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401 Coral Way - Suite 410 - Coral Gables FL 33134
(Off Le Jeune Rd & Miracle Mile) Request Appointment

Logo - Karen Martinez DMD - Dentist in Coral Gables

Year: 2018

What You Need To Know About Invisalign (Part Two)

· Cosmetic Dentistry · Comments Off on What You Need To Know About Invisalign (Part Two)

In part one on our exploration of Invisalign, we looked at what it is and covered a few bite patterns that it can help treat. Stick around for today’s post as we continue the conversation on Invisalign.

At Zen Smiles Miami, Dr. Karen Martinez, DMD fosters a patient-centered practice that advocates preventative dental care and education. Find a variety of services from family dentistry to cosmetic dental care.

Bite Patterns That Invisalign Treats

Open bite – An open bite happens when your upper and bottom teeth don’t touch, making chewing difficult. Invisalign addressed those with an open bite with great success.

Crowded teeth – Your teeth become crowded when there is not enough room for them to properly fit. Teeth twist, overlap, and bunch up. Flossing and brushing may become difficult, making it easier for plaque, tartar, and cavities to form. Teeth shift over time, so crowded teeth may get worse. Invisalign corrects and fixes crowded teeth.

Minor teeth issues – Sometimes straightening your teeth is purely aesthetic, and perhaps you have one crooked tooth that you want to be fixed. Invisalign can address these small issues.

How Does Invisalign Work?

You can start the Invisalign procedure with a qualified dentist and after the initial consult, you’ll receive a digital scan of your teeth showing every shift and movement in the process, from start to finish. The Invisalign retainers are made from SmartTrack material developed by biomechanical engineers to provide your teeth with the right amount of force while remaining supple and free from pain. The material is flexible and has precision trimming so it doesn’t cut or scrape against your gums like other companies do. Because Invisalign has successfully treated over 5 million smiles, they’ve perfected they’re orthodontic technology and can straighten teeth in as little as three months.

Find freedom in Invisalign.

Invisalign is perfect for anyone who is looking for a teeth straightening option that doesn’t interrupt their daily life. With Invisalign you’re able to:

  • Live bracket- and wire-free and continue to brush and floss as you normally would.
  • Continue eating all the foods on the braces “do not eat list.”
  • Stay active in sports without having to worry about getting hit in the mouth.
  • Hassle-free maintenance without wires and brackets breaking.

With Invisalign you’ll wear your trays for up to 20 to 22 hours a day, only taking them out to eat, drink, and clean your teeth. Some retainers can even have a blue compliance indicator to ensure that you’re wearing them enough — this is great for our teen patients! Each retainer is worn on average of one to two weeks before a new one is prescribed, and checkups are every six to eight weeks to evaluate your progress — less time at the dentist gives you more time to enjoy the things you love!

When you do receive a set of new retainers, a little extra pressure is normal and you may feel some discomfort the first couple of days.

Invisalign treats almost all orthodontic bite patterns and you can quickly get started with a simple digital scan and receive your first pair of Invisalign retainers that stand out from others because of their SmartTrack technology that provides the utmost comfort.

Live freely with Invisalign retainers today!

To schedule an Invisalign consult or to find out more information on Invisalign, connect with our office today!

What You Need To Know About Invisalign (Part One)

· Cosmetic Dentistry · Comments Off on What You Need To Know About Invisalign (Part One)

Straight, white, and cavity-free teeth are the epitome of a healthy smile, and achieving this takes a little work from both you and your dentist. Decent oral health comes as a result of brushing and flossing daily and seeing your lovely dentist twice a year. Beyond preventative dental care, cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening can be easily accomplished in office in a couple of visits. Having white and healthy teeth takes relatively little effort; it’s straightening teeth that may take a little more work.

If you’ve been considering straightening your teeth for the first or even the second time — after the middle school braces were a bust — Zen Smiles Miami has a solution for you! At Zen Smiles Miami, the focus on preventative dental care and education is what brings the best in optimal dental health. Find a myriad of treatments from cosmetic dentistry including teeth whitening and Invisalign to family dentistry, dental implants, and gum disease treatments. Follow along in today’s post as we examine Invisalign and how it can help straighten you out!

