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Analyzing Bad Breath

Checking for Bad BreathBad breath (or halitosis) happens to all of us from time to time, and nobody likes it. As well as being a social embarrassment, bad breath can also be a warning sign of more serious dental problems. By analyzing the type of bad breath patients complain of, we can help determine its cause.

What Causes Bad Breath?

External Factors

  • Food – If your breath is especially strong after fragrant meals with as garlic or onions, there’s unfortunately not much to be done except to go easy on these foods.
  • After Mouthwash – Most mouthwashes are alcohol-based, which dries out the mouth and inhibits the flow of saliva. Try this instead: brush and floss again. It stimulates saliva flow while disrupting the bacteria that were causing the odor in the first place.

Internal Causes

  • Teeth or Gums – Your halitosis is sending a signal there’s a serious dental problem that needs correction. You won’t get rid of it until you’ve eliminated the tooth decay or gum disease and restored periodontal health. Call our office for a breath analysis that can identify whether your breath is related to gum disease or tooth decay.
  • “Morning Breath” – While you were sleeping, so was your saliva. Reduced flow caused bacteria to grow in your mouth. It helps to brush and floss away trapped bacteria before bed, then have a glass of water at the nightstand if you wake up dry.
  • From Heartburn – Some bad smells come not from the oral cavity but farther down the throat and into the stomach. Stress, acid stomach, the seeping of stomach acid back up through the valve sealing your esophagus from your stomach (“heartburn”) all may be culprits. A visit to our office (or your medical doctor) will help you know for sure.

About Yuri Kaneda, DDS

Dr. Yuri Kaneda was born in Japan and immigrated to the US when she was 4 years old with her family. She lived in Ohio, Nebraska, and Illinois before finally settling in the San Diego area. A graduate of Bonita Vista High School, she went on to the University of California Berkeley where she obtained her Bachelors in Microbiology and Immunology. After working for 2 years in growth plate research at University of California San Diego, she went to the University of California San Francisco Dental School for her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Upon graduation, she returned to San Diego where she worked as an associate in the practice of Drs. Morimoto and Yaryan, her childhood dentist. She then started her own practice in 1995 and has been at her present location since 1999 which happens to be across the street from her high school!

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