From time to time, we’ve all had those unfortunate bad-breath moments, whether it was on a first date or an important job interview. But perpetual bad breath can put a real damper on your life and lead to diminished self-confidence. The fancy dental word for chronic bad breath is halitosis. When broken down etymologically, the word halitosis is formed from the Latin root halitus (breath) with the Greek suffix osis (a state of disease). But what is the root cause of bad breath, and how can you stop it?
Getting to the Bottom of Bad Breath
Bad breath can be caused by a number of things, from dry mouth to an underlying vitamin deficiency, but the most likely cause is bacteria. Harmful oral bacteria that feeds upon residual food and beverage particles can get trapped in the nooks and crannies of your teeth and gums. If not properly cleaned away by saliva, daily oral care, and routine dental visits, that bacteria accumulates and starts to release gases such as hydrogen sulfide. This emanates from your mouth and–you guessed it–smells awful. While there are some more severe cases of halitosis that can’t be remedied with simple tips or tricks, many bad breath cases are easy to nix. Here are five simple ways to keep dragon breath at bay!
1. Prioritize Daily At-Home Oral Hygiene
Following a strict routine oral healthcare regimen is a great way to ward off bad breath. Brush twice a day for two minutes each time and floss at least once per day. By doing this, you can ensure that stinky bacteria don’t settle into the crevices of your mouth. If you struggle using a manual toothbrush and traditional string floss, consider investing in an electric toothbrush and water flosser to jazz up your oral routine.
2. Brush Your Tongue
Don’t forget about your tongue! Buying an inexpensive tongue scraper from your local pharmacy is an easy way to make sure none of that nasty bacteria builds up in the folds of your tongue. But a regular toothbrush works well too.
3. Rinse with an Alcohol-Free Mouthwash
Mouthwash with fluoride can provide additional protection against decay and an alcohol-free antibacterial/antiplaque mouthwash will help protect your smile from bacteria that cause gum disease. Not only will mouthwash help keep your mouth minty-fresh, but it will also keep it nice and healthy! Just be sure to select an alcohol-free mouthwash because mouthwash with alcohol can dry out your mouth.
4. Avoid Tobacco Products
Smoking and other tobacco products are bad for your overall health, but did you know they are also bad for your breath? Aside from the acrid smell of smoke, smoking will dry out your mouth. Without ample amounts of bacteria-fighting saliva, your mouth turns into a breeding ground for unsavory plaque, tartar, and bad breath-causing bacteria.
5. Come Visit Us
To make sure your mouth doesn’t drive people away, visit us at Sullivan Family Dental! We’ll give your mouth a thorough cleaning and checkup, assess the effectiveness of your current oral healthcare regimen, and give you some pointers to keep your breath fresher for longer. Contact our Westwood team today!