What can I do about bad breath?

Bad breath is usually temporary and resolved by cleaning your mouth. But if it’s chronic there may be an underlying cause that requires immediate attention.

Preventing Bad Breath

  • Brush and floss regularly. Keep your mouth clean to fight bacteria that causes bad breath. Certain foods can cause it so brushing after meals keeps your breath fresh throughout the day.
  • Rinse with mouthwash. If you’re unable to brush or floss your teeth right away, you may rinse with a mouthwash instead. Rinsing isn’t a substitute for these habits though. Wait at least 30 minutes after a meal before brushing but don’t delay cleaning your mouth for too long. The longer you go without brushing, the longer the bacteria will stay in your mouth.
  • Clean your oral appliance. A removable oral appliance, such as dentures, should be cleaned regularly. Talk to your dentist about the proper way to clean and store yours.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking can also contribute to bad breath. Quitting this habit is tough, but doing so prevents bad breath and improves your oral and general health.
  • Keep your mouth moist. Dry mouth is also a potential cause of bad breath. Eat crunchy and water-rich fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots to stimulate salivary flow. You may also try chewing sugar-free gum to moisten your mouth.

How Your Dentist Can Help

If your bad breath continues to be a problem, your dentist can help. Your dentist can examine your mouth and detect any issues that may be contributing to it.

Your dentist may also refer you to a physician or specialist if they determine the problem is related to another health condition.

If it’s related to your oral health, your dental team will help you manage the problem. They may recommend specific products, such as toothpaste or mouthwash, to prevent bacteria from building up on your teeth.

You may be referred to a periodontist if you’re diagnosed with gum disease. Gum disease can lead to a receding gumline which starts the formation of deep pockets. Bacteria can build up in these areas and can only be removed through professional dental cleanings.

Maintaining Fresh Breath Every Day

Keeping your breath fresh may require you to change some habits. Your dentist will help make the adjustment easier for you, but your cooperation remains the most crucial.

If you’re concerned about your chronic halitosis, discuss it with your dental team. Bad breath happens and taking action to remedy it is nothing to be ashamed of.

Posted on by Dr. Ashnaei in Blog

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