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What Causes Bad Breath, and How do I Get Rid of It?

May 12, 2018

Woman covering her mouth to hide bad breathOne of the most common questions dentists hear from their patients is how to get rid of bad breath. For those patients with occasional bad breath, you may be able to get rid of it by making some small changes in your oral hygiene and dietary habits. For patients with chronic bad breath (halitosis), you may need more advanced preventive dentistry services, prescription oral hygiene products, and/or gum disease therapies to improve your breath. A good dentist can help you achieve minty fresh breath and keep the smile on your face. In this post, we’ll talk about some of the causes of bad breath and how you can improve your breath in partnership with a trusted dentist and dental care team.

Causes of Bad Breath

No two patients are exactly alike, and bad breath may stem from a number of issues. Some of the most common include:

  • Poor oral hygiene is the most obvious cause of bad breath and improving your at-home brushing and flossing routine can dramatically improve your oral health and breath.
  • Consuming certain things like onions, garlic, and other fragrant foods and drinks can cause lingering bad breath.
  • Periodontal (gum) disease that can occur as a result of poor hygiene also leads to bad breath that may need to be treated with in office care before you notice improvement.
  • Infection in the gums or other oral tissues may also lead to foul breath that needs to be treated by your dentist
  • Dry mouth, a lack of saliva, can lead to bad breath when there is inadequate saliva to neutralize bacteria and odor causing foods.
  • Your tongue can become coated with bacteria, fungus, and other organic matter if it’s not regularly brushed and/or scraped to remove buildup.
  • Some whole body health concerns can lead to bad breath, including tonsillitis, respiratory infection, diabetes, and acid reflux.

Keeping your Breath Fresh

Some tips to help you keep your breath fresh include the following:

  • You must brush teeth at least twice each day for at least two minutes at a time. For severe halitosis, you may want to consider brushing between meals as well.
  • Floss at least once each day to remove plaque and bacteria between teeth. You may also want to floss after a meal, especially if you feel food stuck between teeth.
  • Scrape your tongue using a tongue scraper tool or your toothbrush.
  • Add an antimicrobial mouth rinse to your routine to freshen breath. This is a good option between meals if you don’t have time to brush.
  • Cut down on or avoid foods that typically cause you to have bad breath. Everyone is different, so be conscious of specific foods that seem to make your bad breath worse.
  • Eliminate tobacco use of any kind. Not only does smoking or tobacco use make your breath smell like the ingredients in your tobacco products it can also increase your risk for dry mouth, gum disease, and other issues that lead to chronic bad breath.
  • Chew sugar free gum between meals. Not only does the gum freshen your breath; It also helps to remove food and plaque between teeth and produce saliva for those struggling with dry mouth.
  • Visit your dentist twice each year for dental exams and professional teeth cleanings.

Meet Dr. Giamberardino

Skilled Medford dentist, Anthony Giamberardino, DMD, is here to help you achieve and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile as well assisting you in keeping breath minty fresh. If you struggle with chronic bad breath that doesn’t seem to be improved with thorough brushing and flossing, let our team know.  We may need to provide more advanced professional dentistry services to help you achieve the ultimate level of oral health. If you want to learn more, call today to schedule an appointment with us at Giamberardino Dental Care in Medford. We look forward to helping you with all of your oral health care needs.

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