Posted by: Jason Hui, DDS, on June 30, 2013
Certain foods like garlic, milk and eggs can leave odors or bacteria in the mouth that contribute to bad breath, but what if you have a more severe form of bad breath, known as halitosis? Do you know what types of home treatments and habits can improve persistent bad breath?
Here are some normal steps to take that can reduce or eliminate your bad breath completely:
• Have cavities or abscessed teeth treated in a timely manner.
Decay bacteria can become pungent and degrading food particles can become wedged deep within cavities, causing a foul smell.
• Address any allergies or sinus infections that may be causing mucous drainage.
Slight drainage in the back of the throat can cause some of the worst breath, and is very common in children. An over the counter medication may be all that is needed.
• Treat gum disease and tartar buildup by seeing your hygienist on a routine basis.
Bleeding gums, plaque and tartar deep under gum pockets create a very distinct bad breath smell. Unfortunately, even very good brushing and flossing cannot remove this bacteria. Typically a deep cleaning is needed, followed by a routine preventive care plan and modified but dedicated oral hygiene habits.
• Clean your tongue.
It’s estimated that 90% of bad breath bacteria hide on the surface of your tongue, between the small bumps known as papilla. Tongue scrapers are one of the most effective ways to remove excess bacteria in these areas. Don’t forget to brush other areas of your mouth as well, like inside of the cheeks, lips and the roof of your mouth.
• Use essential oils that are formulated for oral use.
Blends containing mints are especially useful in boosting fresher breath for several hours. You can apply 2 or 3 drops to your toothbrush, or in a small cup of water to use as a mouth rinse.
• Avoid sugar, such as mints or gums.
Sugar feeds bacteria and will only increase your bad breath instead of help eliminate it. Mints are possibly the worst way to attempt at covering up bad breath.
• Supplement with gum containing Xylitol.
Xylitol repels bacteria from the teeth and also strengthens your teeth.
Halitosis can be a sensitive subject for people to talk about, even if it is with their dentist. Quite frankly it is something that most people worry about on a fairly frequent basis. As oral health professionals, your dentist or hygienist is capable of providing an assessment to your risk factors or causes of bad breath, not to mention provide any necessary input without causing embarrassment about the subject.
The Paragon Dentistry team would like to invite you to experience the difference at our practice while restoring yourself to optimal dental health!