Understanding Halitosis: Causes and Prevention


Halitosis is simply defined as the condition of having foul or offensive breath. Simply put, halitosis is the less common name for bad breath.

This can be a major source of embarrassment, especially when the person is surrounded by plenty of people at work and at school. A lot of people have bad breath. Unfortunately, not everyone who has bad breath knows that they have it or doesn’t acknowledge the fact that they do have it. Also, instead of telling the person that he or she has bad breath, their friends and colleagues simply shy away from talking to them.

Causes of Halitosis

Bad breath can be caused by almost anything that we take in our mouth. These include medicines (like antihistamines, decongestants, anti-anxiety drugs and certain heart ailment medications) and food. Having a dry mouth, which may be a direct result of taking in medicines, causes bad breath in some people. This can also be caused by bacterial infestations in the mouth. Bad breath may be a result of stress too, as well as by sinusitis. Other causes of bad breath may be periodontal in nature, such as diseases like mouth and gum sores, cavities, and gingivitis, and also having dentures and poor dental hygiene.

Prevention Tips

Several measures may be undertaken to prevent having bad breath. Some of these would be frequent brushing of teeth, flossing and seeing your dentist regularly. The brushing process should take more or less about three minutes. When brushing one’s teeth, one should also try brushing the tongue, since the tongue traps large amounts of bacteria. The tongue also catches tiny particles of food, which may become odorous when not removed by brushing. Additional protection against the buildup of bacteria in your mouth can be achieved by rinsing with a mouthwash after you finish brushing. If having a dry mouth causes bad breath, one can chew on gum to stimulate saliva production and release to help prevent dry mouth.

Aside from the abovementioned measures, one can also check his or her dietary habits. Eating breakfast is a must for everyone, because skipping breakfast means that a person can have bad breath until the next time that he or she eats, which may or may not be lunch. Also, one should drink water after eating so that the particles of food may be washed away from the teeth and tongue; the particles of other drinks like wine or soft drinks may be retained in the mouth along with the food particles. Eating oranges and other citrus foods may also contribute to having fresh breath.

Understanding TMJ Disorders: Causes, Symptoms, and Cure


The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect your jaws to your skull. An injury or damage to these joints can result to a disorder medical experts call temporomandibular joints syndrome or temporomandibular joints dysfunction. Jaw pain from TMJ syndrome is a common reason for doctor visits among adults. A study published in 2009 reported that TMJ dysfunctions affect 20 to 30 percent of all adults. They are more common among people in the 20 to 40 years age group. Females are also more commonly affected than males. Next to dental or toothache pain, TMJ dysfunction is ahead of all other causes of orofacial pain in terms of frequency. TMJ dysfunction may be categorized as either acute, where the jaw pain lasts no longer than three months, and chronic, where the pain is longer than three months.

Causes of TMJ Syndrome

There is a lack of understanding as to what really causes TMJ syndrome because some of the factors considered as causes are also thought of as probably effects or results. Many different factors are believed contributing to the muscle tightness associated with the TMJ syndrome. Some of the identified causes include:

  • misalignment of the jaw or teeth
  • injury or trauma to the jaw or teeth
  • teeth grinding or bruxism
  • gum chewing
  • poor posture
  • stress / anxiety
  • arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis, and inflammatory disorders of the musculoskeletal system

Based on these causes, any of the following are considered risk factors for TMJ syndrome:

  • Poor posture particularly with regards to the upper back and neck – This may lead to strain in the neck and abnormalities in the functions of the jaw muscles.
  • Women aged 18 to 44 years – They have higher risks.
  • Stress and anxiety – They may cause increased muscle tension.
  • People with trauma in the jaw or have poor teeth position
  • People with chronic conditions of inflammatory arthritis

Symptoms of TMJ Dysfunction

Jaw pain is the main symptoms of TMJ syndrome, together with the following:

  • Clicking or popping of the jaw
  • Pain in the ears
  • Sounds of popping or ringing or cracking in the ears
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Sore neck or jaw muscles
  • Tight or stiff neck or jaw muscles
  • Facial pain or numbness or tingling in the cheek
  • Pain, lump or swelling in the temple
  • Lockjaw – Dislocation or locking of the jaw
  • Dizziness / vertigo

