Bad breath is inevitable. We all suffer from halitosis now and then, whether it’s due to pollen allergies that have you breathing through your mouth or eating a garlicky bowl of pasta, and it’s typically nothing to worry about. If you have chronic bad breath, on the other hand, it may be a symptom of a dental or medical problem. Here’s how to get rid of bad breath, along with advice on what to do if it won’t go away.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
No one likes to learn that they aren’t brushing or flossing properly, but the fact is that poor oral health is to blame for a lot of bad breath cases. Food and bacteria collect in your mouth if you don’t brush as well or as frequently as recommended, causing odor.
Good oral hygiene is:
- Brushing twice a day for two minutes, reaching the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.
- Flossing once a day between your teeth and all the way to the gum line.
- Cleaning your tongue of any buildup.
It’s not necessary to rinse your mouth after brushing, but if you do, make sure it’s an alcohol-free mouthwash. Alcohol-based rinses can make bad breath worse by drying out your mouth.
Prevent Dry Mouth
It is crucial for your oral health that you have enough saliva. Your saliva washes bacteria, food particles, and dead cells out of your mouth all day long. When you have a dry mouth, these build up instead, resulting in bad breath. Bacterial overgrowth thrives in a dry mouth, which can set the stage for cavities and gum disease. Any of these issues may lead to bad breath.
When dry mouth is triggered by dehydration, the cure is simple: drink more water during the day and, in situations where you can’t drink, stimulate saliva with a sugar-free lozenge or gum. There are other times when dry mouth is caused by prescription drugs or health problems, and you may need to consult with your physician. In severe cases of dry mouth, we may recommend moisturizing mouth rinses or even prescribe drugs to increase saliva production.
Another common cause of bad breath is tobacco use. After you’ve finished a cigarette, the smoke lingers on your breath, and smoking is another factor that leads to dry mouth. While there are definitely more compelling reasons to quit smoking, for certain patients, recognizing that their smoking habit is causing them to have embarrassing bad breath is enough to motivate them to stop smoking permanently.
See Your Dentist Regularly
Plaque and tartar are cleaned from your teeth during routine dental visits to minimize the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, both of which may cause odor. You’ll be able to ask us about your halitosis at these appointments, and we can evaluate your oral health and determine whether there are any underlying dental problems that are causing your bad breath.
What to Do If These Tips Don’t Help
If you’ve followed the suggestions above but still have bad breath, it may be a sign of a medical problem. Bad breath can be caused by GERD, asthma, tonsil stones, chronic sinus issues, and other common health problems. Ask your general practitioner for a health evaluation after you’ve ruled out any dental issues.
Learn More About Bad Breath
If you’re not sure what’s causing your bad breath, we can help. Contact us today at 09 631 5416 to schedule an appointment at Caring 4 Smiles in Epsom.