Millions of people suffer from bad breath, known medically as halitosis. This common condition can be embarrassing and depending on its origin, it can also damage patients’ overall dental health. Read on to find out more about bad breath and discover six ways to fight it.
Don’t Neglect Routine Dental Visits
Most halitosis results from poor dental hygiene. Finding a dentist and remaining diligent about scheduling and keeping appointments for cleanings and exams will give patients access to the professional care they need to fight bad breath. It will also allow them to identify the underlying problem that is causing it and rule out more serious dental problems.
Don’t have a dentist right now? Just perform a search for a Dentist Near Me and call to schedule an appointment.
Maintain Consistent Dental Hygiene Routines
All patients should brush their teeth at least twice each day to remove food debris and plaque. Brush for at least two minutes every time and don’t forget to floss at least once per day. If food debris remains stuck between a patient’s teeth, it gives the bacteria that cause halitosis the food they need to grow, worsening the problem.
Besides brushing and flossing, many patients purchase tongue scrapers and specialized mouthwashes. Look for alcohol-free mouthwash, as it will be less likely to cause irritation or leave patients’ mouths feeling dry. Some research has also shown that rinsing with black or green tea can help to suppress the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
Avoid Tobacco Products
Smoking cigarettes or using chewing tobacco can contribute to halitosis. Smoking dries out the mouth and leaves a lingering smell that can’t be eradicated with even regular brushing. Plus, it causes gum disease along with many other health problems, so tobacco users have every reason to quit.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking water washes away food particles and bacteria, which helps to ease bad breath. Staying well hydrated also reduces the risk of dry mouth, which can cause not just halitosis but also a host of other potentially serious dental problems.
Those who struggle with chronic dry mouth because of medication use or other health conditions may want to try an over-the-counter saliva substitute. Just ask a dentist for help with choosing the right product and diagnosing the underlying cause of the disorder first.
Chew Sugarless Gum
Chewing gum can stimulate saliva flow, helping to reduce bad breath by washing away food particles and bacteria. Just make sure to buy sugarless gum, since its sweetened alternatives can contribute to tooth decay. Unsweetened gum doesn’t cause cavities or gingivitis and neither do unsweetened candies.
Eat Healthy Snacks
While food particles stuck between the teeth can contribute to bad breath, skipping eating entirely is definitely not a good plan. When patients skip meals, they may notice bad breath because of stomach acid buildup. Eating healthy, sugar-free snacks like carrots or celery is a great way to avoid bad breath caused by stomach acid buildup while simultaneously improving overall health.
The Bottom Line
Some halitosis is caused by underlying medical conditions. More often than not, though, patients can blame poor dental hygiene or lifestyle choices for their bad breath. Those who want to do everything they can to keep it under control should ask their dentists about other steps they can take at home to prevent odor-causing bacteria from building up between cleanings.
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