Invisalign is here for simple straightening to more complicated fixes.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a revolutionary type of orthodontics that straighten teeth without the traditional method of metal braces. The aesthetics of metal braces has always been a downfall of orthodontics — they’re bulky, a bit unsightly, and everyone can see them. Invisalign differs in that they’re clear plastic retainers that guide your teeth into a straighter pattern and are comparably more attractive and go undetected.

What Can Invisalign Treat?

Invisalign has seen innovation since its inception and can treat a myriad of different smile concerns. The disconnect between Invisalign and traditional braces is that some think Invisalign can’t treat their issue, but more often than not, it can.

Overbite – If you have an overbite where your top set of teeth overlap the bottom, Invisalign can help fix this bite pattern.

Underbite – When your bottom teeth are in front of your top teeth, this is considered an underbite. Invisalign treats underbites, however, more advanced issues may require surgery.

Crossbite – A crossbite has a mix of teeth that sit inside your lower teeth and upper teeth. A crossbite can cause additional issues than just the aesthetics because the teeth can wear down and chip more easily. It can also cause the gumline to recede and create small chips that eventually lead to bone loss. Invisalign is great for some crossbites, but always see a skilled dentist such as us at Zen Smiles Miami.

Gap teeth – This type of issue is when teeth are present with a large gap between two or more teeth. Food easily gets stuck and can cause gum tenderness and may lead to gum disease. Invisalign treats gap teeth with an experienced dentist.

Having straight teeth is not only aesthetic — it can improve on regular dental care practices and minimize tooth decay. Invisalign is a great option for those looking for orthodontics apart from braces and can treat most bite patterns.

Stay tuned for part two as we look further into how Invisalign can help!

For more information on Invisalign or to schedule a consult, contact our office today!

How Intermittent Fasting (IF) May Help Gum Disease

· Family Dentistry, Uncategorized · Comments Off on How Intermittent Fasting (IF) May Help Gum Disease

Gum disease — more than 47 percent of Americans have it, that is almost half of our adult population suffering from a preventable dental health condition! It’s important now to address how to prevent, even in the most unassumable ways!

Having a healthy mouth is truly the window into your body’s overall wellness, so if you think you’re suffering from gum disease, there are ways to help treat and prevent it. Find out an interesting concept to tackling this overly abundant dental health issue through intermittent fasting!

A Quick Word on Gum Disease

Gum disease, or periodontitis, is inflammation of the gums. In its early stage, it’s referred to as gingivitis and can be swollen and prone to bleeding. In more advanced forms, periodontitis, causes the gums to pull away from the teeth and can create pockets where teeth can become loose and fall out.

Gum disease is a result of plaque and tartar overgrowth and people are more at risk with poor oral hygiene habits. The best defense is preventative dental health habits such as brushing twice per day and flossing at least once.

How Does Intermittent Fasting Help Gum Disease?

If you’re not familiar with intermittent fasting (IF), in its most simple form is fasting for a 16 hour period and then only eating within an eight-hour timeframe. The best example is eating only from 12 pm to 8 pm, and then skipping breakfast the next day. It will vary from person-to-person — some use a six or even four-hour window between feasting and fasting.

How your microbiome plays in

Your microbiome which is composed of a beautiful ecosystem of bacteria, as we’re learning, is greatly tied to our health. When the balance is tipped, it can affect our digestion, immune health, and brain health. When there is an overgrowth of bacteria it causes both gum disease and bad breath.

The biggest research going into learning about the microbiome is how we influence our daily choices and activities. Through many studies, it is clear that the more diverse our bacterial ecosystem is the greater it benefits our health.

Not only is it now about what we eat — the modern diet has proven to be a disadvantage to a flourishing gut habitat — it may be about when we eat!

Fasting and your microbiome

There are many studies that site how fasting not only benefits our brains and metabolism but now our gut health. As the rhythm of our eating patterns is dynamic, so is how our gut bacteria respond to our feeding and fasting states. The rhythm is only disrupted when there is more feeding than fasting which leads to metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes.

