Today’s Richardson Cosmetic Dentistry blog post focuses on a problem experienced by many people – bad breath.
Bad breath, or halitosis, has several causes. The most common cause is improper oral hygiene. Often, halitosis ensues midday arising from the inability to brush teeth between meals. Small food fragments 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 unpleasant 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 common cause of halitosis, many factors can contribute to or worsen the problem. The best remedy is consistent, thorough brushing and flossing, but other actions might also be required depending on the cause(s).
For example, a salivary gland trouble 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 your mouth.
Most Common Causes of Bad Breath:
Poor oral hygiene
Inability to brush between meals
Gum disease or tooth decay
An infected root canal
Dry mouth (Xerostomia)
Ear, nose, throat issues
Constant breathing through the mouth
Specific foods: garlic, onions, horseradish, etc.
Some prescription medications
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 continues despite proper oral hygiene
Remember, the 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 happy with your current one, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Goad. Dr. Goad has been serving patients in the North Dallas area since 1978. Our compassionate team of dental professionals provides the full spectrum of general and cosmetic dental services including cosmetic dentistry, sedation dentistry and dental implants.
Contact Richardson Cosmetic Dentistry-Kerry M. Goad, DDS: 972-690-6653
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