Oral hygiene is about more than having a beautiful smile. Certainly, you want to look your best, but there are other things to consider. It doesn’t matter how nice you look, you’re not going to make very many friends if your breath is stripping paint off the wall.
Halitosis, the fancy word for bad breath, affects about 80 million people in this country. Bad breath may seem like a trivial matter, but it is not something you want to ignore. For one thing, bad breath is often an indication of some other health issue, like tooth decay or gum disease. Secondly, the way your breath smells affects others’ perception of you. If you suffer from halitosis, you may find find co-workers unwilling to work with you, and friends and family avoiding conversations with you.
Here at New Albany Implants, we want help the people of Southern Indiana avoid situations like this. So, let’s take a look at how to prevent and treat bad breath.
Causes of Bad Breath
Although there can be several causes for bad breath, the most common one is bacteria and food decomposing in your mouth, creating a sulfur smelling by product. There are, of course, other factors that can contribute, but if you are experiencing bad breath, it’s probably related to how well you take care of your teeth and gums.
Poor Oral Hygiene – Since the primary cause of bad breath is bacteria and decomposing food particles, brushing and flossing improperly, or not at all, will lead to bad breath quicker than anything else. If you brush too quickly, missing your tongue and gums, then there will still be plenty of germs and food particles to cause bad breath.
Food – The foods most commonly associated with bad breath, garlic and onions, are indeed guilty of stinking up your airway, but the smell isn’t coming directly from your mouth. When you eat foods with garlic and onions, it gets broken down via digestion and eventually makes its way into your bloodstream to your lungs. The onion and garlic smell comes out of your mouth from your lungs, and can do so for up to 72 hours after eating the smelly meal.
Gum, mints, and mouthwash will help to mask the odor, but you will have to let it runs its course for it to go completely away. The good new is, although bad breath from food can be annoying and off putting, it is not an indication of illness or oral health problems.
Illness and Medication – Sometimes being sick and the medicine you use to treat yourself can cause bad breath. This is almost always as a result of dry mouth, which is a common side effect of many medications. However, some meds can change your body chemistry, resulting in odd smelling breath.
Controlling Bad Breath
In most cases, controlling bad breath is fairly simple and just requires some dedication to healthy habits.
Proper Oral Hygiene – One of the most important thing you can do to keep your mouth free of smelly food debris and bacteria is to brush and floss twice a day. Make sure that you are brushing your gums and tongue because that is where bacteria loves to hide out and cause bad breath.
Mouthwash – Unless the mouthwash you are using is chemically designed to kill germs, it will not do much more than temporarily cover up the bad smell coming from your mouth. This could be helpful when trying to control bad breath as the result of eating onions or garlic. Since that odor has nothing to do with germs, the best you can do is mask it until it goes away on its own.
Adequate Hydration – This is as important as brushing and flossing, if not more so. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated will make sure that you have plenty of saliva to keep you mouth clean and free from bacteria and food particles.
Visit Our Office in Southern Indiana
Regular trips to New Albany Implants will give you the quality dental care you need to ensure that halitosis won’t be a problem for you.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.