Many biological things occur when you fast, namely, when your body burns energy reserves in response to it.

We’ve just begun to scratch the surface of how IF may help gum disease. We looked at what gum disease is and how to prevent it traditionally and broke into the conversation about IF and the microbiome. It will all tie together to gum disease, so stay tuned for part two!

In the meantime, schedule a teeth cleaning and help prevent the onset of gum disease today!

How Medications Affect Your Dental Health: Part Three

· Cosmetic Dentistry · Comments Off on How Medications Affect Your Dental Health: Part Three

In parts one and two in how medications can affect your dental health, we learned that proper dental health begins with the small things before aesthetic dentistry can be examined. It was also noted that over 70 percent of Americans are on at least one doctor-prescribed medication. While pharmaceuticals can be advantageous in certain situations, they can also be the culprit of poor dental health, as they lead to dry mouth, enamel erosion, inflammation, altered tastes, and mouth sores.

At Zen Smiles, we want our patients to be educated and informed on all the areas that can affect their dental health, including medications. In part two, we’ll dive in to more specific medications that can harm your teeth.

Medications and Tooth Erosion

In part one, we looked at how decongestants, antihistamines, and antidepressants can cause tooth decay, and there a few more that can be noted.

  • Antacids – If you suffer from acid reflux or heartburn, the stomach acid alone that bubbles up can cause teeth erosion; however, counterintuitively, antacids can also be used to treat it. The main culprit that leads to tooth decay, is from the sugar that is present in the chewable and liquid forms of antacids. The best course of action is to stick with an antacid with a sugar-alternative, or one that you can swallow.


  • Pain medications – If you have acute or chronic pain, treating it is often your first priority because its effects can be debilitating. Pain medications, however, can cause tooth erosion because they produce dry-mouth. Opioids, one of the most prescribed pharmaceuticals for pain, are notorious for causing tooth erosion and tooth decay over prolonged usage. Aspirin, while it may not cause tooth erosion, it will move your teeth and be a possible cause of bleeding gums.

Medications and Altered Tastes

Believe it or not, that bitter or metallic taste you’ve been experiencing may be related to certain medications you’re taking. Medications can be the culprit for altering the way things taste, including:

  • Cardiovascular drugs (calcium channel blockers and beta blockers)
  • Stimulants related to the central nervous system
  • Metronidazole (Flagyl, an antibiotic)
  • Nicotine patches
  • Certain respiratory inhalants

Medications and Soft Tissue Issues

Soft tissue issues are anything that causes mouth sores, discoloration, or inflammation in your mouth. The following prescribed medications have been indicated to cause soft tissue reactions:

  • Oral contraceptives
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Immunosuppressive drugs
  • Blood pressure medications

Medications and Gingival Overgrowth

There are medications that can cause your gums to swell, and they include:

  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Immunosuppressive drugs
  • Anti-seizure medications

Medications and Thrush

Thrush is a bacterial overgrowth in your mouth or an oral yeast infection caused by a fungus called candida. It can appear as lesions on the tongue and mouth or a white coat on your tongue. Medications that can cause thrush include:

  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Steroids
  • Antibiotics

In today’s post, we’ve found that many medications can affect your oral health and many of them in different areas. Medications not only affect tooth erosion but they also can alter your taste, cause soft tissue reactions, gingival overgrowth, and thrush.

This concludes our three-part series on medications and oral health. It’s always wise to address basic oral health issues before aesthetic dentistry, so if you’re ready for a routine dental cleaning, schedule with our office today!

How Medications Affect Your Dental Health: Part Two

· Family Dentistry · Comments Off on How Medications Affect Your Dental Health: Part Two

In part one of this series, we addressed how medications cause dry mouth and how they can negatively affect your dental health. Likewise, we touched on small changes that can be made — including regularly scheduling a teeth cleaning with your local dentist — and began to touch on specific medications that cause dry mouth. In today’s post, we’ll expand on the medications causing dry mouth and connect other dental health issues associated with medications.

