Bad breath, or halitosis, is a very embarrassing and humiliating medical condition for those who suffer from it. It can affect a person’s social and emotional lives with others when consistently a foul odor emanates from your mouth. Although not a medical emergency, it can become a problem at work, at home or even among friends and strangers. True halitosis is a persistent smell that does not go away after brushing, flossing and rinsing. It can be demoralizing, so much so that many people are reluctant to even mention it to their dentist. But the good news is that it is treatable. Mint, anyone?

Not sure if you have bad breath? There is a way to tell before someone else has to break the bad news. By scraping the back of your tongue with the tip of the spoon, letting the spoon dry for a minute, and then smelling it, can help you identify if your breath is foul or not.

Causes of Chronic Bad Breath
Interestingly enough, dry mouth can be a main cause of bad breath. A dry mouth leads to dead cells on your tongue, which bacteria break down, which then emits a foul odor that we commonly know as bad breath. So treating dry mouth by changing certain lifestyle habits or keeping your saliva production up can eliminate or reduce the odor coming from your mouth.

Other oral causes can be cavities, a coated tongue, gum disease, cracked fillings or unclean dentures. Or dietary factors can also be the culprit, such as:

  • High protein/ low carbohydrate diets
  • High sugar diets
  • Excess coffee and alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Acidic foods
  • Diabetes

How to Treat Bad Breath
First thing one should do is reevaluate their oral hygiene maintenance. Are you brushing enough your teeth? Are you flossing correctly? Are you taking enough time to brush your teeth? What about your tongue? Are you brushing your tongue? Lots of bacteria can live in the tongue as well as in the gums. Make sure to scrape your tongue, floss and rinse properly.

Other things to consider:

  • Replace your toothbrush often, every two to three months.
  • Arrange regular dental cleanings, every 4-6 months.
  • Try a 30 second mouthwash with a non-alcoholic mouth rinse.
  • Chew a piece of lemon or orange rind for a mouth- freshening burst of flavor. The citric acid will stimulate the salivary glands, and fight bad breath.
  • Chew small amount of mint leaves.

If you would like to learn more about combatting bad breath, call 562-434-6414 to schedule an appointment.