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How the Halimeter can fight bad breath

Posted by Darren Martin on Jun 14, 2014 6:59:00 PM

Bad breath, medically known as halitosis is an embarrassing problem. It is embarrassing to the person who has the problem and those around them like friends, family and colleagues who may find it difficult to approach them about their problem.

Odd reactions from people around you may tip you off that you may have halitosis. If you suspect so, it is advisable to take measures to take care of the problem right away.

Why use a halimeter ?

A halimeter is a small machine that is used to take a reading of your breath. It resembles the desktop breath analyzer machines used by police officers. It was first invented in the 1970s to measure the level of pollutant volatile sulfur in the air. It was later developed for oral use. You will blow into a special tube and the machine will indicate the enzymes and chemicals that are in your breath. You then keep using the halimeter regularly at the dentist's office to monitor the levels of these enzymes and chemicals while continuing with measures to remedy the problem.

What causes halitosis

Halitosis is most commonly caused by three chemicals; dimethyl sulfide, hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan. When you find out which ones are giving you bad breath, you have a better chance of getting rid of the problem for good.

Working with the dentist

It is advisable to work on the problem of bad breath with a dentist. In addition to administering a breath test with the halimeter, they will also give you a complete dental exam and note down your health history. Doing so may unearth other causes of the problem such as a decaying tooth that needs to be removed, a cavity, gum disease or an abscess.

With the check-up and your health history, the dentist may unearth other causes of bad breath which sometimes are medical reasons. If they suspect that you have an underlying medical condition like problems with your liver or heart which are potentially fatal, they will refer you to a doctor for a check up.

Another way a dentist will help you conquer the problem is by charting your progress as you go on with measures to counter it. They will keep giving you breath tests using a halimeter to see if the measures you are taking are working.

Cure, don't cover

Perhaps you have tried to get rid of the problem yourself by using breath sprays, breath mints and chewing gum. These may cover up the problem for a while after using them but they will not get rid of the problem completely. Also, sometimes the problem may be chronic halitosis.

Chronic halitosis

The problem of bad breath is chronic in some people. This means that with some measures, the problem goes away only to reappear again after a while. This is why working with a dentist is important. If the problem is chronic, the dentist will definitely send you off for a physical examination.

Possibilities like medication that you are using long-term such as for the heart, liver, blood pressure and diabetes which may be drying out your mouth will be explored. The dentist will also look closely at your lifestyle habits. Your diet and how much water you consume per day will also be looked at.

Consuming heavily spiced foods for instance, will definitely compromise efforts to completely eliminate your halitosis problem. Drinking heavy amounts of alcohol frequently also contributes to the problem. Another habit your doctor will look at is how much water you consume every day. When you have a problem with bad breath, it is important to keep sipping on water frequently. This increases the flow of saliva in the mouth which keeps washing away the bacteria that would otherwise linger in the mouth and cause bad breath.

Sorting out teeth problems

Another reason that it is best to work with a dentist is that they can advice you on treatments that may help to sort out the problem. For instance, if you have gaps in between your teeth or if they are crooked, there will be food particles that remain lodged in them even after brushing and flossing. This is the reason why older people, who typically have missing teeth, tend to have the problem of halitosis compared to young people.

It would therefore be advisable to have treatments done to straighten your teeth and close the gaps in between. There are a number of effective ways to do this including wearing braces or Invisalign which are invisible aligners.   

All fresh, all the time

It is rare that a dentist using a halimeter will be unable to get to the root of the problem of bad breath and prescribe measures to combat it. Engage one and get rid of the embarrassing problem once and for all.

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Topics: bad breath, invisalign vs braces, Halitosis, get rid of bad breath, periodontal disease

Invisalign Vs. Braces | The Difference You Need To Know

Posted by Darren Martin on Jun 14, 2014 6:31:00 PM

Ideally, when the baby teeth fall out from the age of six, the permanent teeth that grow in to replace them grow in straight and even. This is not the case for everyone. Some people have teeth that have gaps in between or that are not straight. The good news is that there are ways to remedy this and get a perfect set of teeth that can be displayed in a smile with no embarassment. Invisalign and braces are two of the most popular methods of correcting teeth alignment anomalies.


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Why teeth alignment matters

Having straight teeth is important for reasons that go beyond cosmetics. Teeth that are crowded or that are spaced too widely can result in red, swollen gums. Properly aligned teeth have the gums securely surrounding the teeth which acts as a barrier against problems like periodental diseases. Straight teeth are also easier to clean as food does not get trapped in between the crooks and cause decay and other problems like bad breath and possible loss of teeth. Having the teeth straightened can also take care of problems caused  by  uneven teeth such as an improper bite, difficulties with chewing and speech,  misaligned jaws and more wear on the enamel. 

How braces work

Braces have come a long way from the very prominent metal tracks that they first were. The braces of today are much less noticeable and much more comfortable to wear even though they are still made of metal. Braces have three main parts. There are the brackets that are attached to every tooth and there is the bonding or band which is what attaches the bracket onto the teeth. The third part is the archwire. This is a narrow metal wire that runs from one bracket to the next. The wire is attached to the bracket which is attached to the tooth. It is this wire that causes the teeth to move into place bit by bit until they fall into the right position and are properly aligned.

How Invisalign works

This option was created as an alternative to braces which many shunned because they were quite prominent, especially adults. This method straightens teeth without the brackets and wires. The aligners that are used are virtually invisible. This is in fact how the product got its name. Invisalign is a combination of two words, invisible and alignment which are put together and shortened to invisalign.

This option uses computers to generate an image of the perfectly aligned teeth based on an individual's dental alignment. The orthodonist takes pictures and impressions of your teeth and digital 3-D image of them is created.  Customized aligners are then created following these patterns and the set of aligners are created to gently coax the uneven teeth into perfect alignment following the computer-generated image of perfectly aligned teeth. A set of aligners are worn for about two weeks before they are removed and another set is  put on to keep moving the teeth towards perfect alignment. This is done until they are correctly aligned.

The length of time that aligners are worn varies. It will depend on how misaligned the teeth and how many are misaligned. A person who only has one or a few teeth that are misaligned may be done with the treatment in as little as a few months while another person who has a lot of teeth that are out of alignment or whose teeth are very badly misaligned could need to go on with the treatment for up to a year.

Invisalign Vs braces

Whether Invisalign or braces are better is an individual matter. The call is made by the orthodontist on a case by case basis. Generally speaking though, Invisalign has become the more popular option over braces. There are a number of reasons for this. One is that you can enjoy any food that you want. Braces present the challenge of removing all the food remains that are trapped in wires and brackets. Invisalign aligners can be removed so you can thoroughly brush and floss your teeth. Another advantage over braces is that aligners are made of plastic which is smooth and comfortable as opposed to sharp metal that can irritate the cheeks and gums.

Invisalign is also less demanding in terms of time. You only have to see the orthodontist every four to six weeks to get new aligners put in as opposed to braces which have to be adjusted every two or three weeks.

There is also the greatest advantage of all which teens and adults really appreciate which is that Invisalign is completely invisible. Nobody will know that you have crooked teeth and that you are working on straightening them. They will only notice after some time how perfect your smile is and how confidently you share it.

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Topics: invisalign vs braces, straight teeth, invisalign, braces