Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a common problem. In fact, an estimated 65% of Americans have bad breath. So what causes bad breath? Bad breath can be caused by food trapped in the mouth, poor dental hygiene, dry mouth, mouth infections or possible health problems.
So how can you combat bad breath?
1) Brush and floss daily. Plaque stuck on the teeth can trap bacteria left behind by food. Brushing and flossing daily can help remove this bacteria.
2) Use a mouth rinse. A mouthwash can be an extra step in helping remove bacteria, but make sure you use a rinse that kills germs stopping bad breath at its source.
3) Scrap your tongue. A tongue scraper can help remove residue that may be building up between the taste buds and folds into the tongue.
4) Avoid certain foods. Garlic and onions are big offenders. That’s because the sulfur compounds in garlic and onions linger in your mouth and are absorbed into the bloodstream and expelled when you exhale. Try to avoid these before social situations.
5) Avoid tobacco products. Tobacco tends to dry out your mouth and can leave an unpleasant smell that lingers even after brushing your teeth. Smoking can also damage your gums, stain your teeth and cause cancer.
6) Drink plenty of water. This can help avoid dry mouth and also wash away food particles and bacteria, the primary cause of bad breath. If you suffer from chronic dry mouth, make sure you talk with us at your next appointment. We can help discuss options to combat this disorder.
7) Keep your gums healthy. Bacteria gather in pockets at the base of teeth, which creates an odor.
8) Visit your dentist! The best way to make sure that you are maintaining good oral hygiene is to visit your dentist regularly.
If you suffer from chronic bad breath, let us know. We can help diagnose the situation and let you know if your bad breath might be a side effect from a medical condition.