In this article, we give a brief summary of what causes bad breath, and explain what can be done about it.
Types of Bad Breath
- Temporary bad breath is primarily caused when you eat something with a strong odor, such as garlic, curry, or onions. There is no other underlying condition present, and it can usually be overcome by brushing your teeth, rinsing with some mouthwash, or popping a couple of sugar-free breath mints in your mouth.
- Chronic bad breath lingers for an extended amount of time. Known technically as halitosis, it could be due to cavities, gum disease, tobacco use, dry mouth, use of certain medications, or even underlying diseases not related to the mouth.
Tips to Reduce Bad Breath
- Brush & Floss Daily
- Drink Plenty of Water
- Chew Sugarless Gum
- Keep Your Dentures Clean
- Use a Tongue Scraper
- “Alternative” Remedies
Conventional dental wisdom calls for brushing with a fluoride toothpaste for two minutes twice per day, and flossing once per day. This simple routine alone will do more than anything to prevent bouts of bad breath. Be sure to replace your toothbrush every 2-3 months so bacteria from the bristles don’t transfer to your mouth. Also, consider rinsing morning, night, and after meals with an alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash to kill bacteria that cause breath breath.
Drinking water, which rinses away food particles and keeps your mouth hydrated, also will help to prevent bad breath. Moreover, sufficient water consumption is crucial for your overall health. So avoid the sugary sodas and sports drinks, and drink water instead.
Chewing sugar-free gum gets your saliva flowing while freshening your breath. Sugar substitutes used in sugarless gum do not cause decay, so they are safe for your teeth. Xylitol, one of the sweeteners used in some chewing gum brands, is unique in that it actually prevents decay by inhibiting the growth of cavity-causing bacteria.
Those who wear dentures should remove them nightly and thoroughly clean them with a denture cleaner (toothpaste is too abrasive). Getting rid of the bacterial buildup from food and drink will eliminate the cause of bad breath for most denture-wearers.
Tongue scrapers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. By starting at the back of the tongue and pulling the scraper forward, you remove food particles and bacteria from your tongue, thus helping to keep your tongue clean and your breath fresh!
Cloves, fennel seeds, and aniseeds all have antiseptic qualities that might help fight halitosis-causing bacteria when chewed. The chlorophyll in parsley, basil, mint, and cilantro also reputedly neutralizes bad breath.
Have Regular Dental Cleanings & Checkups
Of course, there’s no substitute for professional cleaning and dental examinations. If you’re experiencing bad breath — or if you just want to prevent the problem from arising — be sure to give us a call and set up an appointment with our expert team today!