What’s That Smell? How To Avoid Bad Breath
It’s happened to all of us. We’re mid-conversation with someone when they begin to back away. We lean in, and they continue to move away. Could it be bad breath? As soon as we can sneak away, we cup our hands over our mouths and forcefully exhale: Yep! Bad breath. At Waterford Family Dental Care, we want to help you avoid such embarrassing situations. To that end, here are a few things you can do to avoid having bad breath.
Causes of Bad Breath
We expect to have bad breath in some cases. A garlic-laden meal, a hamburger with layers of raw onion … those instances can be tolerated because we anticipate it and arm ourselves with mints, gum, or mouthwash. In most cases, bad breath has nothing to do with what we eat. Some causes include:
- Dry Mouth — Dry mouth can be caused by using tobacco products, certain medications, and simple dehydration; even skipping meals can result in dry mouth
- Illness — Infections, diabetes, liver disorders, and kidney failure are just some of the illnesses that can cause bad breath; even a simple cold can make your breath funky
- Gum Disease — When the surface below your gum line becomes infected, it can result in bad breath; no amount of brushing or flossing can remove this infection
- Tonsil Stones — If you still have your tonsils, microscopic food particles and minerals can calcify in the crevices; this small, yellowish-white stone can produce an awful smell
How To Prevent It
Pungent foods aside, there are several ways to prevent bad breath. Here are the most simple ways to keep your breath nice and fresh:
- Brush your teeth twice a day (ideally, after every meal). This will prevent the buildup of plaque, both helping your breath and preventing decay.
- Floss every day. If you’re not flossing, you’re missing plaque, food particles, and other debris that collects between your teeth. If these are left behind, they can begin to rot, causing tooth decay and a foul smell.
- Scrape your tongue. Much of the bacteria in your mouth lives on the back of your tongue; brushing your tongue or using a tongue scraper can remove this bacteria, leaving you with better breath.
- Stay hydrated. Avoid dry mouth by drinking plenty of water every day. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless candy can also increase the flow of saliva.
- Visit your dentist. If you’ve got gum disease or any other dental condition that causes bad breath, only a professional can provide the cleaning and treatment that will eliminate the problem. See your dentist every six months without fail; if you experience chronic bad breath in between visits, schedule an appointment just to be on the safe side.
No matter what the condition of your breath, we’d love to make you part of our dental family. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve the community of Waterford, Michigan and the surrounding communities.