Bad breath, whether real or imagined, is thought to plague as much as 50% of the adult population. From ubiquitous morning breath to chronic bad taste in your mouth, virtually everyone has dealt with bad breath at one time or another.
Can Bad Breath Be Treated?
Hopeless thought it may seem, bad breath can be treated. Even people with cases of chronic bad breath that have plagued them for years can find themselves experiencing relief from symptoms of bad breath (called “halitosis”).
Getting to the Root of Bad Breath
To effectively treat halitosis, you must first evaluate the root causes of the issue. Diet, hygiene, and habits are the most common causes of bad breath, and addressing these issues often addresses bad breath.
Look at Your Diet
Diet can play a significant role in the development and continuation of bad breath. Some healthy foods, like garlic and onions, are linked to bad breath, and regular cleaning following meals can eliminate breath issues that arise in tandem with eating these foods. Removing these foods from the diet altogether can also provide relief.
Savory foods are not the only culprits involved in developing bad breath, however; food particles left behind by sugary and high-calorie foods can contribute to mouth odor, as well. These pieces of food readily feed the odor causing bacteria in your mouth, which can contribute to the development of periodontal disease, further increasing the likelihood of having bad breath.
Check Your Dental Hygiene
Proper brush and floss techniques are vital to fight bad breath effectively. Brushing and flossing teeth may seem cumbersome and frustrating, but the American Dental Association recommends adhering to good oral hygiene practices to improve your health. Brushing at least twice a day (or after meals) and flossing at least once each day will help your attempts to freshen your breath and will improve your oral health.
Evaluate Your Habits
Smoking and chewing tobacco can also lead to the development of bad breath, even if you brush your teeth regularly. People suffer more from mouth odor when they smoke or chew on a regular basis. Limiting your exposure to these things can help reduce the likelihood that you will develop bad breath.
Breathing habits can also lend themselves to either improving or damaging the smell of your breath. Mouth breathing during the day or night can increase dry mouth. Dry mouth means that saliva does not properly wash food particles and dead cells away, which leads to the decomposition of food and cells. Decomposition leads to foul odors, and can be at the root of bad breath.
When to See Your Dentist
In some cases, bad breath suggests the presence of something more problematic than a simple lack of dental hygiene. From medical conditions to dental issues, a dentist can more effectively identify and diagnose the root cause of bad breath, and can help patients achieve changes to their oral microbiome, leading to improved dental health and decreased odor.
Preventing Bad Breath
Dentists work to prevent bad breath during regular checkups by evaluating patients for any issues that may be developing and cleaning teeth more thoroughly than can be achieved at home. Preventing bad breath starts with dental hygiene, and may also involve drilling and filling cavities and treating the start of any potential issues. Regular dental visits are vital.
In some cases, bad breath is caused by a medical condition. Medical conditions can cause dry mouth, a condition in which the body is not able to produce saliva, and your dentist may recommend a spray or medication to stimulate saliva production and improve the taste, feel, and smell of your oral cavity.
How to Eliminate Bad Breath
Eliminating bad breath can mean tackling the issue from several different avenues. With the aid of your dentist, you can begin addressing the root causes of bad breath, and enjoy a life free from the shackles of feeling nervous or embarrassed about mouth odor. To learn more about eliminating bad breath, reach out to our office today!