Understanding and Treating Bad Breath | Lexington, KY
If we are concerned about anything in our society, it’s bad breath.
We chew a piece of gum or grab a mint after a meal. We swish mouthwash in the morning. We have toothpastes and flosses in countless flavors. We check our breath before a date, and we have breath sprays and strips for last-minute freshening up.
Bad breath is embarrassing for the people who have it, and for the people who love them. It’s not an easy subject to bring up, but you can always talk to the dental staff at Beaumont Family Dentistry in Lexington.
We can help you find the cause of your halitosis and treat it together.
Causes of bad breath
Bad breath doesn’t just happen. It’s a result of the things we put in our mouths to eat and drink. It may be a reflection of poor dental hygiene, or it could be a symptom of other problems.
If you or someone you care about is suffering from halitosis, here are some possible reasons why.
1. Bad oral health. This is one of the many reasons we encourage our patients to brush their teeth twice a day and to floss every day.
If you aren’t brushing and flossing every day, food particles may be trapped between your teeth and gums. The bacteria in your mouth can turn this into plaque. That can lead to gum disease, tooth loss, and bone deterioration. Bad breath is a symptom of all those conditions.
This is why, in addition to brushing and flossing daily, we recommend that patients have professional cleanings by a member of our team every six months. A professional cleaning can remove plaque and tartar buildup and identify problems before they get to the point of making you embarrassed and others around you uncomfortable.
2. Dry mouth. Saliva serves multiple functions for your oral health. One of them is to neutralize acids from plaque. Another function is to remove dead cells that accumulate in your mouth. If these are not removed, they will decompose just like any other cells, causing your bad breath.
Dry mouth is a side effect of medication you may be using. If you have persistent dry mouth, drinking water and chewing sugarless gum can help stimulate saliva production in your mouth.
3. Diseases. Sometimes bad breath is a symptom of problems elsewhere in your body. It may be a side effect of diseases like bronchitis, pneumonia, and diabetes among others.
4. Using tobacco products. This one is as straightforward as it gets. Tobacco makes your breath stink. If you are smoking, chewing, or dipping, please quit for the sake of your breath and your health.
5. Foods with strong odors. If you eat a lot of garlic, onions, or other strong smelling foods, then you will have that odor with you until your body has processed them. Even brushing your teeth, flossing, and rinsing may only temporarily cover up those smells.
If this is a persistent issue, you may want to reconsider how much or how often you eat these foods.
Treating bad breath
Many of the causes of bad breath are under your control. As with many things, you can take steps to prevent bad breath before it becomes a problem for you and those around you.
If your bad breath is a result of poor oral hygiene, it is important that to you come in for a professional cleaning. Brushing and flossing are great at preventing plaque buildup, but you may need a deep cleaning if you are dealing with halitosis.
This deep cleaning may involve root planing and scaling around your gums and other nonsurgical treatments of gum disease. Depending on the seriousness of your condition, you may need antibiotics or laser therapy.
Once your condition is treated, you must maintain your oral hygiene. Just to reiterate what you should do:
– Brush twice every day for two minutes each time. Scrub your teeth on all sides, and finish by brushing your tongue.
– Floss once per day. This will remove bits of food or plaque between your teeth and gums. This is needed because brushing won’t get everything.
– Make and keep regular dental appointments. Professional cleanings will remove any plaque or tartar buildup you may not have gotten with your daily routine at home.
Fix your breath today
If you are suffering from chronic bad breath, do not delay in getting treatment. Schedule an appointment for a cleaning and examination at your nearest Beaumont Family Dentistry office in Lexington.