Tag Archives: teeth whitening

9 Causes of Bad Breath and Why Hiding the Odor Isn’t Good Enough

I have a bad smell in my mouth. I brush daily but it still smells. I chew gum all day long and suck on mints, but I don’t want to get cavities from all the sugar. Any suggestions? Will teeth whitening help? – Thanks. Luca from San Antonio

Luca – Many factors can affect the way your breath smells. Although teeth whitening products can brighten your smile, they won’t help your breath smell fresh.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Several factors are reviewed below.

1. Bacteria

Bacteria in your mouth is the most common cause of bad breath. In addition to brushing your teeth daily, floss between them. Flossing removes food debris that promotes bacteria. If bacteria get stuck between your teeth, it will begin to smell bad. Some people benefit from a tongue cleaner to remove bacteria. Others gently brush their tongue.

2. Gum Disease

Infected gum tissue breeds bacteria. Gums can get inflamed and pus-filled and cause a foul odor on your breath.

3. Dry Mouth

Saliva cleanses your mouth. Lack of saliva production causes bacteria to breed and make your breath smell bad. Breathing through your mouth, instead of your nose, will also decrease saliva production.


When stomach acid flows up your esophagus, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs. The backup of regurgitated food can cause your breath to smell bad.

5. Liver Disease

Your liver removes toxins from your body. If your liver isn’t functioning properly, toxins can build up in your bloodstream and cause a sweet, musty odor on your breath.

6. Kidney Disease

Malfunctioning kidneys cause minerals to collect in your bloodstream. The result is often a metallic taste in your mouth and breath that smells like ammonia.

7. Extreme Low-Carb Diet

If you’re on an extremely low-carb diet, your body will burn fat, instead of sugar. Fat burning releases ketones in your body, including acetone, which can make your breath smell like nail polish.

8. Pneumonia

Phlegm from the bacterial or viral infection in your lung has a bad odor. As you cough it up, it will affect the smell of your breath.

9. Bronchitis

As you cough, foul-smelling mucus from your lungs will make your breath smell bad, too.

There are powerful products to help you treat bad breath, including BreathRx. But don’t neglect an appointment with your dentist or medical doctor to identify the cause of the problem. You might have an underlying medical condition that needs to be treated. The odor of your breath can be a lifesaving sign of something more serious. Don’t ignore it.

Plano, TX dentist Miranda Lacy sponsors this post.

Is This Hydrogen Peroxide Solution Good for Whitening Porcelain Veneers?

I found a mouthwash and teeth whitening recipe online that I can make that won’t harm my porcelain veneers. I just want to double-check the ingredients to make sure it will work. It contains 8 oz filtered water, boiled; 8 oz of 3% hydrogen peroxide; and 2 tablespoons of sea salt. Is this mixture okay to use on porcelain veneers, or are the measurements off? Thanks. Gloria from Little Elm


If your veneers are stained, avoid any at-home methods to brighten them.

How to whitening teeth that have been restored with porcelain veneers

Mouthwash – Mouthwash that contains alcohol will soften the bonding that adheres the porcelain veneers to your teeth. It will create a reservoir around the edge of your veneers that attracts stains. Your veneers can loosen, too. Avoid alcohol-based mouthwash.

Hydrogen peroxide – Although hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria, including harmful bacteria that promote gum disease, it also kills beneficial microbes. The result is an overgrowth of yeast, or candida albicans.

Although short-term use of hydrogen peroxide is helpful as a mouthwash, prolonged use can develop into unwanted symptoms, including:

  • Oral yeast infection
  • White and peeling oral tissue
  • Raw, red, and painful patches

What if your veneers are stained?

Photo of a single porcelain veneers, from affordable Plano TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.
Ensure your veneers are maintained by a cosmetic dentist

If your porcelain veneers appear to be stained—or if you want to ensure they remain sparkling white— what can you do?

  • Continue to maintain good oral hygiene. Floss between your teeth daily and brush them with non-abrasive toothpaste.
  • Speak with your dentist if you have concerns about discoloration or stains. He or she has in-office equipment to polish your veneers without harmful whitening chemicals.
  • Avoid using tooth whitening solutions on your porcelain veneers. The chemicals can scratch the surface of your veneers and attract stains.
  • Only have your veneers cleaned by a dental hygienist who is trained to use the correct tools to avoid damaging them.

Plano TX female dentist, Dr. Miranda Lacy, sponsors this post.

Why aren’t teeth whitening strips helping?

I spent $40 on whitestrips for the second time but my teeth are not white like I want them. Which brand of whitestrips do you recommend to get my teeth really white? – Gina

Gina – Your experience is common. Although whitestrips contain peroxide gel, the gel is only a fraction of the strength of the teeth whitening gel you can get from a dentist. If the whitestrips work at all, they will only remove surface stains from your teeth.

The teeth bleaching gel available from a dentist will penetrate your teeth and break down the stains in them, producing a brilliantly white smile. There are other reasons to get your teeth whitened by your dentist.

Depending on the cause of the stains in your teeth, bleaching them may make the stains more noticeable. In some cases, porcelain veneers or porcelain crowns are the best way to conceal the stains. Your dentist will examine your teeth and be able to determine the results you will get by bleaching them.

Your dentist can monitor the progress of your teeth bleaching. He or she will provide you with customized trays that are specifically for your teeth. Customized trays make the bleaching process more effective, and they prevent you from wasting gel.

In-office treatment from your dentist will whiten your teeth in about an hour. If you choose a take-home kit, you will see brilliant results in about two weeks. Your dentist will instruct you on how to do touch-ups after in-office treatment, and how to get the best results with a take-home kit.

This blog post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy. Read about her free teeth whitening refills.


What is fast way to get my teeth whitened?

My sister’s wedding is less than 3 weeks away. I’m busy helping her with the planning, and I don’t have a lot of time for myself. What’s the fastest way to whiten my teeth? Thanks – Bekki

Bekki – In-office teeth whitening treatment is a quick way to a brilliant smile. Zoom!® whitening treatment is completed in about an hour.

Your dentist will retract your lips and protect your gums. The bleaching gel will be applied to your teeth, and the Zoom light will be shined on them to activate the gel. The treatment will be applied in three to four 15-minute sessions. When the treatment is completed, you’ll have the dazzling smile you want.

You will receive a take-home kit for touch-ups to keep your smile its brightest.

This blog post is sponsored by the office of Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.