This post from the Ritchie Dental Group in Marble Falls TX focuses on a problem experienced by many people – bad breath.
Bad breath, or halitosis, has several causes. The most common is inadequate oral hygiene. Often, halitosis ensues midday due to the inability to brush teeth between meals. Small food bits on the teeth, gums, and tongue grow bacteria. The wastes of the bacteria and decay of the food create a sulfur compound, which emits the offensive odor. Food particles, bacteria, and sulfuric gas all need to be removed to eliminate bad breath caused by poor oral hygiene.
While poor oral hygiene is the most prevalent cause of halitosis, many circumstances can contribute to or worsen the problem. The best remedy is regular, thorough brushing and flossing, but other actions might also be necessary depending on the cause(s).
For example, a salivary gland trouble or certain medications can cause dry mouth. Saliva moistens the teeth and gums, clearing away odiferous dead cells. Saliva also neutralizes the ever-present acids on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. Limiting caffeine, chewing sugar-free gum, using OTC saliva substitutes, and using a humidifier can add moisture to the mouth.
To Minimize or Prevent Bad Breath:
- Go to the dentist twice a year for professional dental cleanings
- Brush teeth, tongue, gums, and roof of the mouth
- Use a tongue spray or scraper
- Use antimicrobial mouth rinse
- Chew sugarless gum
- Brush and floss after each meal
- Drink plenty of water (A dry mouth is conducive to bacteria growth)
- Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months
- Have a toothbrush and floss available when you are out
Remember, the best defense is a offense – in this case, brushing, flossing, and regular visits with the dentist.
If you struggle with bad breath regardless of vigilant oral hygiene, ask your dentist for help in identifying the source. It may be an issue outside of the oral cavity. If this is the case, your dentist may refer you to your family physician or a specialist.
At Ritchie Dental Group, with offices in Marble Falls and Brady TX, we offer a full range of general and family dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next cleanng and checkup with us today.