Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a common condition that is estimated to affect 1 out of 4 people. It is actually one of the main reasons people seek out dental care, only after gum disease and tooth decay. The best treatment for halitosis is good oral hygiene, which coincidentally reduces the occurrence of tooth decay and gum disease.
Tips for Better Oral Hygiene and Good Breath
Part of a good oral hygiene regime is to have regular check ups at the dentist and professional cleanings. It is recommended that these appointments happen twice a year, about every six months. If you are experiencing a problem with bad breath, your dentist may recommend an antibacterial toothpaste or mouthwash. If gum disease is present, a professional periodontal cleaning will be in order. These special cleanings will go below the gum surface and clean out pockets of bacteria that have accumulated there. This bacterial infection can be a cause of or be contributing to bad breath.
At home oral care is an important step in addressing halitosis. Regular brushing and flossing will remove tiny particles of food that can accumulate around your teeth. As these food particles break down they produce an odor. If brushing is not done consistently, a film of bacteria called plaque can build up on the surface of the teeth. If left unchecked the plaque can irritate the gums and cause them to be inflamed. This is how periodontal disease begins. As it progresses, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth allowing bacteria to build up between the gums and the tooth. A professional periodontal cleaning is the only way to remove the bacteria in this area.
Other Causes of Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Any appliances like a mouth guard or removable pieces, like dentures should be cleaned thoroughly after each use. Bacteria can easily build up on these prosthetics and contribute to bad breath.
While the break down of all types of food will cause odors, some foods are specifically known to cause bad breath. After onions and garlic are digested, their breakdown products are carried throughout the body, including the lungs, and can affect your breath.
Another possible cause of bad breath can be dry mouth. Saliva naturally cleans the mouth and teeth. If you naturally have dry mouth or take medications that cause dry mouth, odors may build up more than usual.
Using tobacco products can also increase your chance of having halitosis. Tobacco products, typically have their own kind of odors and using tobacco products increase your chance of developing gum disease which is a common cause of bad breath.
Certain diets, such as low carb eating or fasting, can create bad breath too. This happens as fats breakdown in the body and create ketones. Ketones have a strong odor.
Some medication can lead to bad breath by releasing chemicals into the breath as they are broken down. Many medications also cause dry mouth, which as we’ve stated can lead to problems with bad breath. Certain diseases are known to cause bad breath as well. This happens because of the specific mixes of chemicals they produce in the body.
The best steps you can take to reduce or eliminate halitosis is to establish a habit of good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing twice a day is the best way to keep your mouth clear of the bacteria that comes because of the tiny remnants of the food we eat.
Talk To Your Arbor Dental Dentist for Professional Solutions to Bad Breath
If bad breath persists even after your efforts at maintaining good oral hygiene, it is recommended that you speak to your dentist at Arbor Dental Group about this issue. They will better help you rule out any other possible causes of the halitosis as well as offer the best way to treat it.