Is your bad breath turning you into a social outcast? Never fear. You can help to tame the horrible halitosis by drinking more water, watching what you eat, remembering your oral hygiene, snuffing out the smoking habit, and keeping regular appointments with your dentist in Upper Arlington. It’s also a good idea to limit consumption of acidic beverages and spicy foods, as these can also contribute to the problem.
Brush It, Floss It, Rinse It, Wash It
Bad breath is usually a reflection of deeper problems occurring in your teeth, gums, or mouth. Here are five common causes of the issue along with some ways to tip the odds in your favor:
- Harmful bacteria: your mouth is vulnerable to malicious microorganisms, the kind that thrive on sugar and secrete corrosive acids. While there is no way to remove these microscopic invaders from your mouth entirely, you can keep them under control by regular brushing and flossing. It’s important to brush at least twice a day and to floss at least once daily. Using mouthwash or dental rinse is a smart finishing move.
- Dry mouth: saliva plays an important role in controlling the spread of cavity-causing bacteria through your mouth. When your body doesn’t produce enough of this important fluid, the consequences often include bad breath. You can fight this problem by drinking more water, keeping sugar-free gum or mints on hand, and steering clear of tobacco products.
- Medication side effects: these can affect breath odor in many ways. For example, some medicines cause dry mouth. Others create malodors in the stomach that wind their way up the throat. You should never modify or discontinue use of a medication without express medical approval. But your healthcare professional may be able to switch you to a different drug.
- Dietary consequences: lots of people have a taste for strong or spice-laden dishes. Others enjoy beverages such as coffee or tea, both of which have a high acidic content. We’re not saying you have to give up the foods you love. But you may want to tone down the seasonings or keep a few sugar-free mints on hand for after-dinner occasions.
- Other issues: there are other, less common causes of bad breath. For example, on rare occasions stones may form on the tonsils, forming gathering spots for bacteria that can lead to halitosis. Other possible reasons for persistent bad breath include sinus drainage, gastric reflux, illicit drug use, and low-carb diets.
When to See Your Dentist about Your Bad Breath
Make an appointment to see your dentist or other healthcare professional if these five tips fail to resolve your concerns. This is especially important if you notice other symptoms, such as toothache, receding gums, an unusual spot or mold in your mouth, or unexplained weight loss.
The Final Word
Bad breath afflicts all of us from time to time. But in most cases the problem can be managed by following a few basic tips. Use the information in this post along with your dentist’s recommendations to bring a sweetness to your breath and a smile to your face.
About the Author
Dr. Angela Courtney is not only a skilled dentist, she’s also a dedicated perfectionist when it comes to patient care. A graduate of the Ohio State University College of Dentistry, she has completed advanced training in aesthetic and neuromuscular techniques. You can reach her office online or by calling (614) 451-7393.