Cure for TMJ Syndrome

There are various treatment methods for TMJ syndrome, depending on the severity of the disorder. They may involve simple home remedies or complicated invasive procedure. Home remedies include:

  • Ice packs placed on the area of the affected joint
  • Over-the-counter medications – Nonsteroidal type anti-inflammatory drugs, e.g., ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Soft diet that does not need vigorous chewing, also staying away from chewing gum
  • Massage techniques and stretching exercise for the muscles of the jaw and neck – A physical therapist or doctor can recommend the appropriate stretching exercise and massage procedure.
  • Stress reduction and relaxation techniques

Medical treatment options that may be employed when home remedies do not produce the desired results include:

  • Dental splint – a dental appliance, which is placed in the mouth to keep teeth aligned and to prevent teeth grinding
  • Physical therapy including exercises for the jaws – to strengthen muscles, increase range of motion and improve flexibility
  • Jaw or dental surgery – These may be necessary in severe cases.
    • TMJ arthroscopy – a minor, usually outpatient invasive procedure requiring about a week of recovery time
    • Total joint replacement – a major surgical procedure that may require stay several hospital days stay and about four to six weeks recovery time

Usually, prescription painkillers, muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory drugs or steroids may be administered with the surgical options.

Alternative treatment options for TMJ dysfunctions including hands-on manual therapies such as chiropractic care, have been proven effective in the the relief of pain and other symptoms associated with TMJ dysfunctions and in the prevention of recurrence of this disorder.

How to Take Care of Your Jaw


It is not quite possible to talk about the care of your jaws without including the structures that surround them, in the discussion. These structures support and allow the jaws to function properly and together they work to carry out their collective function, which is chewing, primarily.

The temporomandibular joints (TMJ), the joints of your jaws are overworked. Not only are they incessantly used for chewing when eating, an activity you do countless of times in a day, but they are also involved in a lot of other routine activities such as talking, yawning, swallowing, and chewing gum, and sometimes even nail-biting, teeth clenching and grinding. Because of these activities, your TMJ and facial muscles are one of the most, if not the most worked out system in your body. We know that too strenuous and frequent exercise may be just as bad as lacking exercise, yet we unconsciously require our TMJ together with our facial muscles to work at an uncontrolled fashion.

A healthy human body can be likened to a well-maintained machine with all its component parts in their tip top conditions. The human body with all its parts, like the machine in our analogy, should therefore be maintained properly if we are to expect to get the optimum results we demand from them.

How to Care for Your Jaws

Special care must be given to your jaws, the hardworking part of your body. Health care experts suggest the following:

  • Avoid eating very hard foods like bagels, French bread, hard rolls or crispy fried pork skin often.
  • Avoid too chewy foods such as candy or steak.
  • Cut foods including fruits such as apples and vegetables such as carrots into small, bite-size pieces.
  • Avoid chewing gum.
  • Use your left and right jaws at the same time or alternately to chew food. This will prevent straining one side. Also, use your back teeth when chewing, instead of using your front teeth to bite.
  • Avoid bad oral habits that tend to strain your jaw muscles and joints. These include teeth grinding or bruxism, teeth clenching, biting your lips or cheeks, pushing your tongue against your teeth, and biting nails or other objects.
  • Always keep your jaw muscles relaxed, your tongue up and your upper teeth and lower teeth apart.
  • Practice abdominal breathing and relaxation. Learn to reduce your strong negative reactions to stressful events.
  • Get a good quality sleep.
  • Avoid caffeine, which can negatively affect your getting a good night’s sleep.
  • Do not sleep on your stomach.
  • Avoid opening your jaws widely, especially for a prolonged period of time, as in yawning and long dental treatments.
  • Do jaw stretching exercises regularly. The techniques should be gentle and not cause hurting to your jaws. Joint sounds such as popping, clicking, or grating when doing the exercises, may indicate that you have a TMJ disorder. These exercises when performed properly, can help bring relief to stiff and aching muscles or to spasms. They can also even prevent pains and aches usually associated with TMj and fatigue of the facial muscles.

Please consider visiting your chiropractor if you can’t cope with the jaw pain yourself. We should do justice to one of the most efficient “workhorses” of our body systems, our jaws, by taking good care of them and observing the proper healthcare maintenance to keep them working for us for years and years to come in our lifetime.

