How to Prevent Bad Breath Bad breath is a problem a lot of us face. Usually, it’s a temporary situation that passes quickly, but for others, it can be a long, often embarrassing battle. There are many factors that can contribute to bad breath and some those will be discussed here.
The technical term for bad breath is halitosis, which can be defined as unpleasant odours exhaled during breathing. The easiest way to prevent bad breath is to brush your teeth after every meal and floss regularly. Many people claim to brush 2-3 times a day and still suffer from halitosis. However, if you are not brushing properly, then it defeats the purpose. Sitting down with your dentist or hygienist and discussing your brushing technique can be very useful. An area of the mouth most people forget to brush is the tongue. The tongue has many hair-like fibres on it that can trap unpleasant odours so it is essential to keep it clean. Flossing is also important in not only preventing bad breath but also in maintaining gum health. Many people overlook flossing as a way of preventing bad breath. However, the next time you floss, smell the floss when you’re done and you’ll realize what the floss is removing. Finally, once you are finished brushing and flossing, rinse thoroughly with water or non-alcohol mouthwash. If your oral care has been lacking for a while, then brushing and flossing might not be enough to cure your halitosis. There are certain areas of your mouth that your toothbrush and floss cannot simply reach and therefore, it is necessary to have a professional cleaning done by your dentist or hygienist. These are recommended to completed every 6 months. At these hygiene appointments, your dentist can also check to see if there are other issues causing your bad breath. Some of these issues can be tooth decay (cavities), gum disease and tooth abscesses. Your dentist can sit down and discuss any of these issues with you and the best treatment for them. Other ways of preventing bad odours from your mouth are to eliminate substances that are known for causing bad breath. Smoking is one such cause that not only causes halitosis but can also lead to periodontal disease. Foods that could be avoided include garlic, onions, cabbage, certain spices and coffee. Foods high in alkaline are also known to lead to unpleasant odours. Empty stomachs and dry mouths are other causes of bad breath. If you go without eating for long periods of time then you might want to consider snacking on some healthy foods in between. Chewing on sugarless gum stimulates salivary glands and helps prevent dry mouth and the subsequent odours that come with it. Finally, if all the above-mentioned techniques have not worked, then there could be an underlying, untreated medical condition. Certain diseases can present as halitosis and these include respiratory tract infections, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes and gastrointestinal disorders. If your dentist determines that your mouth and gums are healthy, then you might be referred to your physician to determine the source of the odour.