Tame Bad breath by Mazen Natour DMD

Tame Bad breath by Mazen Natour DMD

We’ve all experienced it at one time or another. Halitosis is simply bad breath which can be caused by the food we eat such as garlic, onions, some spices, a bad stomach situation, etc. However, it is only considered chronic when bad breath is a constant, and people around us start to notice.


How? With our saliva which provides a continuous natural lubricant for flushing the bacteria that builds up after consuming food and drink. Saliva continually helps our mouths avoid dryness. Dryness leads to bacteria proliferating and sticking to the teeth, hence plaque, tartar, and leading to an unpleasant smell. When for whatever reason this flow of saliva is reduced, it paves the way for chronic halitosis.
Naturally, at night our saliva flow is reduced, which is why if there is debris, we will wake up with chronic morning bad breath. There is also a reduction of saliva that is medication-induced. This is the main reason a significant percentage of seniors who typically take medications have bad breath. Saliva and lubrication help tremendously in preventing the proliferation of the bacteria causing bad breath, but the reason why some have it worse than others brings us to the next point.


This can be achieved with home care after every time we eat: brushing and flossing—and in some cases using a tongue scraper. Brushing helps to remove the film of plaque that builds upon and around teeth. Unfortunately, spaces between teeth are tight preventing proper cleaning with a toothbrush.
Hence, the absolute necessity of dental floss which gets to those hard to reach areas and helps remove the food particles and the bacteria. Going back to the tongue scraper: Some of us have what is called a geographic tongue. The name seems scary, but it just means that the tongue is not flat and can have some fissures (cuts in the tongue which is normal). These fissures, unfortunately, allow hiding places for food debris and bacteria and contribute to the chronic bad breath. Mouthwash is a valuable tool.
However, mouthwash will not be as effective in removing embedded bacteria. You need to either brush the tongue or sometimes use the tongue scraper to physically and mechanically clean it. Also, be aware that a lot of mouthwash contains alcohol which can turn into sugar—a superfood for bacteria growth.
Mazen Natour DMD, is a Manhattan-based Prosthodontist with more than 20 years of experience in implantology, cosmetic and sports dentistry, periodontics, and prosthodontics. He is a Clinical Professor and Director of the Implant Honors Program at New York University College of Dentistry – the world’s first Undergraduate Implant Program at the top-ranked Dental School globally. He is a Diplomat at the International Congress of Oral Implantology (ICOI), a Member of the Academy of Osseo Integration, American Dental Association, New York State Dental Association, and NYU Implant Alumni Association.


There’s nothing like a good professional cleaning at your dentist every six months at the very least, and in a lot of cases for healthy gums, every four months. A routine dentist visit will make sure to leave the oral cavity cleaned from food debris and bacteria, polish the teeth, go over home care techniques, and look for potential problems or causes for complaints. For example, some patients complain that they have food that is constantly being stuck in one area and bothers them. It causes pressure, bad taste and it also bleeds when they finally get home and floss it. When the area is checked, we find that an old filling or crown has chipped creating a small gap with the adjacent tooth leaving room for food debris to get wedged and start causing trouble.
In short, keep brushing and flossing at least twice a day (ideally after each meal). If you have low saliva flow that results in dryness in your mouth try and use some sugar-free drops that can stimulate saliva or some specific mouthwashes (such a Biotene) that helps lubricate and keep your mouth from drying up.
Lastly and most importantly, keep up with your dental visits. The dentist will help keep your teeth healthy and help you maintain fresh breath.

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    March is National Nutrition Month: How Does Your Diet Affect Your Teeth?

    March is National Nutrition Month: How Does Your Diet Affect Your Teeth?

    There are countless reasons to focus on good nutrition, such as living longer, feeling great and losing weight – but often overlooked is how your diet can affect your teeth. March marks National Nutrition Month, a time to bring attention to the importance of making informed food choices and developing great eating habits. However, while you may be focusing on your diet, you shouldn’t ignore your oral health. Below, Dr. Mazen Natour breaks down what foods fall into which health bucket (healthy diet foods versus healthy smile foods), and which are best for you to focus on for all around great health benefits.

    Foods that are BAD for a Healthy Diet and Healthy Smile

    You’re probably already aware that sweets and candy aren’t good for your teeth, not only because they offer no nutritional value, but because of the amount and types of sugar that they contain can adhere to the teeth. The bacteria in your mouth feed off of these sugars and overtime, this can lead to tooth decay.

    Beverages such as sweetened coffee and soft drinks can be harmful to your teeth as they may leave behind sugars and lasting stains. Sipping these popular drinks causes a constant sugar bath over your teeth, promoting tooth decay. Yellowing of the teeth can not only be damaging to your teeth but can reduce your confidence level too. Whitening procedures are available to fix stained or discolored teeth, but avoiding these drinks from the start can benefit your smile and your health overall. (more…)

    Daily habits for a healthy smile

    Daily habits for a healthy smile

    toothbrush with toothpasteYou think you know it already: brushing and flossing. However, a recent study by the American Dental Association found that 23% of Americans have repeatedly gone two or more days without brushing in the last year and 20% of Americans never floss. Yes, you heard that right, never. This is somewhat understandable as time is a very precious commodity nowadays and flossing is a difficult habit to pick up. But not having this habit risks not only your smile, but your overall health and wellbeing. Inflammation to the gums and periodontal disease are the most common concerns caused by lack of oral hygiene.


    We have a lot of bacteria in our mouths. This bacteria (or bits of food) is building up in the form of colorless plaque around our teeth. If plaque is not removed it can harden and damage the gums. Inflammation to the gums (or gingivitis) can be caused by bacteria entering the blood vessels around the teeth. This causes bleeding and discomfort. However, if not treated on time this could lead to chronic inflammation, which is linked to diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.

    Periodontal disease

    Periodontal disease affects roughly 80% of Americans and causes are similar to inflammation: bacteria buildup around gums and teeth. Gums separate from teeth and form “pockets”. The body’s natural response is to break down the bone and connective tissue, which makes teeth loose. In the worst cases this could lead to tooth loss.

    “People don’t take oral health seriously. We want to remind you that The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day, for two minutes and flossing daily. Also visiting your dentist twice a year is a must”, recommends Dr. Natour, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Periodontology and Implant Dentistry, New York University. People who are already suffering from gingivitis should limit the number of snacks during the day. Finally, avoid brushing for 30 minutes after consuming acidic foods and drinks as it softens the enamel of your teeth.