How to Take Care of Your Mouth

Woman brushing her teeth
Woman brushing her teeth

The mouth is one of the most important body parts as we used it in many functions such as eating, drinking, talking, singing, and many more. It is only vital then to take care of our mouth, including the teeth, gums, tongue, and jaw, in order to maintain a good oral hygiene.

Having good teeth is important, not only for one’s health but also for his confidence. This is true regardless of the age of a person. Having a good set of teeth makes it easier for one to eat good foods, which is essential to having a healthy body. Likewise, healthy teeth make one more confident to smile and laugh, making him appear more sociable and approachable to others.

Fighting Off Cavities

The common problems of the mouth and teeth which must be fought be everyone who still possesses natural teeth are tooth decay or cavities and gum diseases. Knowing how to avoid having these problems will pave the way for good oral health, and the first step to avoiding them is by understanding what causes them.

Tooth decay is the occurrence by which the enamel which covers and protects the teeth is ruined. Tooth decay or cavities are often caused by the development of dental plaque in the teeth. These are bacteria which form sticky and colorless film which, in turn, cling to the teeth. In addition, tooth decay can also be caused by gum diseases.

Dealing with Gum Diseases

Gum diseases, on the other hand, are infections which target the gums and the bones which hold the teeth. Gum diseases are also called periodontal or gingival diseases. One well known gum disease is gingivitis. This is a condition where tartar develops on the teeth, which is a hard covering caused by plaque which has already stayed on the teeth for a long time. Tartar is not cleared off by brushing, making them stay in the teeth unless they are treated. In gingivitis, tartar causes gums to become red and swollen, making them bleed more easily.

Gingivitis, if left untreated, can develop into a more complicated condition called periodontitis. This occurs when the tartar causes the gums to pull away from the teeth and form pockets which can get infected. This can later on cause the teeth to become loose which can fall off or will have to be removed.

Prevention Tips

To prevent tooth decay and gum disease, you must brush your teeth at least twice a day, preferably by using toothpaste with fluoride. Using a mouth rinse which contains fluoride can also be helpful.

Additionally, you should also floss once a day and regularly visit his dentist for checkup and cleaning. The dentist can, if necessary, provide an extensive fluoride treatment for people who have a problem with cavities. But how do you prevent an actual tooth loss on daily basis? Check out the solution in my article.

Lastly, good oral health can be maintained by eating a well-balanced diet and staying clear from tobacco products like cigarettes.

How to Prevent Toothaches


The mouth is a favorite spot for germs. It is the main doorway into the body. Through the mouth, many dangerous enemies may enter; some of these can be germs passing on to more distant parts. Others remain in the mouth in the food particles that are often left behind after meal.

If there is one place where the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is true, it is the teeth. Don’t wait until the child is crying with toothache. When this happens, it may mean that he will lose that tooth. Make a friend of your dentist. Take your child to his office for proper dental care early in his life. Make this a regular habit. Your child will then feel confident and unafraid.

Infections in the teeth and gums may have a harmful effect on general health and may even lead to serious heart disease. Your child needs full protection while he is young. And he needs to learn the basics of mouth hygiene from the very young age.


Children with clean, healthy mouths should be the goal of all parents. This does not mean removing the teeth but rather treating them and preserving them for the future. It is easy enough to pull out most teeth, but what about the gaps that are left behind? The whole shape and expression of the face may be changed by removing several teeth. If any teeth have to be removed, some means of replacing them or preserving the spaces should be found. Partial dentures are expensive, and they are never good as one’s own teeth. It is far better to preserve the teeth by taking proper care of them while the children are young. This will save considerable expense later.

The first and most important step in preserving the teeth is to brush them regularly after every meal. This seems so simple, yet it is the one thing most people neglect to do. The old saying, “Clean teeth never decay,” could be true, provided the teeth are really clean. Much will depend on the way they brushed.

The teeth should never be scrubbed from side to side. The side of the toothbrush should be placed against the gum near the base of the tooth. It should then be carefully rotated and drawn over the gum and along the tooth to the cutting edge. A gently rotating movement will allow the brittles to penetrate between the teeth, cleaning out all the spaces and removing all food particles completely. This may take a little longer. But if it becomes a lifelong habit, the results will be most gratifying.

