Bad breath is a common problem. It can occur anytime and for many different reasons. From the medications you take to that garlic and anchovy pizza you had for lunch, there are all sorts of sources contributing to your bad breath. It’s not always easy to control the source (who wants to pass up Mom’s meatballs?) but there are ways to prevent and manage your bad breath.
Halitosis, the medical term for bad breath, can be difficult to prevent. Beyond the breath mints designed to mask the sausage hoagie you just ate, chronic halitosis needs a stronger fix. And when there’s no obvious reason for your bad breath, you need to start looking at possible internal causes, because true chronic halitosis may actually signal something more serious.
Discover the reason for your bad breath
Sometimes the source of chronic bad breath is untreated dental issues. Bacteria from cavities or gum disease can’t be removed through regular oral hygiene, such as brushing, flossing, and rinsing. When you come in for a visit, Dr. Richard Hardt can help you discover the source of your chronic bad breath. Dr. Hardt, along with Dr. Lawryn Monterroso and the caring and compassionate support staff at Richard Hardt, DDS, offer dental services to the community in and around Porterville, California.
Do all you can to prevent bad breath
There are several steps you can take to prevent or eliminate your bad breath. Whether your halitosis is a chronic condition, or you experience it frequently due to your diet, it can be dealt with.
Here are some proven and effective ways to prevent bad breath from spoiling your day:
- Brush and floss at least twice a day. In addition to food particles which may be trapped between your teeth, the sticky buildup known as plaque can cause your breath to be malodorous. Ideally, you should brush after each meal to prevent plaque and floss at least once per day. Preventing plaque buildup is one way to eliminate bacteria from collecting and souring your breath.
- Rinse with an oral rinse designed to eliminate bad breath germs. Mouthwash has a two-fold effect against bad breath. The antiseptic properties of a good mouthwash eliminate germs and kill the bacteria, and the freshening properties of your oral rinse make your mouth feel minty-good.
- Invest in a tongue scraper. Your tongue can easily become coated with the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Brushing your tongue can help, but many people, especially those with a pronounced gag-reflex, find this difficult. A tongue scraper is a handy tool for removing the buildup of food and drink remnants on your tongue.
- Limit the “known offenders.” Foods such as garlic, onion, and any other smelly-but-delicious ingredients, along with alcohol, remain in your bloodstream long after you eat or drink. Breath mints, strips, and a thorough mouth cleaning do little to rid your breath of these known offenders. The best thing to do is avoid these foods and beverages altogether when you’re meeting with friends, clients, or coworkers.
- Stop smoking and vaping. Both cigarette smoke and the byproducts of e-cigarettes, along with anything else you may smoke, can damage your gums, leading to gum disease. These habits can also stain your teeth and cause extreme dry mouth, all of which contribute to bad breath. If you need help to quit your habit, talk to your doctor.
- Keep your gums healthy. Make sure you’re brushing and flossing correctly. If you’re not sure, ask one of our friendly staff members when you come in for your cleaning. In addition to practicing good oral hygiene, you need to have regular dental checkups to stay on top of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
- Stop dry mouth. Certain medications and lifestyle habits can prevent you from making enough saliva to keep your mouth moist, and this can lead to tooth decay and bad breath. Try using a humidifier in your home, as well as bumping up your intake of water. Make sure to alert Dr. Hardt or Dr. Monterosso if you suffer from dry-mouth.
- Avoid sugar. Bacteria thrive on sugar. To keep your breath fresh, chew sugar-free gum.
Seek treatment for your dental issues
If your bad breath won’t go away no matter what you’ve tried, or if you suspect you may have a dental issue that’s contributing to your halitosis, a professional dental exam is the answer. We’re open Monday through Friday for regular appointments, as well as same-day dental care and emergency services. Contact our office to schedule your appointment so we can get to the bottom of your bad breath.