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Everyone has had bad breath at one time or another, but if you find yourself constantly reaching for a mint this blog is your solution to a smelly situation!

What are the factors that contribute to halitosis (bad breath):

  • Diet – When you eat, your mouth and stomach break down food.  It then moves to the small intestine where food gets broken down even more and absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream begins.   Blood travels to the lungs, gasses are exchanged and strong scented chemicals from your food (such as onions and garlic) are exhaled. Brushing, flossing and mouthwash only mask the odor.
  • Plaque – Plaque is a naturally occurring film of bacteria that coats the teeth and gums.  Plaque has odorous byproducts that affect your breath
  • Poor Oral Hygiene – The development of cavities and gum disease can lead to persistent bad breath.  When food particles aren’t properly removed by brushing and flossing, bacteria grows on teeth, gums, and on the tongue.  Unfortunately, bacteria react with food to create acids and toxins that irritate the gums and cause tooth decay, contributing to halitosis.
  • Dry Mouth – Saliva plays a key role in starting the breakdown of food, but it is also important because it washes away food particles, dead cells and acids.  With a decrease in the production of saliva, breath will smell worse because these residual particles won’t be washed away. Certain medications, medical conditions and mouth breathing can all lead to dry mouth.
  • Use of Tobacco Products – Whether you smoke or chew tobacco is up to you.  Just remember that others might not want to stand in close proximity when you speak.

How can I have clean, fresh-smelling breath?

  • Change Your Diet – Foods high in protein and sugar are related to bad breath.  Eat clean foods that have a low amount of fragrance and your breath will smell better.
  • Use Mouth Rinses and Toothpaste – In general, the better your oral hygiene, the less likely you’ll be to have bad breath.  Mouth rinses are effective in killing bacteria that grows on your teeth. Antibacterial toothpaste can also be used to kill plaque buildup.  And tongue brushing is very effective in removing odorous bacteria at the back of your tongue. (For more oral health tips look at our previous blog post!)
  • See your dentist regularly – Odor-causing bacteria can accumulate in pockets in your mouth and only a professional cleaning can remove them thoroughly.  
  • Stop Chewing and Smoking Tobacco – Quitting is tough, but you’ll soon become addicted to having fresh breath and a bright smile!
  • Reduce Dry Mouth – At Smiles Unlimited Dentistry, P.C., we recommend that patients with dry mouth use MI Paste, which contains minerals that are essential for creating a saliva-like environment as well as helping to maintain normal pH levels and healthy teeth.  Sugar-free gum is also a good way of promoting salivary flow. And drinking more water to keep your mouth moist is another way to fight dry mouth.

Our team of doctors at Smiles Unlimited Dentistry, P.C., are here to help you identify and fight causes of bad breath!

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