What To Do When Bad Breath Happens!
Let’s be honest: Everyone has experienced stinky breath at some point, whether it’s because you just ate a plate of garlicky pasta or it’s been a while since you last brushed.
The primary cause: Bacteria that live in your mouth and break down food, proteins, and even skin cells, leading to the production and release of smelly volatile sulfur compounds (VSC’s).
We asked Dr. G to share the top causes of bad breath and the best ways to eliminate bacteria and other halitosis culprits.
#1 Your Tongue
The back of the tongue has many grooves and crevices. This makes the tongue the perfect dwelling place for odor-producing bacteria to grow and emit VSC‘s.
What to do about it: There’s no harm in using a tongue scraper to remove the gunk that accumulates on your tongue. The following steps can help to ensure it’s used correctly:
- After brushing and flossing, open the mouth wide and place the tongue scraper on the furthest reachable point on the back of the tongue.
- Apply gentle pressure and pull the scraper forward toward the tip of the tongue. The scraper should not hurt.
- Rinse the scraper with warm water after the first pass.
- Repeat the scraping process as necessary.
- Swish the mouth with water and then spit it out.
- Wash the tongue scraper thoroughly with soap and warm water. Store the tongue scraper in a clean, dry place between uses.
Plaque is a bacterial film that naturally forms on your teeth and gums and can lead to the production of lousy-smelling VSC’s.
What to do about it: Seeing your oral care provider regularly is important, but a professional cleaning only keeps plaque at bay for a short time. As soon as you eat and drink, the bacteria repopulate. A good at-home oral care routine is essential.
#3 Dry Mouth
Saliva is a natural deterrent to bad breath because it washes away bacteria. However, many people suffer from dry mouth, which is exactly what it sounds like.
The main cause: prescription medications. “There are many drugs that can cause your mouth to become parched,” says Dr. G. If you take more than one of these medications this side effect can worsen.
What to do about it: Some people find that special dry mouth lozenges help. Frequently sipping on water, perhaps with lemon, can work just as well. Chewing sugar-free gum can also serve as a remedy for dry mouth.
#4 Certain medical conditions
Sometimes bad breath is a direct result of gum disease but it can also be caused by allergies, lactose intolerance, or diabetes. For example, If you have diabetes that is not well-controlled you can end up with ketones.
What to do about it: If you have chronic bad breath that doesn\’t seem to respond to any of the above remedies, it’s time to see your oral care provider and possibly your internist so you can identify the underlying health condition causing it and receive proper treatment.
Top Tips For Oral Health
Keep your teeth and your body in good health by following these important tips:
Brush and Floss Properly: The foundation for good oral health is developing the habit of brushing and flossing regularly. Make sure you’re using the proper technique!
- See Your Dentist Regularly: If you work in tandem with an awesome dentist and dental hygienist, you are much more likely to remain healthier throughout your life. Commit to your whole-body health by starting and maintaining a relationship with a thoughtful group of oral health professionals! Holistic Dental Center of New Jersey uses a microscope to detect the bad bacteria that causes not only bad breath but disease.
- Quit Smoking: Have you heard? Smoking can kill you! Quitting isn’t easy, that’s for sure, but it’s definitely worth it!
- Eat a Healthy Diet: What you eat affects your whole body, including your teeth and mouth. Make sure you’re eating a healthy, clean diet, minimizing snacking, and trying to avoid sugars as much as possible.
- Don’t Put It Off: If you haven’t been following this advice and you’ve noticed some problems developing in your mouth, see a dentist as soon as possible. Don’t procrastinate!
Ready To Take Control Of Your Health?
If you’re due (or past due) for an oral health assessment, or if you have questions about your oral health or integrative holistic dentistry, Holistic Dental Center New Jersey can help. Give us a call at (973) 718-5104 or contact us online for more information.