Gum Disease and Bad Breath in NYC

Also serving Manhattan, New Jersey & Long Island patients

Many people have questions regarding their breath. Many are unable to tell if they have bad breath. Often times, you will hear a friend talk about someone else’s horrible breath, yet never tell the other person. A simple technique one can perform on their own, is to take a bad breath self-test which involves a few simple steps:

Bad Breath Self-test

  • Take a dry, clean unscented cloth and retract the tongue
    with one hand and scrub the furthest part of your tongue for about 5 seconds. This should include about 4 good scrubs. Wait approximately 30 seconds and smell the cloth. If it has a bad smell, it may signify halitosis.
  • Take a piece of unwaxed, unscented floss and floss the upper or lower posterior teeth. Usually 2 to 3 teeth should be sufficient. Wait about 30 seconds and smell the floss. Again, if it has a smell. one may have halitosis.
  • Lick the back part of your hand ( not the palm side), for about 5 seconds. Wait about 30 seconds. If you smell a bad odor this too may indicate halitosis. These are some of the simple techniques one can use to help determine if they have bad breath. By brushing, flossing and gently brushing your tongue and visiting the dentist regularly, you may reduce the level of bad breath. If this does not help, your dentist can place you on an anti-halitosis program to help alleviate the problem.

Some things you can do to help combat bad breath:

  • Visit your dentist regularly.
  • Have your teeth cleaned periodically by a dentist or dental hygienist.
  • Always remember to floss. Choosing unscented floss enables you to detect areas between your teeth that give off odors so you can clean them more carefully.
  • Brush your teeth and gums properly. Clean your tongue all the way back gently, but thoroughly.
  • Drink plenty of liquids.
  • Chew sugar-free gum, especially if your mouth feels dry.
  • Clean your mouth after eating or drinking milk products, fish and meat.
  • Get control over the problem. Ask a family member to tell you whenever you have bad breath.
  • If someone in your family or a close friend has bad breath, find a kind way to let them know. And recommend them to see a dentist to diagnosis and treat the bad breath.
  • Ask your dentist to recommend a mouthwash which has been shown to be clinically effective in fighting bad breath.
  • Professional diagnosis and treatment can be of benefit in analyzing your particular cause of bad breath and help with a possible solution.

Women’s Breath

With the ever increasing proportions of bad breath in America, many people have tried to find a way to simply get rid of bad breath. It has been taboo for men and women to even tell a person that they have bad breath. With advertisements stressing that one brush and floss, people have failed to realize that brushing the tongue is just as important to clear the bacteria in the mouth. The tongue breeds germs that cause the majority of halitosis in most people.

As for women and bad breath, it is worst during the premenstrual period of her cycle. In addition to cramps, bloating, migraines and mood swings, it is believed that women may suffer from bad breath for a few days a month. This is true because of all the hormone fluctuations that accompany the shifts in the menstrual cycle, proteins in the saliva are increased. These anaerobic (without oxygen) bacteria digest on these extra proteins releasing “breath gases”, and thus, bad breath.

Our simple regimen to help reduce the bacteria, includes a combination of brushing, flossing, tongue cleaning and regular dental cleaning visits.

Smoking and Bad Breath

We have all heard of “smoker’s breath”. Smoking causes bad breath for a couple of reasons:

  • Tar and nicotine build up on mouth surfaces such as teeth, tongue and sides of cheeks.
  • Smoking dries the mouth by inhibiting saliva flow. This, in turn, leads to the growth of bacteria, causing bad breath.
  • Smoking can exacerbate gum disease and sinus conditions, such as post-nasal drip, two important bad breath risks.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bad Breath

What is bad breath?

Many cases of bad breath, or halitosis, are due to protein breakdown caused by the bacteria in the mouth. These odor-producing organisms can lurk anywhere: around the necks of the teeth, in pockets, next to fillings and crown margins, on the tongue, and in various other recesses in the mouth. Consider how prone the mouth is to grow these bacteria. It has all the ingredients of a successful incubator: it’s dark, moist, warm, and has all the “food” necessary that the bacteria need to metabolize. Left to their own devices, these odor-causing bacteria can thrive to the extent of causing bad breath.

What can I do to overcome bad breath?

Practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing and flossing regularly and effectively, so that as much of the plaque is removed by you as possible. If your mouth feels dry, drink plenty of liquids during the day. If necessary, use sugar-free mints or breath-freshening products found in health and drug stores.
What else can I do to help keep my breath fresh?

Brush your tongue. Your dentist may recommend a special brush or tongue scraper for this, but a conventional, soft-bristled toothbrush, will do just fine. Remember, bacterial plaque can hide in the filamentous recesses of the tongue, contributing to bad breath.

What should I do if bad breath persists?

See your dentist. Make certain there are no obvious trouble spots contributing to this problem, especially an untreated periodontal condition like a gum abscess.

Once your mouth appears free of anything that might contribute to halitosis, consider consulting with your physician about this matter. One of the most common medical conditions that cause bad breath is reflux from the upper gastrointestinal tract and sinus infections (more information can be viewed at

Regardless of what the cause, bad breath can usually be helped!