The importance of straight, white teeth has been discussed in our previous posts, but what about our breath? Is this important? Well, considering smell is one of senses that lingers with us the longest, it is definitely important. People tend to associate smells with moments in time, with people, and with life events.
Quick Remedies for Fresh Breath
The easiest way to obtain fresh breath quickly is by eating or chewing on something fresh or minty.
• Gum is a great way to achieve fresh breath on the go. Just make sure you are chewing on sugarless gum! Some gum brands have been approved by the ADA, so you could look for the seal of approval on the package for confirmation.
• Some people decide to swirl mouthwash. You can mix in a teaspoon of baking soda into some water – as well as adding peppermint oil – for your own homemade mouthwash simply designed to freshen your breath.
• Mints! Make sure they are sugar free.
• On the go toothbrushes, or melting mouth strips.
• Scraping your tongue with a tongue scraper.
But what if you are always using mints and gum but still feel like you have bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis? It’s time to see your dentist! Dentists can often smell bad breath from gum disease from a mile away!
Your Gums and Teeth
Two of the most common causes of bad breath are:
1. Tooth Decay – Rotting teeth can cause bad breath.
2. Gum problems or periodontal disease – The build up and bacteria under your gums always cause bad breath. A good deep cleaning, along with other forms of gum therapy will cure this problem! You will of course need to upkeep hygiene yourself at home, i.e brushing and flossing correctly.
We often have patients who have good hygiene, have seen their dentist, and swear they don’t eat garlic or onions still complain of bad breath! You can try these tips or go see your Medical Doctor if the problems don’t resolve.
Tackling the Problem From Within
You may have dry mouth caused by medications, radiation, menopause or Sjogren’s disease.
Saliva production is important for not just healthy teeth, but fresh-smelling breath! By drinking water (go easy on the sugary filled drinks such as soda and fruit juices), our mouth is able to produce saliva at an appropriate rate that keeps odor-causing bacteria at bay.
Products such as Biotene also help with dry mouth. They can be purchased over the counter.
Probiotics and Gut Flora
Bad breath can be a side effect from unhappy stomachs that are producing too much acid, gas. Irregular or insufficient bowel movements can often cause bad breath too. Make sure you are consuming enough fiber or taking probiotics.
Probiotics may offer relief. Probiotics can be obtained from many different sources, with the most popular being yogurt. Yogurt contains “live and active cultures” (these are what probiotics are), which possess a host of benefits to our stomachs for a much smoother digestion process.
Your stomach may also contains bacteria which can cause bad breath. Your MD can take a culture or blood test to determine this.
If you suffer from bad breath, the first step is to see your DENTIST and go from there!