Preventing Bad Breath

Unless you have some underlying symptoms or an illness, preventing bad breath is really very simple: brush and floss your teeth regularly. That means brushing your teeth thoroughly (for at least a full minute; two minutes is best) and flossing your teeth at least once a day. You also could brush your tongue when your brush your teeth.

Simple. Easy. Done! Great breath!

Rinsing your mouth once or twice a day with an antiseptic mouthwash also can help mask – not cure – bad breath.

Bad breath actually has a medical name: halitosis or malador.

Bad breath is caused by bacteria that build up in your mouth. Let the bacteria stay in there (hint: brushing and flossing helps remove it) and inflammation eventually ensues, giving off a bad smell, hence your bad breath.

It’s impossible to never have bad breath; everyone gets it at one time or another. In fact, almost all of us have bad breath in the morning (the bacteria have built up in the 6-9 hours of sleeping).

Several health conditions can lead to bad breath. Diabetes, liver disease, chronic bronchitis, and respiratory tract infections can cause halitosis. Chronic dry mouth (xerostomia) also can cause it. So can acid reflux and postnasal drip.

Smokers often have an unpleasant smoker’s breath. If you smoke, here’s one more reason to quit! Heavy consumption of alcohol also can lead to dry mouth – and cause bad breath.

Untreated cavities also can turn your breath bad. Yet another reason to see your Plano dentist regularly!

Certain medications can turn your breath sour. Some medications that are unfriendly to sweet breath include tetracycline (which can also stain your teeth), diuretics and antidepressants.

Even some foods can contribute to bad breath, such as dairy products and foods high in protein. These foods generate a good deal of amino acids – bacteria love amino acids!

If you’re on a low-carb diet, understand that as you burn stored fat, your body gives off bad smelling ketones.

If you brush and floss your teeth regularly, if you use mouthwash but still have bad breath, check with your dentist or physician to see if you have an undetected condition that could be causing your halitosis.

If you believe that you have chronic bad breath, talk to Plano dentist Dr. Darren Dickson for a full oral hygiene checkup. Contact our office by phone or send us a message at [email protected].

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