Worried about bad breath? Well breathe easy – there is hope. Finding the cause is the first step toward a remedy. Here you’ll find information outlining the causes and treatments for halitosis.
The first step to determining the source of your bad breath is scheduling an appointment with your dental professional. After taking your full medical and dental history along with an oral examination, your dentist should be able to identify the culprit. There are multiple possible causes of bad breath including certain foods, alcohol or cigarettes, poor oral hygiene, periodontal disease, diabetes, dry mouth, sinus or throat infections, lung infections or abscesses, kidney/liver failure, gastrointestinal issues and severe dieting.
In between visits to your dentist it is important to conduct thorough oral hygiene at home twice daily. You should use a fluoride, antibacterial toothpaste and ADA-approved toothbrush. Flossing to remove food debris and plaque on teeth, bridgework and implants, and brushing the tongue to remove odor-causing bacteria is a vital step as well. A recent study reported that tongue and tooth brushing in combination with dental flossing significantly decreases bleeding of the gum tissue over a two week period of time as well as reduced bad breath. Another clinical study conducted by the University of Buffalo confirmed brushing your teeth twice a day with antibacterial toothpaste and using a toothbrush with a tongue cleaner can eliminate bad breath.
Cleaning your tongue is very important. There are several brands of toothbrushes available with a tongue cleaner. After brushing your upper and lower teeth, place the tongue cleaner portion of the toothbrush in the posterior region of the tongue and move it forward to the front of the tongue. After you have scraped that portion of the tongue, rinse the tongue brush off with warm water to remove any odor causing bacteria. Then replace the tongue brush in the next posterior section again and repeat the process until you have completely cleaned your tongue.
Consult your dental professional about oral hygiene aids to help you eliminate plaque and odor causing bacteria. Have them show you the proper techniques to use at home. Remember, the biggest key to a clean, fresh mouth is optimal oral hygiene conducted at home on a regular basis and professional recommendations discussed with you by your dental professional.