Bad breath is one of those dental problems we all deal with from time to time, but which everyone wants to avoid. While you may be able to conceal the odor temporarily with mints or chewing gum, consider these tips to combat bad breath at its source:
- Improve your oral hygiene. Unclean teeth and gums cause bad breath in two ways: The sticky film of plaque that builds up on your teeth contains bacteria that cause bad odor. Also, the presence of food and beverage debris lingering on your teeth cause odor. Brush and floss to fight these bad-breath causers.
- Visit the dentist for routine cleanings and exams. Some of the biofilm and tartar cannot be removed with your brush and floss. The dental hygienist uses specialized instruments and techniques to clean and polish your teeth, which will help you combat odor. Our dentists will examine your teeth, gums and oral cavities, and part of this exam includes looking for any problems that may be causing bad breath and other symptoms.
- Keep your mouth hydrated. When your mouth is dry, acid produced by bacteria and food particles linger in your mouth and emit bad odors. Saliva rinses away the odor causers, and you can moisten your mouth by drinking water or chewing gum (which stimulates saliva production).
- Quit smoking and other tobacco use. Tobacco and smoking is not only bad for your long-term health, it's also a major cause of bad breath. Nicotine patches and gum have helped many people quit. Speak to your doctor about support programs or prescription medications if you are having a hard time kicking the habit.
- Know which foods cause breath odor. You probably know that certain foods – such as garlic and raw onion – leave your breath less than fresh. But did you know that brushing your teeth won't combat the odor? That's because elements of what you eat make it into your bloodstream and are carried to your lungs. You then breathe out the odor. But many of these odor-causing foods are healthy and delicious! Instead of avoiding eating them altogether, just be aware you may breathe out their odors for several hours after eating them. Skip them if you are going on a date or getting together with friends or coworkers who you'll feel more confident around with fresh breath.
Persistent bad breath that doesn't go away may be a sign of a deeper issue, such as gum disease. If you are concerned about your breath odor, you should ask one of our experienced dentists about the cause of the odor.
If you are searching for an experienced, caring Denver dentist to rejuvenate your smile and provide individualized treatment plans for the issue you are concerned about, please call DeWitt Dental Associates at 303-566-4036.