Further Medications That Cause Dry Mouth


In addition to decongestants, antihistamines, and antidepressants that we covered in part one, here are a few more medications that can cause dry mouth.


  • Blood pressure medication – The components in most blood pressure medications such as beta blockers, diuretics, and calcium channel blockers address high blood pressure, but increase the chances of developing dry mouth and tooth decay.


  • Antacids – This medication may not make sense because of its ability to block acid from getting into your mouth that contributes to tooth erosion, however, they can weaken teeth and cause dry mouth in all forms — dissolvable, chewable, and liquid.  


Additional Medications That May Cause Dental Health Issues


Dry mouth is one of the dental health issues medications may spawn and the following section will address these dental issues.


  • Mouth sores and ulcers – A mouth sore develops on the tongue on within the cheeks and mouth. They can appear red and irritated and feel like a tiny crater in your mouth. More commonly these sores are known as “canker sores” and it’s only a real issue if they become a chronic issue.


  • Inflammation of the gums – Medications tend to cause gum inflammation because it increases the growth rate of the tissue and can grow over the teeth themselves. Inflamed gums is an insidious place for bacteria to set up camp and cause gingivitis and tooth decay.


  • Inflammation of the lining of the mouth – Medications can cause inflammation in the mouth lining and also results from chemotherapy. This is very painful and can cause mouth sores and ulcers making it increasingly difficult to chew and eat.


Today In part two, we addressed further medications that cause dry mouth and medications that can produce harmful dental health issues.


If you struggle with dry mouth or issues such as inflamed gums or mouth sores, schedule a teeth cleaning with your local dentist to establish a plan of action to help find relief.


Call Zen Smiles today!

How Medications Affect Your Dental Health: Part One

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There are many variables in your dental health habits that are both beneficial and harmful to your teeth, and we’ve covered a couple of topics about food and beverages that damage enamel. The best and most simple advice dental care recommendations haven’t changed — it’s routinely seeing your local dentist for a teeth cleaning twice a year. At home care is brushing twice a day and flossing at least twice. These are the basics and the non-negotiables to healthy teeth. To further expand dental health habits for optimal health, you can address your diet and lifestyle habits to help prevent tooth decay.

Did you know there are other factors that can affect your dental health? Some medications tend to bring adverse side effects to your oral health. Read more to find out how medications can affect your dental health.

Medications and Dental Health

It is estimated that nearly 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescribed medication, and more than one in two take two, all ranging from antidepressants, opioids, and antibiotics. With a majority of the population on prescription medications, it’s important to address what their side effects are in terms of dental health. On the list of side effects it does not list “tooth decay,” but a majority of them do cause dry mouth. In addition to dry mouth, medications can also cause abnormal bleeding, inflammation, mouth sores, enamel discoloration, and an altered taste.

Dry Mouth and Dental Health

Dry mouth can inadvertently cause tooth decay because your saliva production decreases when you take certain medications. Saliva is a crucial component to dental health because it does a wonderful job of washing food and debris from your teeth after a meal and throughout the day. An absence of saliva leaves room for food to stick to your teeth and inhabit the small nooks and crannies leaving them susceptible to bacteria to produce acid and slowly demineralize the enamel causing cavities. Ultimately, dry mouth increases your risk for cavities and infection.

When you’re left taking a medication and it causes dry mouth, it’s not as simple as stopping the medication cold turkey — this can be harmful in and of itself. The question resides in how can you find a balance of addressing dry mouth while continuing your prescription medication? The first step is communicating with your dentist the medication you’ve been prescribed. If the medication is short-term — like an antibiotic — you don’t need to worry as much. If the medication is something you’ll be on long-term, this is when you’ll need to talk with your dentist and make a plan of action.

