Dental Care 101

Causes of Bad Breath

During routine dental cleanings or dental procedures, patients often ask us what causes bad breath.  There could be many causes, but some of the main causes include:

  • Lack of tongue scraping. Just brushing your tongue may be insufficient.  You should be scraping your tongue with a tongue scraper every day.  Ask us for more details.
  • Flossing is important to prevent bad breath as well.  It removes odor and disease-causing bacteria from between your teeth. We can teach you the proper technique during any appointment.
  • Regular cleanings every 4 to 6 months are necessary to remove sources of bacterial odor that only a dentist or hygienist can reach.

If none of that is successful and a breath problem still persists, it may be necessary for us to refer you to a gastroenterologist to check for digestive disorders.  However, the majority of breath disorders can be cured at the dentist’s office.

Life Saving Dental Care

More and more medical research is showing that regular check-ups at the dentist’s office could literally save your life. Bacteria that lodges underneath your gums and between your teeth not only  cause bad breath, loss of bone support for your teeth, and  eventual loosening of teeth and bleeding gums, but these gum problems also lead to heart disease and stroke in a significant number of cases.

“For adults, health risks associated with oral health are particularly significant. Researchers from the University of Central Lancashire in the United Kingdom last year found that people with poor oral hygiene or gum disease could be at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s, compared with those who have healthy teeth.

The researchers discovered the presence of a bacterium called Porphyromonas gingivalis in the brains of patients who had dementia when they were alive. The bacteria are usually associated with chronic gum disease. Earlier research, conducted by New York University in 2010, revealed long-term evidence that linked gum inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease, finding that gum disease could increase the risk of cognitive disfunction.

Having healthy gums can also be good for your heart, new research shows. Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have found that periodontal disease is associated with greater thickness of the arterial wall. This means possibly greater risk of atherosclerosis and greater risk of heart disease and stroke.

Dentists can determine the presence of periodontal disease by probing the depths of pockets in the gums.”

Best Ways to Brush & Floss

The teeth should be brushed at least twice a day, ideally in the morning and before bed.  The perfect toothbrush is small in size with soft, rounded-end bristles and no more than three months old.  The head of the brush needs to be small enough to access all areas of the mouth, and the bristles should be soft enough so as not to cause undue damage to the gum tissue.   Our brushes have indicators to remind you to replace the toothbrush. We provide free toothbrushes and floss to all of our patients.  Be sure to ask for them at your next appointment at our office.

Here is a basic guide to proper brushing, provided by the American Dental Association (ADA):

  1. Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  2. Move the brush back and forth gently in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
  3. Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  4. To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
  5. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and to help keep your breath fresh.


38 East Decatur Ave
Pleasantville, NJ 08232
(approximately one mile off the Black Horse Pike)

Schedule an Appointment

Call: (609) 641 0016
Email: [email protected]
Jeff Van Drew - Dentist
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