Do your family members comment on your breath? Does the smell seem to persist no matter how well you brush your teeth?
Bad breath (halitosis) is caused by gasses emitted by the bacteria that live in your mouth. These bacteria feed on the sugars on your teeth. That’s one reason brushing your teeth is so important to your oral health. If the bacteria hang out on your teeth too long, they will start to eat their way right through your teeth.
Tips for Preventing Bad Breath
No one wants bad breath. It’s embarrassing, tastes bad, and is no good for dates. To save you and your social life, we’ve made a list of easy tips you can follow to eliminate your bad breath.
Brush and Floss Regularly
Brushing and flossing your teeth is always important, but if you’re struggling with bad breath, you may want to try brushing more than twice a day. To prevent those bacteria from hanging out too long, brush your teeth after every meal. This will clear off food residue and leave the bacteria with nothing to feed on.
If you don’t have time to brush your teeth throughout the day, mouthwash can be a quicker alternative that cleans the bacteria and residue off your teeth. Including mouthwash in your nightly hygiene routine can also give your mouth’s defenses a boost against bad breath and bacteria.
Clean Your Tongue
Many people don’t regularly clean their tongues, but this can be one of the most common places where bacteria congregate. Brushing your tongue every night can significantly improve your bad breath.
Your saliva does a lot of the heavy lifting when keeping your mouth clean is concerned. People who don’t drink enough water don’t produce as much saliva, and therefore, bacteria tend to build up on their teeth easier. Drink more water to keep your saliva flowing!
When to See a Dentist
Sometimes, bad breath can be a symptom of a dental infection. If your halitosis is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, contact your dentist.
- Gum redness or swelling.
- Bleeding gums.
- Sensitivity to cold or hot foods.
- Stubborn or frequent canker sores.
When you see your dentist for halitosis, they will give you an exam. This will help them determine the cause of your bad breath. Some causes could include a tooth infection, gum disease, an oral infection, or oral cancer.
Treatment for Bad Breath
Halitosis treatment varies depending on the cause of the bad breath. The way to get rid of the bad smell is by treating the infection causing it. Here are some possible treatments:
- Root canal treatment is usually recommended when the cause of bad breath is a tooth infection.
- Gum disease treatment provides therapy to the gums, kills the bacteria, and allows the tissue to heal.
- Antibiotics may be prescribed to treat oral infections. The type of antibiotics will depend on the type of infecting bacteria.
- Cancer treatment will depend on the type of cancer, its severity, and its location. Treating oral cancer early will yield the best results.
Importance of Regular Dental Appointments
Halitosis is often a symptom of a more serious dental problem. Scheduling dental checkups every 6 months can allow your dentist to catch many of these issues before you even have to deal with the bad breath.
Need Help Vanquishing Bad Breath?
While bad breath doesn’t always mean you have an infection, getting it checked out — just in case — is always a good idea. Vibrant Dental can tell you for certain whether your halitosis is a warning of a more serious condition. Schedule an exam today!