Basic Hygiene: How to Properly Take Care of Your Body


Hygiene is important. A clean body does not only make us look and feel good; it also makes us look and feel healthy. A bad hygiene exposes us to more disease-causing germs and bacteria. Also, it can give us bad smell and appearance that can make people stay as far away from us as possible. We do not have to go over the top in establishing a complicated and time-consuming daily routine for our hygiene and buy expensive products. Simple cleanliness will do.

Follow the basic rules for a good hygiene. Most of the time, this will be enough.

Take a bath regularly.

When we go outside, we get exposed to pollution and other elements. Our body absorbs all the dirt and smoke that is in the air. The smell and dirt remains in our body and it can only be removed by taking a bath or shower. Aside from making us cleaner, it can help us feel fresher and thus more relaxed by removing sweat and cooling our body down.

Brush your teeth regularly

Brush your teeth at least twice daily, one in the morning and one at night. It is necessary to remove food caught between your teeth and the other elements that develop in your teeth. Failure to do so may result to tooth decay and bad breath. It may cause you pain in your teeth and gums and may make you lose your teeth. People may also find it undesirable to look at you because of dirty teeth and be repelled by your bad breath. Thus, keep your teeth clean by regular washing. Reinforce your brushing by a good mouthwash.

Change your clothes and socks daily.

Dirt, sweat and germs collect at your clothes, especially in the area of the armpits, and socks. They may develop smell and give you body odor. The dirt from the previous day collected at that clothe and can give you a hot and less comfortable feeling even if you have taken a bath already.

Comb your hair more than once a day.

Do not forget about your hair after you left the house in the morning. Your hair is the first thing they see about you. A hair not properly combed can give a grungy appearance.

Wash hands always, especially before and after eating.

Our hands easily get germs and transfer it inside our body through eating and cause us sickness. Money, a handrail in a bus, a doorknob or any of those things that our hands often come in contact with contains germs that easily cling to our hands. Keep nails clean too. Dirt can easily get between the nails making it look dirty and making it easier to get into our body.

Keep feet clean.

Wash your feet daily. Use fresh socks every day. Germs easily gather inside the shoes and proliferate due to the temperature and develop bad smelly feet.

Keeping the body clean is not only about health, but for self-improvement, as well. You will notice that with a clean and healthy body, you will gain friends, get a decent job, stand out, and even reach your goals in life. Yes, it all starts with proper care for the body.

First Aid for Tooth Loss


Kids’ natural playfulness usually causes injuries to their bodies that can sometimes be irreversible. It is commonly believed that losing an already permanent tooth is undoable. However, in reality, these lost teeth are capable of being implanted back with proper knowledge and skill.

Here are some first aid suggestions that you may want to use in cases when violent play or movements cause tooth dislodgment.


  1. Expectedly, your initial impulse to such a situation is to run to your child and provide him immediate care and urgent comfort, however, you should remember not to neglect the fact that his tooth is lying somewhere in the floor or the ground. Before rushing to anywhere else, be sure to pick the tooth up from where it lays.
  1. In picking the tooth up, make sure that you pick it up as gently as you can. Also, do your best to avoid having contact with the root what you can do instead is to hold it by its crown, which is the visible part of it outside the gum.
  1. Wash the tooth gently and lightly under running water. You can also use milk. Do not scrub the tooth and bear in mind that a light rinse would be just fine.
  1. After washing it, try and place it back in your child’s cavity in order to preserve the nerve ends and avoid its expiring.
  1. If you simply cannot put back the tooth in its cavity, ask your child to keep it his mouth, between his cheek and his gums. The goal is to allow the saliva to do its work, which is to keep the it alive and disinfected. However, if your child is unconscious do not place the tooth in his mouth for he may accidentally swallow it and at the same time foreclose any hopes of salvaging it.
  1. Since your child is unconscious and you are prevented from placing it in his mouth, what you can do is to place the tooth in a small bowl filled with milk.
  1. Upon doing all of these, rush your child to the dentist, but do not forget to bring his tooth with you. Remember that the sooner that you get to the dentist the greater the chance that the tooth will be restored. The ideal period for tooth re-implantation is about thirty to sixty minutes so make sure that you have someone who can call and set an emergency appointment with your child’s dentist as you are traveling.
  1. A child may either feel pain or not. If his nerve has been exposed, surely he will be screaming because of the pain, in which case he could be given a pain killing type of medication to relieve the intense pain he is experiencing.
  1. Also, in cases of tooth loss, there may or may not be loss of blood and their gravity may also vary for each kid. Some may bleed severely while others may just shed a few drops.