Small Changes to Help With Dry Mouth

There are small changes you can make to address dry mouth including:

  • Chewing sugarless gum (xylitol gum is great for dental health)
  • Drinking water throughout the day and after meals
  • Brushing and flossing regularly

Medications That Cause Dry Mouth

Over 500 types of medications are reported to cause dry mouth, here are the most common ones:

  • Decongestants and antihistamines – Because both of these medications address seasonal allergies by blocking histamine receptors, it also affects other parts of the body such as the mouth and tongue. Antihistamines deter saliva production, thus causing dry mouth.
  • Antidepressants – Both selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, and atypical depressants are known to cause dry mouth. Likewise, they’ve been known to negatively affect bone health as well, linking them to tooth decay, gum disease, oral yeast overgrowth, and bad breath.

In today’s blog, we’ve covered how medications cause dry mouth through declining saliva production, small changes to help your dry mouth, and some medications that cause it.

Stay tuned for part two, where we’ll expand on the medications and additional dental issues that may occur when taking medication.

To schedule a teeth cleaning in our dental office, give us a call today!

Get Knotty With Your Floss

· Family Dentistry · Comments Off on Get Knotty With Your Floss

Preventative dental health care, both at-home and with your local dentist, can greatly influence the state of your health, and it only takes a little time out of your day! Brushing twice per day and flossing at least once per day not only prevents tooth decay and cavities, it helps prevent gum disease thus helping prevent diabetes and heart disease. Preventative dental health goes a long way!

While many people can commit to brushing twice per day, flossing for some reason, is harder to get people to do. Sometimes it can be painful at first and gums bleed so people stop, the spaces are tough to get in and out of quickly, or others may just mindlessly forget. If you can consistently execute flossing in your dental health regimen, you’re one step closer to optimal teeth health.

Flossing is an intuitive act, but there are a couple of pointers to make flossing a little more effective for a cleaner, healthier, brighter smile.

How to effectively floss:

You’ll want to floss your whole mouth, top and bottom, tooth-by-tooth, space-by-space! Begin by holding the floss taut, gently glide up and down between the tooth spaces.

Gently floss just below the gum line and you can either rick the floss from side-to-side or curve the floss around each base of the tooth. As you move through each space and each tooth, use a clean section of floss.

The Knot Method

If you have larger gaps or pockets in your teeth, the knot flossing method could be perfect for you! To benefit from the knot method, you’ll floss just as you normally would, but before you begin you’ll tie a sequence of spaced knots in your floss string. The knots effectively reach and clean larger spaces, removing food debris and plaque for cleaner teeth! If tying knots is too cumbersome, there are floss products on the market that come pre-tied for easier flossing!

Choosing a floss

Choosing a floss that you like will not only make this step more enjoyable, but you’re more likely to do it. Floss comes in a variety of waxed or unwaxed varieties, flavors, and sizes. The floss type is always a personal preference. Waxed flossed can be easier to maneuver from space-to-space, while unwaxed squeaks a bit signaling the plaque and debris had been removed. So, choose a floss you like and consistently commit to using it!

Zen Smiles

If you’ve been lacking a little in the flossing department and need a fresh start, schedule a teeth cleaning with us today!

Call to make an appointment!

The Influence Of Female Hormones On Oral Health

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Female hormones have the ability to affect a woman’s health from monthly migraines and mood disturbances to acne and increased energy. Because of the moment-by-moment fluctuations in the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, together they can cause a myriad of health issues in women.

Have you ever noticed that your gums are increasingly more sensitive around your cycle? Or perhaps you’ve even scheduled with your local dentist around this time because you thought you had a cavity, only to mistake it and find that your hormones were the culprit of your oral panic!

Find out how hormones influence your oral health in each stage of life.

How your hormones can land you in your local dentist office

Hormones affect your oral health because these fluctuations can increase or decrease the blood supply to the gums, as well as how your body responds to toxins in correlation to plaque. Because hormones play such a wide and vast role in women’s health, they can directly leave women more susceptible to oral health issues such as periodontal disease.

How hormones influence oral health through the stages

Hormones may always affect a woman’s health but in terms of oral health, there are specific stages where hormones are the most abundant and active.

