Sure, bad oral hygiene can be a big contributor to unhealthy teeth and bad breath, but did you know that random things like the weather and your hormones can be causing your dental problems, too? Here are a few surprising causes of oral health concerns:
1. The Weather (Yup, Seriously!)
Flying out to a foreign country anytime soon? We’re pretty sure your winter-ready #OOTDs are already on point from head to toe. But make sure you also take care of your oral hygiene in places with cold climates or during the winter season. Because people tend to spend more time indoors during the coldest parts of the year, what happens is that the dry air inside houses or establishments causes lack of saliva and consequently dry mouth, which significantly contributes to bad breath.
2. Your Genes, Maybe
A heads-up from Mary L. Marazita, director of the Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine: "About 60% of the risk for tooth decay appears to be due to genetic factors."
It turns out, there are certain causes of tooth decay that are strongly related to genes or traits you inherited from your parents: your love for anything sweet (OMG!), how soft your tooth enamel is (the softer this coating around your teeth, the more bacteria go in), your taste ability (the more sensitive your taste buds are, the less chances you have of experiencing tooth decay), and lastly, your saliva strength (yes, such a thing exists, and you need strong saliva to fight off bacteria).
There’s bloated belly, then there’s bad breath. Drastic hormonal changes due to your menstrual cycle and pregnancy can also affect your mouth. The effect is usually sensitive gums, which make brushing your teeth and keeping your mouth minty fresh more difficult.
4. Stress-and-Saliva Combo!
Stress, which also makes your hormones go haywire, causes dry mouth, and dry mouth means less saliva, which is one of the main causes of awful breath. Remember: The amount of your workload or the daily struggles you're facing may be strong, but make sure your oral health game is stronger!
5. Chewable Tablets
Ditch your sugary, chewable vitamins and other sweetened medicines! The flavored coating of these drugs sticks to your teeth and easily causes cavities and also contribute to bad breath. Chewable tablets rich in Vitamin C can also be bad for your teeth.
6. Going Too Hot Then Going Too Cold
Remember those times when you couldn’t wait to take a bite of your favourite four-cheese pizza or a sip of that cup of coffee in the morning, then realized it was too hot and you instantly took a sip of soft drink or ice-cold water? Sure, you thought it was harmless, but little did you know that alternating too hot and too cold food and drinks can be sabotaging your teeth. The teeth expand because of the heat and quickly contract because of the cold, which makes the teeth sensitive and easily stained or invaded by bacteria. Better not get too excited when that serving of pizza and ice-cold soda comes next time!
Fighting The Nasty Surprises
Since some of these things are unavoidable or hard to prevent, make sure your oral health care works extra hard for you all day, every day. Here are some things that should be part of your routine:
1. Drink water often. Not only will it keep dry mouth at bay, but it will also help rinse your mouth after snacks or meals.
2. Eat your meals on time. This will promote saliva production and prevent bad breath, too.
3. Brush your teeth at least twice or thrice a day, and don't forget to brush your tongue. Floss every night, too, to clean in-between teeth and ward off cavities.
4. Get a toothpaste like Colgate Total that offers 12-hour protection from bacteria build-up to keep your mouth clean and smelling fresh. What’s more, it prevents plaque, tartar build-up, and bad breath!
For more information on the Colgate Total products, visit Colgate.ph