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Posts Tagged ‘plaque’

Why Is It Called “Morning Breath?”

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Have you ever heard of “morning breath?” Ever wonder why it has that name—or why you yourself have experienced it?!

Well, first off, maybe because the medical term for bad breath is “halitosis!”

Bad breath—or halitosis if you prefer—happens for a number of reasons. First, as you probably know, we can get bad breath simply from an unclean mouth that simply needs a good brushing and flossing…

Other reasons for bad breath include:

  • Lifestyle. For example, smoking or chewing tobacco take away from your ability to have fresh breath!
  • Diet: think strong foods, like peppers, onionor garlic—all of which make it important to floss and brush after eating! Also drinks that leave a smelly odor or even coffee can lead to halitosis.
  • Medical conditions, including problems with postnasal drip or conditions that lead to an increased amount of bacteria in the mouth, have been shown to be the third cause of bad breath. Also medications that lead to dry mouth can also increase the problem.

Do any of these sound familiar to you? Talking to your dentist can help you identify where your problem might be!

Part of the reason consistency is so important when it comes to your oral health is a regular brushing and flossing will help prevent the plaque on your teeth that lead to bad breath…another way of looking at this is that just one good brush and flossing won’t always do the trick for your bad breath. Instead, it’s about consistently taking care of teeth and gums so that plaque doesn’t build up!

This is also why many people will use tongue scrapers, which help remove bacteria and other food that your toothbrush isn’t as effective at removing! Or perhaps you’ve even used mouthwash…

Now that we know some of the underlying causes of bad breath—why is it called morning breath, anyway?

There are millions of bacteria that live in your mouth—and when the mouth is dry, they thrive. And, as you sleep, your saliva is less able to wash away these bacteria. So, as your mouth is in one of its driest states, the bacteria create sulfer compounds in your mouth…leaving you in the morning with—well, bad breath!

Altogether, the combination of a dryer-than-normal mouth, and bacteria, can lead to stinky breath when you wake up. Since that breeding ground isn’t something we can easily change, it’s no wonder so many of us have had it at one time or another.

If you feel you’ve been doing your diligence with brushing and flossing, and you still suffer from persistent bad breath, talk to your dentist! It can be an embarrassing issue—but luckily, you can fix it.

Interested in some of the natural ways to treat bad breath? Or just not sure what’s the cause of your long-term bad breath? Come in to Hagen Dental so you can feel great about your smile.  Visit our website here: If you’re already a patient, be sure to “like” us on Facebook.


The Dreaded Act of Flossing

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Flossing. Hey, we’ve all been there. When we were kids it was bad enough that Mom and Dad made us brush our teeth, let alone floss. Sticking our fingers in our mouths, taking longer in the bathroom – from a kids’ perspective, what’s the point?

It prevents bad breath and gum disease. We can’t always see plaque, bacteria, or food particles between our teeth, and if we’re not in the habit of flossing, we can hardly feel that our teeth are still dirty – even after a good brush.

Our toothbrush bristles cannot reach hidden plaque and other decay-causing bacteria. Floss does. In fact, it cleans 33% of your total tooth surface.

Now we’re not kids anymore and we get the point. But, yet, not everyone flosses. Why is this?

Our patients find that flossing is very easy to forget about, especially if they are not used to doing it every night. Hagen understands that if you don’t floss already, it’s hard to make it a habit. So we’ve provided a few pointers that may help you start:

  • Step one is getting the floss into your home
  • Keep your floss next to your toothbrush – not hidden in a drawer
  • Try to floss at LEAST once a day
  • Floss before you brush. (Rinse with a mouthwash after)
  • Use up to 18 inches of floss each time
  • Don’t cheat by skipping one or two days – make it a habit and it will automatically become part of your routine!

Check out these other flossing tips by the ADHA.

If you have any questions or comments, ask on our Facebook or Twitter, or give us a call at 513.251.5500! We’re always happy to help.