There are lots of names for it. Stinkbreath. Dog breath. The much more scientific-sounding halitosis. Whatever you may call your bad breath, you know you just want this source of embarrassment and anxiety gone.
You can free yourself from bad breath by first understanding the cause.
Some foods, such as garlic and onions, are associated with bad breath. It’s the process of digested food working through your bloodsteam to your lungs that ultimately results it the less-than-pleasant odors being given off in your breath.
Do you smoke? Add bad breath to the long list of reasons to stop. Tobacco products also make you more susceptible to another culprit, gum disease.
Of course, gingivitis or the more advanced form of gum disease, periodontitis, are also caused by not brushing and flossing either enough or effectively. Proper brushing and flossing removes the food particles that would otherwise promote plaque-filled pockets between the teeth and gums that trap odor-causing bacteria.
Saliva is nature’s way of cleansing your mouth by removing those food particles and neutralizing acids that cause plaque and unpleasant breath. Dry mouth may be caused by xerostomia, a condition where less saliva is made by the body. Your mouth may become dry during sleep, especially when you sleep with your mouth open. But it is also a common side effect of many drugs. Medical conditions such as chronic acid reflux and sinus infections may be to blame, too.
A note on store-bought products: Gums, mints, mouthwashes and other OTC products are only designed to mask the problem temporarily. A number may claim they eliminate the bad breath, but they generally don’t get to the root cause.
Big Smile Dental can recommend antibacterial mouthwash or other products to kill the bacteria. We may also recommend replacing faulty or old restorations that can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
We can show you how to best clean dentures or other removable appliances and even fixed bridges, which may require special flosses or interdental brushes to reach crowded spaces.
Don’t forget to brush after every meal. Two times a day is recommended, but may not be enough to keep the unwanted scents at bay. This may mean bringing a toothbrush with you to work, so you can clean after lunch. Brushing your tongue is important, because the back of the mouth harbors lots of bacteria.
Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to minimize dry mouth. Keep in mind that coffee (a notorious source of distinctive-smelling breath), soda, tea, or other drinks are not a substitute for good old H20. If you have a chronic problem, Big Smile Dental may prescribe medications to increase saliva production or saliva substitutes.
A solution to free yourself from bad breath starts by calling 773-772-8400, so Big Smile Dental can work with you to find the cause of this common, but uncomfortable problem.