When bad breath impacts your day as well as the days of those around you,…
Having bad breath is embarrassing but bad breath affects all of us. If you feel that you seem to have bad breath more often than others, you might find yourself avoiding social situations, including finding that perfect someone. There is no need to despair! There are many ways you can prevent bad breath. It all starts with good dental hygiene and a few other little tricks that will keep your breath feeling fresh.
What causes bad breath?
There is no single cause for bad breath. There are many factors at play, some which can be avoided and others that might be a bit more difficult to address. The most common causes include:
You know certain foods, such as garlic and onions, can really cause bad breath. These foods get right into your bloodstream and reach your lungs, causing bad breath as you breathe out. However, all food can contribute to bad breath when the food particles are not properly removed from your teeth and mouth. This increases bacteria, which can smell quite unpleasant.
Smoking alone produces a smell that many people consider unpleasant. However, what can add to your bad breath as a smoker is the fact that using tobacco can increase your risk of gum disease, which also produces bad breath.
3.Bad oral hygiene
We don’t want to be too preachy but if you don’t brush and floss daily, you will have bad breath. Not only do food particles remain in your mouth that can begin to rot, but you will also have a sticky film of bacteria building on your teeth that will cause gum irritation. All that bacteria builds up in your mouth and on your tongue creating a bad odour.
4.Having a dry mouth
When your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, food particles that lead to bad breath are not removed. Your saliva acts as a natural cleanser, removing food particles. If you have dry mouth, you will likely have chronic morning breath.
If you have severe tooth decay or gum disease, this will cause bad breath. Infections of the throat, nose and sinuses can also cause bad breath.
Chronic bad breath is referred to as halitosis. If you have tried everything and also always maintain excellent oral hygiene habits, we can check to see if you have halitosis and recommend ways to combat it.
How to avoid bad breath
Here are your odour-fighting weapons for your bad breath arsenal:
1.Good oral hygiene habits
This is your number one defence against bad breath. You have to do everything you can to remove all the bacteria that builds up in your mouth every day. Good oral hygiene includes brushing your teeth twice daily to remove food debris that will feed bacteria. You also have to floss to remove any food trapped between your teeth.
Flossing will help keep your gums healthy. Pay special attention to the area where your tooth meets the gum and allow the floss to rub against all the surfaces between your teeth.
Most people overlook their tongues when brushing their teeth. Your tongue has a coating of bacteria, especially in the morning. This is because less saliva is produced at night, so your mouth is dry, which causes morning breath. Your toothbrush should have a tongue scraper that allows you to remove bacteria. Choose a toothbrush with a roughened back so you can clean your tongue as part of your regime.
Rinsing with mouthwash should be the last step in your oral hygiene regime. This will wash away all the food debris removed when flossing and brushing. It also adds a minty fresh feeling to your mouth. Choose an antiseptic mouthwash that does not contain chlorhexidine, as this can stain your teeth. It’s a good idea to gargle, as this will help kill any odour-causing bacteria in your throat.
5.Avoid odour causing foods
We’ve already mentioned common culprits that can cause bad breath. Avoid these foods when you can because there is very little you can do to mask the odour you breathe out from your lungs. You can chew sugarless gum when you indulge in these foods, but this will just mask the odour. It’s definitely not something you want to eat on a date, or before an important meeting.
This is probably the least of your worries if you smoke, but it does add a social element that might encourage you to quit. You will also reduce the unsightly staining caused by tobacco.
7.Replace your toothbrush
Make sure you are replacing your toothbrush every three to four months to avoid bacteria build-up.
8.Use baking soda
Baking soda can help neutralize the bacteria that cause bad breath. If you find that you frequently have bad breath, you can use baking soda sprinkled on your toothpaste or added directly to your toothbrush once a week before brushing. You can also dissolve about a half teaspoon in your mouthwash before rinsing; then swish and spit.
Your regular dental checkups allow us to look for issues that could be causing bad breath. This includes making sure you are brushing and flossing properly, and looking for signs of gum disease and decay. We also give your teeth a thorough cleaning to remove the plaque and tartar build-up that can add to your bad breath issues.
Sugar-free gum or mints not only add a fresh smell to your breath but also help keep your mouth moist with saliva to get rid of odour-causing bacteria. We recommend gum over mints because chewing can help fight tooth decay and replace healthy minerals.
Drinking water will keep your mouth moist and also continue to rinse your mouth of bacteria throughout the day.
You don’t have to suffer the embarrassment of bad breath. For more information about how to combat bad breath, call Dawson Dental at 1-877-943-2976 or contact us here.