Oral hygiene is something that we are all taught to maintain from a young age; however, sometimes routine teeth brushing and mouthwash aren’t enough to keep bad breath at bay. Severe bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be embarrassing for some people if they do not know how to control the issue.
Bad breath is typically caused by a buildup of smelly bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria can settle on the tongue, roof of the mouth, in between teeth or on poorly done tooth restorations. Of course, brushing your teeth twice a day is a great way to remove most of this bacteria. Not only will this habit make sure your breath is as fresh as it can be, but it will also maintain your teeth health, preventing cavities and other mouth ailments. Second, flossing daily can remove stuck food and bacteria from between your teeth that could contribute to bad breath. Brushing your tongue and roof of your mouth are extra steps you can take to remove even more of said bacteria.
However, despite all these efforts, some people still have a problem with bad breath, and they don’t know how to fix it. If you are worried that you suffer from halitosis, there are many options for you! First off, talk to your dentist and schedule an appointment for them to assess your situation. Your dentist will be able to analyze the way your breath smells, and certain smells can indicate different health problems. For example, asthma, lung cancer, liver disease, diabetes, ketoacidosis and more can all change the way your breath smells, according to Byram Healthcare. Your dentist may refer you to another specialist if they notice signs of other health issues.
Another common cause of bad breath is tonsil stones or tonsilloliths. These present themselves as little white specs or “stones” in the back of your throat on your tonsils. They form when small particles of food and bacteria collect in small crevices in the back of your throat. These stones, just like other mouth bacteria, can give off an odor if not removed. If you notice that you have tonsil stones, you can try gargling with saltwater or removing the stones yourself with a cotton swab. If you notice that you have large or severe stones, call your dentist to figure out your next step.
On the contrary, your bad breath may be manageable with the use of specialty mouth rinses or toothpaste. If your dentist discovers that you have a dental disease, like gum disease, the buildup of bacteria has to be removed by your dentist themselves, according to the Mayo Clinic. The good news is that in most cases, bad breath can be treated easily with the help of your health providers.
It is most important to remember that bad breath affects an estimated 25% of people, according to Medical News Today. Meaning that you are not alone. Do not be embarrassed to call your dentist if you are having a problem, and remember to brush and floss daily to give your breath the best chance at staying fresh! At this point, there is no “cure” for halitosis, but staying informed on how to prevent it can help you manage your bad breath and make you feel more confident when you open your mouth.
Tips for keeping bad great at bay:
- Drink lots of water to avoid dry mouth (coffee, alcohol and tobacco products can dry out your mouth)
- Brush your tongue daily
- Change your toothbrush regularly, about every three months
- Schedule regular dentist appointment to maintain good dental health, about twice a year
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