Today’s post focuses on a problem experienced by many people – bad breath.
Bad breath, or halitosis, has several causes. The most frequent cause is substandard oral hygiene. Often, halitosis arises midday arising from the inability to brush teeth between meals. Small food parts 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 nasty 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 prevalent cause of halitosis, many circumstances can contribute to or worsen the issue. The best remedy is consistent, thorough brushing and flossing, but other actions might also be necessary depending on the cause(s).
For example, a salivary gland problem 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 OTC 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 decay
- An infected root canal
- Kidney failure
- Liver problems
- Dry mouth (Xerostomia)
- Crooked teeth
- Ear, nose, throat issues
- Tonsil issues
- Constant breathing through the mouth
- Specific foods: garlic, onions, horseradish, etc.
- Some prescription medications
- Ill-fitting dentures
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 stays 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, ask your dentist for help in identifying the source. It may be an issue outside of the oral cavity. If this is the case, your dentist may refer you to your family physician or a specialist.
If you don’t have a regular dentist or are not comfortable with your current one, we invite you to schedule an appointment with doctor Harris at VeroDental in Lehi. doctor Harris has been serving patients in the American Fork area since 2021. The trustworthy team of dental professionals at VeroDental provide the full spectrum of general and cosmetic dental services including cosmetic dentistry, dental implants and sedation dentistry.
Be sure to check our website at here for more information on doctor Harris’s services. Thanks for visiting our blog.