Brick, NJ General Dentist Shares Common Causes & Prevention Tips
Bad breath is something that everyone has dealt with at some point in his or her life. It should not come as a surprise that the mouth is a natural place for emitting foul odors—it is full of millions of different kinds of bacteria, not to mention the fact that we constantly put food in our mouths, much of which is left over for long periods of time. For most people, bad breath (or “halitosis”) is usually a temporary problem. But if you are suffering from chronic bad breath, there may be other reasons for it. Let’s take a look at a few.
Dry mouth is a condition that can wreak havoc on the mouth, and bad breath is just one of the many potential symptoms. When the mouth is dry, saliva is not flowing at a normal rate; therefore it cannot do its job effectively. Saliva is responsible for washing out the mouth as well as fighting cavity-causing bacteria. People with dry mouth are far more likely to have food remain stuck in their teeth. As the bacteria in the mouth breaks down food, a foul smell is emitted. People with dry mouth are also at a greater risk for developing gum disease, which can cause bad breath. The solution for those with bad breath is to increase salivary flow. This can be done by drinking lots of water. There are also certain mouthwashes which can be bought over the counter that are designed to help keep the mouth moist. If you have dry mouth due to a medical condition, your dentist may be able to prescribe medication to increase salivary flow.
Poor Oral Hygiene
This may seem obvious, but if you aren’t adequately cleaning your mouth, bad breath is likely to follow. The following should be done every day, especially if you are suffering from bad breath:
• Flossing—flossing removes food particles from between the teeth. This prevents them from breaking down in the mouth and emitting unpleasant odors.
• Using a mouthwash—the mouthwash you use should either contain fluoride or be antiseptic. Antiseptic mouthwashes are more likely to help with bad breath since they are designed to kill bacteria.
• Brush your tongue—yes, brush your tongue! Every day! Just like the teeth, the tongue can pick up all sorts of tiny particles and bacteria that can cause bad breath. Brush it with toothpaste every day, as far back as possible without gagging yourself.
If your bad breath doesn’t go away despite perfect oral hygiene and a well-hydrated mouth, talk to your Brick, NJ general dentist to learn about other options for treating bad breath.