We often get patients who suffer from bad breath. It’s not a rare problem either. Currently, over 40 million Americans suffer from this problem. It’s so common that we are constantly getting questions from patients regarding bad breath, its causes, and how to get rid of it. Here’s our two cents on the issue and how to prevent unpleasant breath!
What is Halitosis?
Halitosis is the medical term for bad breath. This condition is primarily caused by bacteria on the teeth, cheeks and tongue. Bacteria produce decay and the decay produces a sulfur compound that is responsible for bad breath.
What Causes Halitosis?
- The type of food you eat– many foods are pretty smelly. For example, onion and garlic have an overpowering smell and when you eat these foods, their scent lingers in your mouth. You can help this by rinsing with mouthwash or brushing teeth but often this only masks the smell temporarily. Usually, the smell will not fully go away until the food is out of your system!
- Hygiene habits– poor oral hygiene is definitely a cause of bad breath. For example, when you don’t brush or floss regularly, food particles stay in your mouth and produce odor-causing bacteria. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day can help prevent bad breath. Rinsing with an antiseptic or antibacterial mouthwash can also help.
- Dry mouth– if you suffer from a dry mouth, this can cause halitosis. Saliva flow is responsible for rinsing away and neutralizing bacteria. If you have a dry mouth, this causes a build up of bacteria, which means…stinky breath.
- Other factors that result in bad breath are include smoking, medications, genetics, diseases and kidney/liver problems.
How Can I Get Rid of Bad Breath?
Halitosis can be treated in several ways:
- Rinse with antiseptic or antibacterial mouthwash
- Maintain healthy oral hygiene
- Drink a lot of water to help rinse away bacteria
- Chew on gum or hard candy (preferably sugarless) to stimulate saliva flow
- Quit smoking
- Stay away from smelly foods (onions and garlic)
- Monitor your medicine intake (some medicines cause dry mouth)
- Avoid breathing only through your mouth (this can cause dry mouth)
- See your dentist regularly to control bacteria and decay
If you are suffering from bad breath, stop the embarrassment now! For more information on how to get rid of halitosis, visit us at Alliance Family Dental or call us at (910) 868-4664!
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