Before I get to the preventative tips, it’s important to understand where bad breath, or halitosis comes from. The major contributor is odor causing bacteria and there can be many reasons why such bacteria may increase. The following are frequent causes of bad breath:
- Bacteria surrounding plaque and tartar
- Bacteria around wisdom teeth
- Nasal and sinus infections
- Throat infections
- Faulty dental restorations
- Periodontal disease
- Xerostomia (dry mouth)
- Other underlying health conditions especially of the gut
- Certain foods such as garlic, onions, fish, meat, cheese, etc.
A few Tips for Preventing Bad Breath
1) Rinse after meals– Bad breath causing bacteria love food residue left around our teeth and gums after our meals. If not brushed or rinsed away food particles can harden within a day which can contribute to odor causing bacteria. Periodic rinsing can disrupt the food particles we eat and prevent it from becoming a food source for odor causing bacteria.
2) Brushing/Flossing/Mouthwash before bed – This is one of the most effective routines you can have for bad breath. Brushing and flossing aid in removing food particles left from meals and snacking during the day. Many times we can’t tell that food residue has attached around our teeth and brushing and flossing removes them before odor causing bacteria accumulate. Patients who have deep pockets around their teeth are especially vulnerable to anaerobic bacteria growth below the gums, which is a major contributor to bad breath. After removing the food residue with brushing and flossing, finishing with antiseptic mouthwash helps further minimize the odor causing bacteria in our mouth.
3) Brush Your Tongue – The tongue carries approximately 50% of the total bacteria in your mouth. Disrupt bacteria by brushing your tongue with toothpaste. The middle 1/3 of your tongue is most prone to bacteria growth so pay special attention to that area. Also remember an old toothbrush is a bacteria-riddled toothbrush, so swap it out every 3-4 months.
4) Get routine cleanings-You may notice that bad breath is much worse as time progresses from their last cleaning. Patients who have deep pockets around their teeth and deposits below the gums are the most susceptible to bad breath issues. Tartar and plaque accumulations are minimized during our hygiene visits, drastically decreasing the effects of odor causing bacteria. Incorporating the steps above will help minimize the effects of odor causing bacteria in between your cleaning visits.Leave a reply →