At Carlyn Phucas Orthodontics, we understand that bad breath can be a big turn off for most people, especially those that are image-conscious. It is also very annoying for people who deal with the problem.
- How can you tell if you have bad breath?
- What is the cause of bad breath
- Is there any way to prevent it?
Bad breath, or halitosis, is a term used to describe the noticeable bad odors exhaled when breathing. It is difficult to notice yourself, and embarrassing if you experience other people’s reactions. They may back away slightly when you start to speak or change expressions when the two of you are standing and talking face to face. If you are lucky, a friend or family member will let you know if you have bad breath before you are offensive to others.
Bad smell can come from bacteria in the mouth or poor health. It has a significant personal and social impact if you are offending others. In fact, people who have a fear of halitosis, called halitophobia, often contact their dentist to find ways to combat halitosis.
Many Causes of Bad Breath
- Eating foods with strong odors such as garlic or onions are the biggest offenders.
- Poor oral hygiene if you don’t brush and floss regularly. Food particles that remain in between the teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue can cause bacterial growth.
- Health problems like gum disease, yeast infections, pneumonia, bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, diabetes, postnasal drip, chronic acid reflux, and liver or kidney problems.
Tips to Prevent Bad Breath
- Brush after every meal to remove plaque and food debris from the mouth.
- Replace your toothbrush every two to three months, or sooner, if you see the bristles wear out. This often happens with patients wearing braces.
- Eat a healthy breakfast. Eating a variety of fruits can cleanse your tongue as you chew and help prevent the accumulation of odor-causing bacteria before you start your day
- Stop smoking or chewing tobacco-based products. This includes cigars of course. The only remedy for this is to “kick the habit.”
- Dehydration – drinking lots of water washes away loose bacteria on your teeth, gums, and tongue… just like a shower or bath.
Many products today help to effectively treat bad mouth. Mouthwash, gum, or breath mints are helpful but only mask a problem caused by bacteria, dental disease, or a medical problem. You can also purchase breath-freshening tongue cleaners such as the Orabrush and keep one in your car, purse, or schoolbag.
If you discover you have bad breath, research your daily habits to determine what may be causing the problem and adjust your routine accordingly. You may just need to improve your oral hygiene or pick and choose when you eat foods you love that offend others. Whatever the cause, take positive steps to combat bad breath!