  • Puberty – Puberty presents a host of changes, but mainly a flood of sex hormones throughout the body. The fast influx of estrogen and progesterone affects a woman’s gums by increasing blood flow to the tissue leaving it tender, swollen, and somewhat red. Because of the increased inflammation to the gums, it may cause the gums to bleed more readily during brushing and flossing.
  • Pregnancy – Similar to puberty, during pregnancy hormones rapidly fluctuate. Pregnant women are prone to a condition called pregnancy gingivitis and as a result of increased progesterone can have increased plaque buildup. The condition causes swollen and bleeding gums, so getting a routine dental cleaning early in a pregnancy can help reduce the risk of getting it.
  • Menopause – As women age, they are at risk for many other health issues and often have to combat it with medication. The combination of medications and decreased hormones, can leave a woman with dry mouth, burning mouth, and increased sensitivity to extreme temperatures in food and beverages. With the decrease of estrogen during menopause this causes contributes to bone loss which can affect her oral health and make her more susceptible to periodontitis.

Other hormonal influences

Both a woman’s menstrual cycle and oral contraceptives factor into the state of her oral health. A woman can experience inflamed, bleeding, and red gums, canker sores, and swollen salivary glands during her monthly cycle, and can cause what’s referred to as “menstrual gingivitis” and clears after her period has started.

Birth control pills can also cause swollen gums when they are first started, but because they help balance hormones, they can help reduce the inflammatory response in gums.

Zen Smiles – your local dentist

Whatever stage of life you’re in, at Zen Smiles we want to help address any oral health issues you have related to fluctuating hormone levels! And, we’re always here for a routine dental cleaning!

Schedule with us today!

Can The Juicing Trend Sabotage Your Smile?

· Family Dentistry · Comments Off on Can The Juicing Trend Sabotage Your Smile?

If you take a stroll, or Uber, around Miami there is no shortage of night clubs, Cuban cuisine, and juice bars! While food trends come and go, the juice trend — not even being food — has seemingly stuck. Miami boasts some of the best juice bars including Miami Juice, Raw South Juice, The Juicery Bar, Jugofresh, and Juice And Java.

With all the varieties of juices that clever minds concoct, we can’t help but wonder how it affects oral health? Sure it’s brimming with beautiful phytochemicals and protective antioxidants to not only support your immune system and your skin, but what are the impacts long-term? Will the juicing trend send people running to their local dentist for a emergency teeth cleaning or teeth whitening treatment? Find out more about how the juicing trend may influence your oral health.

Juice Bars and Your Teeth

The juicing community may have you believing that if you’re not consuming a $10.00 green juice per day, your health is suffering. It is chock full of wonderful nutrients, but at the end of the day you may want to do a little more research into what’s going into the emerald green elixir!

Because of the nature of the actual vegetables that are being juiced and having a green and sometimes bitter taste, fruits and fruit purees are added to sweeten the deal and hook the drinker! Fruits contain a natural occurring sugar called fructose which gives them their delicious appeal, however it’s the sugar that can wreak havoc on your pearly whites. The harmful effects of sugar are often associated with soda and wine, but green juices fit alongside those other beverages. A standard green juice composed of apple, kale, celery, and lemon have an average of 42 grams of sugar per eight ounces. This is high, as the daily recommended amount of sugar is 25 grams. So, you’re getting almost twice the amount of recommended sugar in just one juice!

…But the sugar in juice is natural, it can’t be too harmful

The fructose is naturally occurring, but the bacteria in your mouth does not discriminate! When you consume juice, the sugar within it likes to stick around. The longer you go without brushing or rinsing your mouth with water, the longer the insidious little bugs have to do tooth decay damage. The bacteria will consume the sugar that’s been left behind and digest it and turn it into acid. The acid, overtime, breaks down and demineralizes the tooth enamel causing tooth decay including cavities.

Can I still enjoy the juice bar every once in a while?

Green juices aren’t all bad, and they have a lot of positive benefits. It’s when the juice is left to coat your teeth when it because an adverse situation. Here are a couple of tips to combat the sugar:

Rinse your mouth with water after the juice, or sip it along with the juice.
Brush your teeth afterwards.
Drink the juice all in one sitting instead of throughout the day constantly exposing your teeth to sugar.

