Don't Let Bad Breath Be A Turn Off

Saturday, May 19th, 2012, 10:21 pm

Bad breath is a big turn off but almost everyone has halitosis from time to time. Avoiding the problem depends on finding the cause because most cases of bad breath are preventable.

Food – Onions, garlic, coffee, and sugary drinks cause bad breath but even sulfurous vegetables like cabbage add to the problem. The bad breath caused by some foods sticks with you even after you have brushed because of the chemicals absorbed in your bloodstream and the digestive process itself. Avoiding these foods is the only way to solve the problem.

Poor Oral Hygiene – Decaying food particles that have not been cleaned from the mouth are a feast for your oral bacteria. If the thought of that doesn’t get you to brush after meals I don’t know what will. When you exhale the odor from decomposing food, bacteria and the plaque on your teeth can get pretty nasty. Proper brushing and flossing can take care of this – ask your hygienist to show you proper techniques for both at your next visit.

Oral Disease or Infection – Gum disease is responsible for severe bad breath. The same bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities are responsible for your halitosis.

Smoking -  There are over 4,000 chemicals in the average cigarette and 200 of those are poisonous. Is it any wonder that smoking is bad for you. The health effects of smoking are well documented and smoking contributes to gum disease which means even worse breath. This is another situation where part of the problem comes from the chemicals in your bloodstream. Stop smoking and enjoy fresh breath.

Dry Mouth – Xerostomia, also known as “dry mouth” is a condition that reduces the amount of saliva you produce. Saliva is extremely important for a healthy mouth. It rinses away food particles and helps remineralize our teeth. Without the cleansing effects of saliva flow the food debris stays in the mouth and is attacked by bacteria causing an unpleasant odor. This condition can be a side effect of certain types of medicines or may be a sign of a more serious condition. Talk to both your dentist and your physician if you are experiencing dry mouth.

Medical Problems – Many medical issues including sinus infections, diabetes and even kidney failure can cause your breath odor to change. If you have good oral hygiene habits, visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings but suddenly develop bad breath you should visit your physician.

Treating bad breath includes  brushing and flossing regularly. Remember to invest in a tongue scraper and use it every day. This will remove odor causing bacteria living on the tongue. Regular visits for professional dental cleanings will make sure that oral bacteria that cause bad breath are kept in check.

If you have a meal that is heavy on the onions or garlic you can try to mask the immediate effects by chewing a piece of parsley (naturally cleansing and deodorizing) or a piece of sugarless gum. Your breath will be back to normal in about a day.

Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center serving Toccoa, GA and the surrounding area today at 706-886-9439 to schedule your next appointment. Clean, shiny teeth and fresh breath are just a phone call away.



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Category: cavities, gum disease, oral health

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