Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is an issue that nobody wants but does occur. The mouth is filled with bacteria, and often an improperly cleaned mouth is the cause of bad breath. When food is trapped between the teeth and around the gums, bad breath occurs due to bacterial buildup.
Another cause of unpleasant breath is eating food with strong odours, such as garlic and onions. These types of food create a bad odour in your mouth. In some cases, bad breath is a side effect of an underlying disease such as diabetes, liver disease, acid reflux and chronic respiratory diseases.
Treatment For Bad Breath
To prevent or treat bad breath, you need to practice good oral hygiene consistently. For bad breath causes related to your oral health, your dentist will prepare a treatment plan. Treatment may include:
Regular dental check‑ups and cleanings: See your dentist regularly at least twice a year. Your dentist will conduct a check-up or full oral exam, and a professional dental hygiene cleaning will remove plaque buildup and work on stopping the effects of gum disease.
Mouth rinses and toothpaste: If bad breath is due to bacterial plaque buildup, a mouth rinse that kills the bacteria is recommended. Your dentist may also recommend a toothpaste containing an antibacterial agent to kill the bacteria that cause plaque buildup.
If you have advanced gum disease, which involves bone loss and deep bacterial buildup areas, you may be referred to a gum specialist (periodontist).
Lifestyle and Home Remedies
Brush your teeth after you eat: Brush using a fluoride-containing toothpaste at least twice a day, especially after meals. Toothpaste with antibacterial properties has been shown to reduce bad breath odours.
Floss at least once a day: Proper flossing removes food particles and plaque from between your teeth, helping to control bad breath. It’s best to floss first, then brush your teeth before you go to bed, to remove all leftover food from teeth and gums.
Brush your tongue: Your tongue harbours bacteria, so carefully brushing it may reduce odours. Try using a tongue scraper or a toothbrush that has a built‑in tongue cleaner.
Clean dentures or dental appliances: If you have a bridge or a denture, clean it thoroughly at least once a day or as directed by your dentist. If you have a dental retainer or mouth guard, clean it each time you before you put it in your mouth. Your dentist can recommend the best cleaning product.
Stop smoking and chewing tobacco-based products: Ask your dentist or family doctor for tips on kicking the habit.
Avoid a dry mouth: To keep your mouth moist, drink plenty of water, not coffee, soft drinks or alcohol, leading to a more parched mouth. Chewing gum or sucking on candy also stimulates saliva production, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria. Gums and mints containing xylitol are best. Try to opt for sugar-free options.
Adjust your diet: Avoid foods such as garlic and onions that can cause bad breath. Eating a lot of sugary foods is also linked with bad breath.
Regularly get a new toothbrush: Replace your toothbrush when it becomes frayed about every three to four months and choose a soft‑bristled toothbrush.
Fresh breath is a sign of a healthy mouth. Follow the tips above to help in the fight and prevention of bad breath. Contact us to learn more or to schedule your dental hygiene cleaning.
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