As we all go about our daily lives, wearing masks for COVID-19 protection, many of us have realized we struggle with bad breath. Have you ever wondered how to tackle halitosis? Bad breath results from diet, health problems, and/or poor dental hygiene.
How Food Affects Breath
As we chew food, our mouth begins the process of breaking it down. Strong odors from some of these foods, particularly onions and garlic, dissipate only after they have been completely digested by our stomachs and pass through our bodies. We can reduce associated odors by brushing our teeth, flossing, and/or using a mouthwash. But these are quick fixes which work only until the digestive process is complete.
Health Problems and Halitosis
Various health conditions can lead to persistent bad breath. Gum disease or gingivitis is a common health problem which leads to a constant bad taste in the mouth. The gums become irritated because of a buildup of plaque on the teeth. If left untreated, bacteria start to irritate the gums and can damage the gums as well as the jaw bone. Other oral and dental problems like cavities in the teeth (dental caries) and yeast infections can also lead to bad breath.
Saliva is important for optimal oral health. It not only neutralizes the acids that plaque produces but also washes away dead cells which accumulate in our mouth. If we fail to remove these cells from our tongues, inner cheeks, and gums, they start to cause halitosis. Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, occurs when we don’t have enough saliva. This can occur when we breathe through our mouths, incur problems with the salivary glands, or take certain medications. Diabetes, respiratory tract infections, and other illnesses can also cause bad breath.
Poor Dental Hygiene and Halitosis
We all know should brush and floss our teeth daily. Failure to do so leads to food particles remaining between our teeth – allowing bacteria to flourish. Bad dental hygiene also leads to cavities, which are another cause of bad breath. Also, bacteria can grow as a result of poor dental hygiene. Bacteria can settle on the gums, between the teeth, and on our tongues, causing bad breath. Smoking is another potential cause of bad breath and irritated gums.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene:
- Brush teeth and tongue at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss (or use a Waterpik) between teeth at least once a day.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash to rinse at least twice a day.
- Visit your dentist at least once every six months.
About Dr. Fred Wong of Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora, California
Dr. Fred Wong and the staff at Blue Ocean Dentistry use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 852-6999.