Bad breath, or halitosis, is caused by odor-producing bacteria that live in the back of the tongue, throat, and tonsils. The odor is usually caused by sulfur compounds that are released as bacteria metabolize the food you eat.
The following factors are also common causes of halitosis:
Brushing your teeth should always be done at least twice a day. Brushing in the morning can remove plaque from your teeth before you eat or drink anything. Brushing at night can remove plaque that builds up while you’re sleeping. We recommend brushing your teeth for two minutes every time you brush. That’s about 40 to 60 seconds per row of your teeth. You should also use a soft-bristled brush.
You should already be flossing your teeth at least once a day. But did you know that it can also help eliminate bad breath? Food particles can build up between your teeth, and any tiny crevices or cracks in your teeth can even be filled with bacteria and cause bad breath. Flossing can help you remove these particles and can freshen your breath.
Eating a healthy diet is a great first step to combating bad breath.
The best foods for a healthy mouth include:
Smoking and chewing tobacco contribute to bad breath. Inhaling smoke and other chemicals can cause dry mouth, which, in turn, contributes to bad breath. Cigarette smoke can also cause stains on teeth and bad breath. In fact, smoking and tobacco use are leading causes of oral and throat cancer.
Bad breath may be a symptom of a medical condition. Visit the dentist for an exam. If your dentist determines a dental issue is contributing to bad breath, they may recommend a dental procedure to treat it.
Staying hydrated can prevent the occurrence of dry mouth and bad breath. This will help wash away food particles and bacteria.
Professional dental treatments can include cleanings, deep cleanings, scaling and root planing, and gum treatment. These treatments can remove plaque and bacteria that cause bad breath. Additionally, dentists can teach patients how they can prevent bad breath from returning.
Mouthwashes help freshen breath temporarily. The ADA recommends choosing a product that contains fluoride and carries the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Mouth rinses lower the acidity in the mouth, which helps prevent a number of dental problems. Be sure to follow the directions on the package for safe use.
If you have any questions about the prevention of bad breath, Ami Desai, D.D.S., is here to help. For scheduling your appointments, please call (408) 946-0777 or visit our office at 440 E Calaveras Blvd, Milpitas, CA 95035. For more information, please contact us at [email protected]