Why is my breath so horrible and my dentist isn’t helping me?

My breath smells horrible. When I blow my breath into my hands it smells like a rotten potato. I brush and floss twice a day and I gargle but it still stinks so bad. I told my dentist and he said that I don’t have any rotten teeth but he didn’t give me any suggestions or clues as to what may be going on. Please help. – T.H.

T.H. – In addition to tooth decay, there are many causes of bad breath.

  • Food and drink – Onions, garlic, certain vegetables, and coffee can cause your breath to have a strong odor. Some of the odors stay on your tongue, so in addition to flossing and brushing your teeth, regularly brush your tongue.
  • Dry mouth – Tobacco and alcohol can dry your mouth. Certain medications, certain diseases, and certain chronic conditions can make your mouth dry and create odor, so drink plenty of water. You can also chew sugar-free gum, or suck on sugar-free candy to assist saliva production. If your mouth is dry, speak with a dentist about how to increase or stimulate saliva production.
  • Toothbrush – Your toothbrush should be changed regularly. Bacteria and germs can cling to your toothbrush and transfer into your mouth and cause additional odor.
  • Nose and throat conditions – Congestion or inflammation in your nose and throat, including sinus drainage can cause breath odor.
  • Oral health – Gum disease can also create strong breath odors. So can faulty tooth restoration; bacteria can breed beneath it.
  • Physical health – Certain diseases and metabolic disorders can cause bad breath. Chronic reflux of stomach acid that often goes into your throat and mouth can affect your breath.

You can decide whether you want to speak with your dentist again about the problem, or get a second opinion from another dentist. If after an exam and review of your medial history, the problem doesn’t seem to be related to your oral health, you will be referred to a medical physician.

This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Does a dentist need to check out my cut tongue or will it heal by itself?

Last Thursday I did something dumb that cut my tongue. I didn’t have scissors so I was trying to break into a hard plastic package with my teeth. The package slipped and cut my tongue. It hit my bottom teeth too but they are fine. My tongue started bleeding and I compressed and iced it but my tongue still hurts. I see a gash in it and every now and then it still bleeds. It will bleed heavy then stop when I compress it and put ice on it. When will it heal? Will it heal by itself? Do I need to have a dentist check it out? Thanks. Dylan R.

Dylan – A cut tongue usually heals on its own. The time that it takes to heal depends on how deeply it is cut. Hydrogen peroxide rinses, antiseptic rinses, or salt water rinses can help.

The concern is that your tongue is still bleeding, and sometimes heavily. We recommend that you make an appointment with a dentist to examine your tongue. The dentist will confirm whether your tongue will heal on its own or if sticthes are needed.

This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Bleeding after dentist appointment

I had my teeth cleaned last Wednesday and there was a substitute hygienist there who was really rough. My gums never bleed, but they bled all through the appointment. I called the dentist’s office this morning because on and off this morning my gums are still bleeding. They told me that the bleeding should slack off today or tomorrow. I keep rinsing my mouth with water but it doesn’t permanently stop. I am not sure that I want to go back to that office. What should I do? – Jackie

Jackie – Your concern is understandable—particularly since your gums do not usually bleed when your teeth are cleaned.

Although gums may bleed during dental cleaning, they should not bleed heavily, unless extensive gum disease is present. It may be that you had more plaque buildup than usual during your most recent cleaning. Your gums may bleed for several days after your dental appointment. You should continue to rinse your mouth and include salt in the rinse.

If the bleeding persists, gets worse, or if it’s enough to worry you, schedule an appointment with your dentist to examine your gums and determine the cause of the problem. Swollen gums should also be examined by a dentist. If you are not comfortable with returning to your current dentist, get recommendations from friends or relatives for a new dentist.

This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.