Do You Have Bad Breath?

Do you often cover your mouth when you speak or often look away while talking with somebody? Do you spend a lot of money buying every brand of breath freshener you see on ads everyday? Are you worried about your breath?

With the many ads bombarding us everyday implying that people somehow are secretly repulsed by our breath, many of us probably will wonder, “Do I have bad breath or am I offending other people with my breath?” This is usually a pointless concern. Only very few people have halitosis or true bad breath, fewer than the common ads usually imply. Chronic halitosis is usually caused by some underlying medical or dental problems.

We all have natural breath odors. There are common breath odors and most often, these are mild and temporary. Your breath may sometimes smell a little sour and you are not alone. Everyone’s breath grows increasingly pungent from adolescence on.

Food can spoil your breath. The most common food offenders are garlic and onion. These can stay in your breath up to 24 hours even after you brush your teeth. More often food particles can be the cause of bad breath. Food particles left in between the teeth usually rot and produce the smell. Flossing will usually remove these food particles when brushing alone fails to dislodge them. Smoking and drinking too can leave their trace in your breath.

While eating too much and leaving behind food particles in your mouth can cause bad breath, not eating at all can still produce bad breath. Dieters often develop mildly unpleasant “hunger breath”. Taking in some food can easily cure this problem. Have you noticed your breath every time you wake up in the morning?

This is what we call “morning breath”. This is due to less movement of the tongue while we sleep and the slow secretion of saliva. Because of this lesser activity in our oral cavity, the dead cells that line our mouth are no longer rubbed off, swallowed or washed away. Those dead cells are then broken down by bacteria producing bad odor. This however usually disappears as soon as we brush our teeth or take in some food.

True halitosis or bad breath is commonly caused by dental problems. Poor dental hygiene can lead to gum disease. Gum disease is a common cause of bad breath. If you fail to clean your mouth regularly, you allow the dental plaque to accumulate along the gum lines and dental surfaces causing gum disease. Dental plaque is a white sticky film that contains bacteria, saliva and food debris.

The accumulation of dental plaque along the dental surfaces and gum lines eventually create dental pockets in between gums and teeth. The bacteria found inside the dental pockets break down proteins and dead cells producing offensive odors. The odor may be intensified by the decaying blood from the bleeding gums. If the halitosis is not dental in nature, it may be caused by an underlying medical problem.

The problem can usually be traced to a local infection in the respiratory tract like the nose, throat, windpipe and lungs. The respiratory infection can be a chronic sinusitis with postnasal drip or it can also be bronchitis. There are also cases when the causative factors are gastrointestinal problems like hiatal hernia or diverticulum of the esophagus.

Dry mouth can also cause halitosis. Any conditions causing dry mouth can lead to bad breath. These include dehydration, salivary gland disorders, fever and some medications. Breathing through the mouth can also cause halitosis.

If the cause of halitosis is a dental illness like gum disease, proper oral hygiene can usually curb the problem. Visit your dentist regularly and have your teeth cleaned professionally twice a year. Proper tooth brushing techniques and flossing can usually remove the plaque and food debris in between the teeth and gum lines. Brush your teeth after every meal including in between snacks. It will also be helpful to gently brush your tongue especially if it is coated. The bacteria on your tongue can also cause bad breath.

Dental Tourism

Each year thousands of people from the West and other progressive counties take their bad teeth and go on a dental vacation to third world countries that offer high quality work for a fraction of the cost it would have taken in their own native soil. This is the phenomenon called Dental Tourism.

The majority of us probably have a certain degree of phobia when it comes to visiting the dentist. The sound of the drill and the glaring lights can make you grow cold all over and it’s not because of the air conditioning unit turned up too high either.

Perhaps another reason to dread going to the dentist is the high cost, most especially if your insurance does not have a dental plan. Maybe a combination of both is the reason why so many of us wait until something really serious happens before we go visit our dentist and when we do, it is highly likely that multiple work will be needed. This makes dental work all the more prohibitive and since most of us probably don’t have any dental insurance coverage in the first place, what are the alternatives.

Well, why don’t you go on a vacation?! Each year thousands of people from the West and other progressive counties, like Australia, take their bad teeth and go on a Dental vacation to third world countries that offer high quality work for a fraction of the cost it would have taken in their own native soil. This is the phenomenon called Dental Tourism.

Countries like the Philippines, India and Mexico are frequent destinations for these Dental Tourism where the patient can get professional dental work while taking in a relaxing vacation at the same time. Even when factoring in the cost of travel and living expenses, most often than not, these Dental Tourism packages comes out much cheaper.

Try to Google the term “Dental Tourism” and you’ll be given a result totaling to more than a million pages. A lot of these are pages that offers links to other web sites offering a multitude of options for potential dental patients that are willing to cross the border or even thousands of mile of ocean.

Dental tourism may not be practical if you only need a cleaning or just to fill in a cavity. People are not flying over to the other side of the world for single routine restorations. So, unless you need extensive dental work done, like dental implants, root planning, bridges, or full denture whitening, it will not be cost effective for you to plan on taking a dental vacation.

Of course, before embarking on such a trip, it is important to do some checking first: . Will there be a language problem? Will they be speaking in English or in your native tongue? A language barrier could be critical especially when the dental work needed is complex.

  • Ask around from those who had experienced a dental vacation. It is always best to get a first hand report from those that have experienced one of these vacations. Just like everything else, a good referral says a lot.
  • If possible, talk to the dentist who will be doing the procedure. Call the office where the procedure is scheduled and ask the dentist in advance how the procedure will be done so you won’t be surprised when you get there.

There are also some issues that you must be aware of with having your dental work done outside the country:

  • Your insurance may not pay for procedures done outside of the country
  • Different countries may have different standards imposed on their dentists as compared to those in your country. Although, this doesn’t mean that you will not be getting quality work.
  • Do not have too many procedures done all in the short time that you are there. This limits complications cropping up when you’re already back in your own country.

As with everything else, there are pros and cons with dental tourism and you will have to weigh these carefully before deciding on it.