Nearly everyone has experienced talking to someone who has bad breath, and no one wants to be the one who has that bad breath. Here are a few tips to help you avoid both the occasional bout of bad breath and halitosis.
Nearly everyone has experienced talking to someone who has bad breath, and no one wants to be the one who has that bad breath. When bad breath is chronic it is called halitosis, and it’s often related to an underlying condition. Here are a few tips to help you avoid both the occasional bout of bad breath and halitosis.
Routine dental care
The number one way to prevent halitosis is to get routine dental care. Dr. Alen Gharibian at Dental Care of Redondo Beach checks for cavities and helps patients avoid gum disease, both causes of halitosis.
Although there can be other causes, experts estimate that about 80% of bad breath cases are caused by something in the mouth. Often, it is because of bacteria from something like food trapped between your teeth. Routine dental care solves many problems that could result in foul breath.
Maintain dental hygiene at home
Much like routine dental care, following a regular dental hygiene routine at home can help you avoid many of the underlying problems that cause bad breath. Brushing and flossing after meals rather than just in the morning and evening can also help with bad breath.
Most everyone knows they should brush twice a day and floss daily. Both activities protect your teeth and help keep gum disease at bay. Following Dr. Gharibian’s instructions for at-home dental hygiene will keep your teeth and gums healthy and your family and friends happy.
Try tongue scraping
There are no studies to show that scraping the tongue will stop halitosis, but many people like it, and there is certainly no harm in doing it. A tongue scraper is a specialized tool — your toothbrush won’t do the job as well — used to gently remove dead cells and other debris from your tongue.
Rule out medical causes
The vast majority of cases of bad breath are caused by oral issues, however 20% are due to other causes. Some medical conditions, such as acid reflux or infections of the mouth, nose, and throat, can cause bad breath.
If you go to the dentist regularly and you follow a proper dental hygiene routine at home, but you still suffer bad breath, you may want to see your doctor for a check up to rule out an underlying medical conditions.
There are many health reasons to quit smoking, but if those don’t motivate you, the idea of having chronically offensive breath might. Smoking leaves your breath smelling bad and can cause a coated tongue, which also contributes to bad breath.
When you quit smoking, your teeth, your gums, your heart, your lungs, and your friends will thank you.
Keep a moist mouth
Dry mouth, which is clinically called xerostomia, occurs when your salivary glands are not producing enough saliva. If you’ve ever had a cold and slept with your mouth open all night, you’ve probably experienced dry mouth.
Many medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, can cause dry mouth. It can also be caused by some medical conditions, including cystic fibrosis and hypertension, among several others. Dehydration, some medical treatments, and nerve damage are additional causes of dry mouth.
Here are a few ways to deal with dry mouth:
- Prescription mouthwash
- Chewing sugar free gum
- Drinking more water
- Use a humidifier to moisten the air in your room at night
Dr. Gharibian may have additional suggestions, so be sure to discuss your concerns regarding dry mouth during your routine appointments.
Pay attention to your diet.
Clearly, if you eat a tuna sandwich, you are likely to have bad breath afterward. Other well-known culprits are coffee, alcohol, onions, and garlic. However, there are other lesser-known dietary causes of bad breath.
For example, some low-carb diets can cause bad breath. The Keto diet and the Atkins diet, both of which are designed to cause ketosis — a fat-burning state — can cause bad breath. There is no solution other than introducing more carbs into your diet.