If you do brush, wait at least a half hour before you do so. The acids weaken the enamel and if you you it immediatly after a juice it’s like brushing the acid further into your teeth — it can cause more damage.

Green juice is a wonderful and delicious option but it’s always good to know what is going into your juices including how much sugar, and to take preventative measures accordingly.

Zen Smiles

At Zen Smiles, we would love to chat more about how to make the most of green juices and your oral health! As always, come see us for a teeth cleaning twice a year and brush twice a day and floss at least once for optimum dental health.


Schedule an appointment today!

All About Bad Breath

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Face-to-face conversation — it’s not as prevalent as it once was. There was once a time when goods and services couldn’t be ordered through a click of a button and delivered minutes later to your doorstep. As we are further removed from social interactions, the less chances we have at finding out we have bad breath! Have you ever had a coworker, as friendly as they are, lean in for conversation only to have the worst coffee breath? Or, perhaps you’ve been standing in line at the grocery store and the person in front of you turns to make conversation, and you slowly back up a couple of inches because their breath is terrible. These social cues are being missed because face-to-face conversation is disappearing, leaving people with bad breath unaware that they have it! As long as bad breath sufferers are seeing their local dentist twice a year, this may be the only social interaction that saves them from a life of halitosis (bad breath).

What your local dentist says about bad breath

Bad breath isn’t a simple cut and dry answer, as it can be caused by a myriad of things. Causes of bad breath include the following:

  • Poor oral hygiene – Poor dental health habits combined with the absence of local dentist visits, creates the perfect sanctuary for bad bacteria to camp out in your mouth, causing bad breath. This is why your local dentist makes the firm case for brushing and flossing twice a day — not only does it remove food debris that can cause bad breath, but it prevents a whole host of dental health issues.
  • Tooth decay – Cavities are linked with poor oral hygiene habits and breakdown the enamel due to an overabundance of acid from bacteria. With tooth decay you may also suffer from inflamed gums and infection adding to an ecosystem that’s already thriving on bad bacteria.
  • Dry mouth – Saliva is the beautiful fluid that washes away plaque, bacteria, and food debris, keeping your mouth healthy. When there is an absence of saliva, your mouth doesn’t have the ability to shed and dispose of the unwanted particles leaving bad breath in its wake.
  • Medical conditions – A host of medical conditions can cause bad breath including people who suffer from eating disorders and chronic dieters. People who are in kidney failure will have a foul, fishy odor or breath that is reminiscent of urine or ammonia. Prolonged vomiting or someone with an obstructed bowel, has breath smelling of feces. Chronic sinus and lung issues may also leave a person with prolonged bad breath. Because bad breath can often be a symptom of something more sinister, it is crucial to see your local dentist regularly for a check-up and teeth cleaning.

How to alleviate bad breath

The most important piece of treating bad breath is finding the root cause of it. If you have chronic coffee breath, it can be as simple as drinking water alongside your coffee or rising your mouth when you’re finished drinking it. If you love garlic and onions, yet they cause bad breath, you may just have to accept that you’ll smell like them! For temporary relief, chewing gum, mints, and breath spray are very helpful is masking foul smells.

Proper oral hygiene will also work wonders in addressing bad breath — and this includes brushing and flossing twice a day and scheduling routine teeth cleaning visits with your local dentist. Changing your diet will also improve your breath. If you currently consume a highly processed diet full of abundantly sugary and starchy foods, this creates more bacteria and acid, causing bad breath. Make adjustments by limiting your sugar consumption and add colorful vegetables into your diet.

If you suffer from chronic bad breath and take the above measures, it would be important to have a conversation with your dentist and seek out medical advice. Again, bad breath can be a symptom of more serious health conditions and poor oral health has been linked to an increase in diabetes and heart disease.

Zen Smiles – your local dentist

At Zen Smiles, you don’t have to suffer or be embarrassed about your bad breath. We’re here to not only give you regular teeth cleanings that help it, but to help you address your bad breath and find the root cause through face-to-face conversations!

Schedule an appointment today!