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A Family Dentist’s Secrets to Preventing Bad Breath
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a problem that everybody deals with, which is why we asked a family dentist to explain what causes this condition and how to prevent it.
Even though the most common cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene, people who practice good oral hygiene also have to deal with bad breath, indicating that the problem cannot be pinned on just poor oral hygiene.
About bad breath
Poor oral hygiene is one of the biggest reasons people have bad breath, but there are other factors that can make your breath stink, including the type of food you eat and the amount of saliva your mouth produces. Family dentists also believe that gum disease can lead to bad breath if the disease spreads after being left untreated.
How does food affect your breath?
Everything you eat is broken down in your mouth before you swallow it, which means that eating foods with strong odors, like garlic, can make your breath stink. Even though you can mask the odor temporarily by brushing your teeth and using mouthwash, the odor will linger until the food has completely passed through your body.
How does saliva affect your breath?
Having a dry mouth can cause bad breath because the saliva your body produces is necessary for moistening your mouth, neutralizing plaque-produced acids and to wash away the dead cells on your gums, cheeks and tongue. If your body does not produce enough saliva, the cells will decompose and cause bad breath.
A family dentist's secrets for bad breath prevention
A family dentist suggests following the following steps to prevent bad breath:
Practice good oral hygiene
Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly can help to reduce or prevent bad breath. You should try brushing your teeth after eating but if you are unable to, you should rinse your mouth with water to remove the food particles in your mouth and chew sugar-free gum, which stimulates the production of saliva.
Change your toothbrush every two to three months, after an illness or when the bristles start to fray. Use an antibacterial mouthwash at least twice a day to kill the germs in your mouth and remember to remove and clean your dentures before going to bed.
Get regular dental examinations
Going for regular dental checkups helps to reduce your chances of having bad breath because your dentist will be able to pick up symptoms of tooth decay or gum disease during your checkup and start treatment before it becomes a bigger problem.
Your family dentist will also provide you with tips and techniques on how to improve your oral hygiene and keep the bad breath away.
Stay away from tobacco products
Smoking puts you at risk of gum disease which can lead to bad breath and bigger problems if left untreated. Smokeless tobacco products also increase your cancer risk and damage your teeth and gums. The smell of these products also causes bad breath after use.
Drinking a lot of water keeps your mouth moist and stimulates the production of saliva which is useful in washing away the bacteria and food particles in your mouth.
The bottom line
Bad breath affects a lot of people but it can be treated and minimized following the steps provided by your family dentist. If you need more tips on preventing bad breath, talk to your dentist to learn more ways to prevent it.
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