Bad breath, or halitosis as it’s known in the dental world, is an embarrassing occurrence most would like to avoid. Many of our patients report experiencing bad breath, and we have several solutions to help people beat bad breath for good. Most take less than five minutes per day and many can be accomplished at home.
Excellent oral hygiene habits are one of the keys to overcoming bad breath. However, you must go slightly beyond the typical brush-and-floss routine to truly conquer bad breath. This includes brushing your tongue as you brush your teeth. Tongues tend to gather bacteria and are an often-neglected aspect of your dental care routine. You can also purchase special tongue scrapers to remove bacteria in one easy swipe.
You also may need to carry a travel toothbrush and toothpaste set in your purse or car. Brushing your teeth after meals and snacks is one of the most effective ways to reduce smelly bacteria or food particles, such as aged cheeses, garlic and coffee, that tend to leave a strong impression.
Certain food habits can contribute to your bad-breath problem. This includes sugary foods, which tend to attract harmful, smelly bacteria. Sugar also attracts decay-causing plaque that can lead to cavities. Whenever possible, opt for sugar-free food options. Sugar-free gum also helps to sweep away bacteria and can freshen your breath, even if the effect is only temporary.
Other dietary options associated with bad breath include eating a low-carbohydrate diet that is high in protein. These diet types cause your body to build up and then release chemicals known as ketones. These are associated with causing bad breath.
Review Your Medications
While you should never stop taking a medication unless you have received express instructions from your doctor, certain prescriptions are known to cause bad breath. This includes allergy, medications anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications and high blood pressure medications. These can cause your mouth to be drier than normal, which leads to bad breath. Our dentists can recommend special mouthwashes to reduce dryness.
If you feel like you have tried everything and your bad breath lingers, call our office at (770) 203-1550. Sometimes lingering bad breath can be the sign of an underlying dental condition, such as gum disease, a sinus infection or bronchitis. If the concern is dental-related, our staff can help come up with solutions for treating harmful bacteria and conditions, such as gum disease.