Bad breath can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, and an estimated 60 million people in the United States struggle with it. Drs. Tharp, Klaus, and Kelly of Tharp, Klaus, and Kelly Dental Clinic in Jackson, Mississippi are here to tell you that you don’t have to live with your halitosis any longer, as there are many ways to combat the symptoms and keep your mouth clean and smelling fresh.
6 Causes Of Bad Breath
There are a number of things that can contribute to your case of bad breath:
Your tongue is a breeding ground for bacteria. After you eat, the bacteria feasts on the food that is left behind on the tongue. If you don’t brush this food away, the bacteria can produce volatile sulfur compounds, or VSCs. This foul-smelling waste usually resides in the posterior area of the tongue and can cause your mouth to stink.
2. Dry mouth
If you’re dehydrated, you may not be producing enough saliva. Your mouth works to continuously produce saliva in order to keep itself clean. If you don’t have enough, your mouth is not being cleaned out as it needs to be. This allows bacteria to fester and those VSCs to infiltrate your mouth.
3. Gum disease
Sometimes bad breath does not quit no matter how much you brush your teeth or how much gum you chew. If this is the case, you may be at risk for advanced gum disease. Gum disease forms when plaque is left to grow in the mouth and along the gum line. When an excess amount builds up, it can erode away at the gums and cause halitosis.
4. Smoking and tobacco
Not only does smoke stain your teeth and put you at risk for a host of other health problems, it causes bad breath as well. Smoke particles can sit in the lungs and mouth for a long time after the cigarette is finished, causing the stale smell that is of smoker’s breath. Tobacco also contains aromatic chemicals that sit on the tongue and in the throat, which lead to foul-smelling breath.
5. Underlying medical conditions
Mouth infections and plaque buildup are usually the cause of bad breath, but if your dentist rules out these causes and you’re in good oral health, another medical condition may be at fault. Sinus infections, gastric reflux, diabetes and liver or kidney disease can cause patients to experience bad breath.
Garlic, onions, coffee and other aromatic foods are common culprits of halitosis…which probably comes as no surprise!
7 Ways To Get Rid Of Bad Breath
Luckily, there are many natural ways to kick your bad breath to the curb. There’s no reason that you should have to live with halitosis forever.
1. Brush And Floss
As always, the best thing that you can do for your breath is brushing and flossing regularly. Keep your teeth, gums and tongue clean to ensure that those odor-causing bacteria stay out of your mouth.
Over-the-counter mouthwashes can kill bacteria or temporarily mask bad breath. However, while mouthwash is an excellent way to help rid your mouth of food particles and bacteria, the fix is only temporary. To keep those smelly plaque compounds from forming, make sure to brush and floss as soon you can after you eat.
3. Don’t Forget About Your Tongue
While most people understand the importance of regularly brushing their teeth, they often forget about keeping their tongue clean as well. If you notice a white or brown coating when you stick your tongue out, you’re allowing bacteria to flourish. Use a toothbrush or a tongue scraper to clear it out and keep those bad breath-causing germs away from your mouth.
4. Clean Your Dentures
Dentures are excellent options for patients who have missing or damaged teeth, but it is important to keep them clean. Debris from food can get caught in your dentures and cause plaque and bacteria to form, ultimately leading to bad breath. Before bed, take your dentures out and thoroughly clean them with a toothbrush or denture cleaner before using them the next morning.
5. Stay Hydrated To Keep The Saliva Flowing
Dry mouth and dehydration are common causes of bad breath, so maintaining proper hydration is necessary for combating bad breath. Chewing sugar-free gum or mints can help stimulate saliva in the mouth, which helps wash odor-causing bacteria away. Drink plenty of water, eat healthy food and steer clear of alcohol and other mouth-drying substances.
6. Kick The Habit
Smoking and chewing tobacco are the root of many health problems in patients who use them regularly. Smoke sits in the lungs for a long time after the cigarette is finished, making the breath smell stale. Quitting is the best way to stem the spread of bad breath.
7. Visit Your Dentist
Visiting the dentist every 6 months is an important part of an oral care routine. In addition, to thoroughly cleaning your teeth and removing tartar, your dental hygienist will catch underlying bad breath culprits before they get out of control.
Contact Drs. Tharp, Klaus, and Kelly To Combat Your Bad Breath
Let’s face it: bad breath is embarrassing. Knowing that you have a case of halitosis can make it difficult to comfortably talk with friends, family and coworkers, taking a hit on your self-confidence.
Drs. Tharp, Klaus, and Kelly and the rest of the team at Tharp, Klaus, and Kelly Dental Clinic want to help you get rid of your bad breath and give you back the confidence that you deserve. If you are suffering from a case of bad breath and would like an oral health checkup, make an appointment with our office today!