Today’s post focuses on a problem experienced by many people, which The Lewisville Dentist can help with: bad breath.
Bad breath, or halitosis, has several causes. The most common is poor oral hygiene. Often, halitosis develops midday because you’re unable to brush teeth between meals. Small food bits 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 undesirable odor. Food particles, bacteria, and sulfuric gas all need to be removed to eliminate bad breath.
While poor oral hygiene is the most common cause, other elements 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 issue 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 cavities
- 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 persists despite proper oral hygiene
Remember, the best defense against bad breath is a good dental care routine – brushing, flossing, and regular visits with The Lewisville Dentist. To learn more, give us a call. We offer family and cosmetic dentistry. Make an appointment with us today!
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