Bad breath plagues us all, but for many different reasons, read below to see how you can prevent bad breath from affecting your work and personal relationships!
See your dentist at least every 6 months, or possibly every 3 months if you get tartar buildup easily. The bacteria that cause tartar buildup and gum disease make it hard to keep your breath fresh. If it has been a while since you have seen the dentist, untreated gum disease produces gum infections that need more aggressive cleanings.
Brush and floss daily then brush your tongue. Bacteria are also present on your tongue. If it is coated, it needs to be clean. You can use your toothbrush (no toothpaste needed) or a tongue scraper found at any drug store.
Prevent or control acid reflux or GERD. Acid backs up into your mouth and causes bad breath. It may have an acidic smell to it. Check with your physician about treatment options as it can develop into more serious conditions or be caused by untreated sleep apnea.
Prevent or control dry mouth. Certain medications cause dry mouth and sometimes a combination of many medications heighten the effects of dry mouth. Mouth breathing can also cause dry mouth and you may need to see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist to see if you have any allergies, sinus issues or sleep apnea. Without sufficient saliva to wash the mouth after you eat to breakdown the foods and neutralize the acid created, the mouth becomes a hot spot for bacteria to thrive.
Quit smoking. No matter how hard you try to mask the smoke in your breath, either by chewing gum, eating breath mints or using mouthwash, it is only temporary.
Clean your mouthguards, retainers, partial dentures and dentures daily with warm water and soap. If you see white buildup on them, they are covered in plaque and cannot be removed without our dental tools. Discontinue wearing them as they are doing more harm than good at this point. Make sure to bring them in so we can clean them for you or recommend replacement if there is too much growth on them.
If you have had a cold recently, nasal drainage in the back of your throat can also cause bad breath. Control congestion with a nasal spray, Sudafed, a Neti pot (with distilled water only!) or a combination of these to keep the nasal cavity clean.