Bad breath is an unpleasant issue to deal with. Whether learning about your bad breath was from self-awareness or, worse, from someone else bringing it to your attention, bad breath can have negative effects on your personal and professional life. As obvious as it may seem, your dentist is the best person to discuss the issue of bad breath with. As is often the case, simple changes are all that are needed to improve the scent of your breath.
- Stop all tobacco use. While any dentist and/or doctor would tell you that you should stop all tobacco use for your health’s sake, stopping all tobacco use will also greatly improve the scent of your breath. Tobacco is well known for causing bad breath simply on its own. However, mixing the smell of tobacco with the damage that it does to your mouth only exacerbates bad breath.
- Avoid odorous foods and beverages. Certain foods and beverages are just notorious for causing bad breath. Coffee, wine, alcohol, onions, garlic, and cheeses not only have strong smells of their own, but they also leave behind a residue inside the mouth that causes their smells to linger. Avoiding these foods and beverages will help to stop bad breath in its tracks. When you do indulge in them, make sure you have a toothbrush, tooth paste, and mouthwash handy to help mask the odors.
- Stay hydrated. Dry mouth is a common cause of bad breath, which means that staying hydrated is incredibly important. Your body needs a great deal of water to survive and function properly, including producing an adequate amount of saliva to keep your mouth clean. The more water you drink, the less you will have trouble with bad breath.
- Practice good oral hygiene. It should go without saying, but brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis should be a priority. By practicing good oral hygiene habits, you can help to remove plaque from the teeth. Plaque is the bacteria-laden sticky, white substance that forms along your teeth and gum line each day. Plaque is the number one cause of cavities, decay, and gum disease, all of which play a role in bad breath. Making good oral hygiene a priority each day will help prevent bad breath.
- Clean your oral appliances. Dentures, retainers, and aligners need to be cleaned on a daily basis as they are infamous for holding onto plaque and foul odors. Any type of oral appliance should be cleaned before you put it back into your mouth.
- Visit the dentist regularly. Bi-annual visits to the dentist allows your teeth to be professionally cleaned and examined. Plaque buildup is removed during a professional cleaning, ensuring that plaque is not the cause of your bad breath. If you have tried the above changes without success, talk to your dentist about the issue of your breath. S/He will help to rule out other causes and offer more a more thorough solution to dealing with bad breath.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Raymond Jone, Pacific Sky Dental