Bad breath, also called halitosis, is something everyone experiences from time to time but if you suspect you may have a problem, we have some tips to help keep your breath fresher and your mouth feeling cleaner.
Brush and Floss Regularly
Plaque build-up on teeth is a major contributor to bad breath. Bacteria clings to plaque and multiplies and that ever-growing bacteria creates an offensive smell. Food particles are also contributors to bad breath. Both of these factors can be controlled with regular brushing and flossing. We recommend brushing twice a day and flossing once per day.
Rinse Your Mouth
Swishing and spitting with plain water after you eat is definitely helpful for removing odor-causing food particles after you eat. If you wanted to take it a step further, consider using some mouthwash after you rinse with water. Make sure you choose a brand that kills germs since bacteria is often a cause of unpleasant breath.
You may have noticed a coating on your tongue. This is normal but that coating also harbors things that can cause bad breath, such as bacteria, food debris, and dead cells. You can brush your tongue gently after brushing your teeth or you can use a tongue scraper, which is actually a bit more effective than brushing your tongue. Studies have shown that brushing the tongue or using a tongue scraper can reduce halitosis by as much as 70 percent.
In addition to being terrible for your overall health, smoking is bad for gum health, stains your teeth and causes bad breath. Quitting smoking will improve your dental health as well as your breath!
Instead of Eating Mints, Chew Gum
Mints will only cover up bad breath temporarily but more importantly, they’re usually made of sugar and plaque thrives on sugar. Chewing some sugarless gum will stimulate saliva production and saliva helps neutralize the plaque acids that cause both tooth decay and bad breath.
Keep Your Mouth Moist
A dry mouth is a mouth where plaque and bacteria will thrive. Be sure to drink water throughout the day and swish with water after eating.
Ask Your Dentist to Check for Tonsil Stones
The main symptom of tonsil stones is bad breath. Tonsil stones are mineralizations of debris within the crevices of the tonsils. The debris comes primarily from old food particles.
Avoid Bad-Breath Foods
Onions and garlic are two well-known offenders when it comes to foods that cause bad breath. Unfortunately, brushing after you eat them doesn’t completely remedy the problem because as you digest these foods, they emit gases that enter your bloodstream, are carried to your lungs and ultimately affect your breath. There is anecdotal evidence that drinking milk or eating parsley or mint leaves afterward can neutralize these odors.
Practice Good Gum Hygiene
Gum disease produces a particularly offensive smell. See your dentist regularly to maintain your gum health, along with daily flossing to remove the plaque/tartar that will eventually contribute to tooth decay and gum disease.
If you’re concerned that a dental condition may be causing your bad breath, Dr. Patel can evaluate your oral health at our Carrollwood or Wesley Chapel locations. Make an appointment today!