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10 Common Dental Problems And How To Avoid Them

The Huffington Post   Catherine Pearson   First Posted: 03/14/11 12:35 PM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 07:40 PM ET

For a relatively small space, your mouth has a whole lot going on, health-wise. As the Mayo Clinic (charmingly) puts it, your kisser is "teeming" with bacteria -- most harmless, but left alone, capable of causing real problems in your overall oral well being.

We all know that the American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth, thoroughly, twice a day and many of us have been begged by our dental hygienists to actually floss. Cosmetic dentist and Huffington Post blogger, Dr. Thomas P. Connelly, adds that a morning tongue scraping is a "huge" part of overall oral health. What else can you do and what should you be on the lookout for? Check out our slideshow of 10 of the most common dental problems and (when possible) how to avoid them.

Bad Breath
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Dr. Connelly says that the main source of bad breath (or halitosis) is the tongue. Why? Layers of bacteria can get embedded on it, resulting in foul-smelling Volitlie Sulfer Compounds.

The Mayo Clinic also lists possible bad-breath causes like dry mouth (which occurs naturally during sleep, but can also be caused by a glandular condition), as well as certain foods, like onions or garlic.

Connelly adds that another potential source -- one that's often overlooked -- is a post nasal drip, which causes bad breath because bacteria are attracted to the resulting mucus and phlegm.

Once again, he stresses the importance of a daily tongue scraping and suggests anti-histamines (after consulting your primary care provider, of course) if a post nasal drip is your problem.
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