It is important that your equip yourself with this knowledge because you will never know when your child will lose his or her tooth due to an accident.

Good Solutions to Bad Breath


People usually think that using the favorite mouthwash is the answer to bad breath. Though used often, these breath fresheners only cover up the real problem. So, it would be good to know what causes it. Alcohol and cigarettes are the usual reasons. Studies have always thought of the main cause might exist on the tongue.

Now to prevent this, a rubber tipped toothbrush can help. Aside from cleaning the gums and teeth, the rubber pick or tip can help clean the hidden parts and back of the mouth (near the base of tongue and tonsils). Food tends to collect in these areas which may cause bad breath. Another device is the Water Pik-type which can also do the same function.

Another tip is by using the ever reliable drinking water as mouthwash. According to experts that after a meal or drink, water can act as a freshener and plaque remover, thus preventing not only bad breath but tooth and gum disease as well. Water indeed is useful, isn’t it?

If bad breath persists and the person does not smoke with all probable medical conditions like respiratory or gastrointestinal tract problems, intake of medicines, gingival and dental problems ruled out, it is advised to follow these tips. Dentists advise on using the intermittent use of regular mouthwash and maintenance of good hygiene by regular brushing, dental floss and in addition, thorough brushing of tongue.

It was investigated that brushing the teeth and tongue, and then followed by using mouthwash every after morning and evening meals diminished bad breath. Here are the helpful steps. First is to brush the teeth with toothpaste of choice and then dip the toothbrush in a glass with a mouthwash with 0.12% Chlorhexidine Gluconate. After doing so, brush the tongue and rinse with the same mouthwash for at least 1 minute. It is also advised to avoid food and beverage intake or even rinsing with water for about 30 minutes.

In cases of breath odors due to food intake, chewing parsley can be a good old remedy to soothe oral odor.

These are just some helpful tips that can be managed at home. Bad breath can arise from a long list of causes, where some may be simple while some may be a serious one. If these tips do not relieve a person of bad breath, it would be wise to settle an appointment with the dentist.

Getting those Pearly Whites: How to Whiten Your Teeth


Do you want to get those pearly whites? Learn the basics of brushing the teeth so you would know how to whiten them the best way possible!

A charming smile can be very disarming. It can win hearts in an instant. And some people go to extra lengths just to get Julia Robert’s million dollar bright-white smile.

Our teeth are made up of enamel – the hardest tissue in the body – which is the outer layer, underneath of which lie the dentin and collagen. When light passes through the enamel, it is reflected by the dentin, giving our teeth the pearly white color.

Years of smoking, eating and drinking tea, coffee, and liquor can stain the teeth. These beverages contain colored molecules like polyphenols and tannins which attaches themselves to the surface of the enamel. Also, dark pigments in foods, like blueberries and cigarettes, stain the enamel. Although brushing regularly removes the pigment, these staining compounds are diffused into the dentin over time and could not be addressed by brushing alone. Aging and the antibiotic tetracycline can cause the graying when taken during the early years when enamel is yet to harden.

For those who consider teeth whitening, inform your dentist as to what you want to achieve. Your dentist will lay out the options available, explain the procedures, and list the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative. This will assist you in making an informed decision.

Some of the whitening treatments available nowadays include composite bonding, porcelain veneers, implants, and bleaching. However, the options do not end here. With the speedy development of technology, new processes seem to crop up from time to time. For an overview, one can check the Internet or ask your dentist.

After deciding on the procedure that will suit your budget and will help you achieve your aim, the dentist will start with a comprehensive medical history and teeth examination to ensure that all cavities will be filled up. Photos and x-rays may be taken. The next process would be determining the translucency and sensitivity of the teeth. The dentist might also give you tips to prepare yourself for the whitening procedure.

The speedy development in technology paved the way for the numerous options for those who aim for whiter teeth that will suit your objective and budget, thus making teeth whitening very popular.