Today’s post focuses on a problem experienced by many people – bad breath. Also known as halitosis, bad breath has several causes. The most prevalent cause is poor oral hygiene. Often, halitosis occurs midday arising from the inability to brush teeth between meals. Small food fragments on the teeth, gums, and tongue grow bacteria. The wastes of the bacteria and decay of the food create a sulfur compound, which emits the offensive odor. Food particles, bacteria, and sulfuric gas all need to be removed to eliminate bad breath caused by poor oral hygiene.
While poor oral hygiene is the most frequent cause of halitosis, many elements can contribute to or worsen the issue. The best remedy is scheduled, thorough brushing and flossing, but you may also need additional forms of treatment.
For example, a salivary gland issue or certain medications can cause dry mouth. Saliva moistens the teeth and gums, clearing away odiferous dead cells. Saliva also neutralizes the ever-present acids on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. Limiting caffeine, chewing sugar-free gum, using over-the-counter saliva substitutes, and using a humidifier can add moisture to the mouth.
Most Common Causes of Bad Breath:
Poor oral hygiene
Inability to brush between meals
Gum disease or cavities
An infected root canal
Dry mouth (Xerostomia)
Ear, nose, throat issues
Constant breathing through the mouth
Specific foods: garlic, onions, horseradish, etc.
Some prescription medications
To Minimize or Prevent Bad Breath:
Go to the dentist twice a year for professional dental cleanings
Brush teeth, tongue, gums, and roof of the mouth
Use a tongue spray or scraper
Use antimicrobial mouth rinse
Chew sugarless gum
Brush and floss after each meal
Drink plenty of water (A dry mouth is conducive to bacteria growth)
Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months
Have a toothbrush and floss available when you are out
Talk to your doctor or dentist if bad breath continues despite proper oral hygiene
Remember, the very best defense to bad breath is a good dental care routine – brushing, flossing, and regular visits with your dentist.
If you struggle with bad breath regardless of vigilant oral hygiene, we’ll help you identify the source. It may be an issue outside of the oral cavity. If this is the case, we may refer you to your family physician or a specialist.
Have concerns about your oral health? We invite you to schedule an appointment with us. Our friendly, knowledgeable team of dental professionals provides the full spectrum of general and cosmetic dental services, including family and pediatric dentistry, cosmetic dentistry and dental implants.
Contact Providence Dental: 702-984-2547
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