issues. Ask your doctor about any possible underlying causes for foul breath.

Visit your dentist for a full dental check-up and learn more about how to keep your breath kissably fresh.

Posted on behalf of:
Springhurst Hills Dentistry
10494 Westport Rd Suite 107
Louisville, KY 40241
(502) 791-8358


How to Avoid Bad Breath

Posted in Bad Breath

Nobody wants to have halitosis (chronic bad breath.) It can be embarrassing – even to discuss with your dentist. The good news is there are preventive measures you can take to avoid mouth malodor.

What causes bad breath?

Many times, bacteria building up in your mouth are the cause of bad breath. Then it triggers gum inflammation, infection, and give off foul odors. If you have food trapped in your tonsils, cavities or unclean dentures, these areas can create malodor as well.

Bad breath can also be an indication of an underlying medical condition. Some of those conditions include: acid reflux, chronic bronchitis, diabetes and liver disease. You should visit your medical doctor to rule out these other possible causes of bad breath.

Certain medications can cause dry mouth, which also can lead to bad breath. If you have dry mouth, talk to your dentist about a saliva substitute and a Sodium Fluoride rinse.

To improve your breath, your dentist will recommend:

  • Schedule a visit every 6 months for a cleaning and exam
  • Brush for 2 minutes, twice a day
  • Floss at least once a day, preferably at night before you go to bed
  • Use a tongue scraper or your toothbrush to clean your tongue
  • Quit smoking or tobacco habits
  • Avoiding alcohol-containing mouth rinses

Don’t let bad breath get you down.

Staying hydrated is important for keeping your mouth clean. It’s a good idea to sip on water throughout the day to rinse away bacteria. But ultimately, you should also see your dentist. They can help you pinpoint the cause, and offer suggestions to help.

Posted on behalf of:
Gainesville Dental Group
1026 Thompson Bridge Rd
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 297-0401

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