Bad breath can be a source of worry and embarrassment. Fortunately, you can control most cases of this common condition by brushing, flossing, rinsing, hydrating, and steering clear of tobacco. If the problem persists, then you may want to see your dentist in Orange Park for an exam and consultation. In rare cases, bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be a symptom of a serious condition.
Common Causes of Bad Breath and How to Deal with Them
Halitosis can stem from a number of causes. In most cases, the problem is the result of dietary choices, tobacco use, dental hygiene issues, or a combination of these factors. Here’s how to deal with these problems:
- Change your diet: bad breath often results from eating strong or spicy foods or drinking acidic beverages. Common examples include garlic or curry dishes, coffee or tea, and alcoholic beverages.
- Care for your teeth: this comes down to regular brushing and flossing. It’s important to follow the “2×2 rule” for brushing: brush at least two times per day for a full two minutes each time. You should floss at least once daily, moving the floss string up and down the surface of each tooth in a C-shaped pattern. Wrap up your regular oral hygiene efforts by using a good name-brand mouthwash or fluoridated dental rinse.
- Stomp out the smoking habit: all forms of tobacco can have devastating consequences for oral health. The same goes for vaping devices. Your dentist can recommend ways to stay nicotine-free for good, including new medications to help control withdrawal symptoms.
- Stay hydrated: dry mouth is a leading cause of halitosis. You can encourage your body to produce more saliva by sipping on water throughout the day. Try a squirt of lemon or lime juice to add a bit of flavor.
- Keep a few mints on hand: sometimes bad breath is caused by factors outside your control, such as hereditary issues. In such cases, you may simply want to keep a few sugar-free mints or sticks of gum on hand. You an also try parsley capsules, which are available at health food stores and online.
What Your Dentist Can Do for Bad Breath
Dentists are trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of oral health conditions, not just cavities and gum disease. Here are some ways your dentist may be able to help you put your halitosis in the past:
- By getting to the root of the problem: bad breath can be a warning sign of bacterial build-up in the mouth, the kind that requires professional treatment to control.
- By correcting the underlying issue: this may take the form of an extraction, root canal, bridgework, crowns, dental deep cleaning, or a combination of all these approaches.
- By offering further guidance: your dentist can recommend ways to keep your bad breath at bay for good, either through lifestyle changes or by referring you to a healthcare specialist for further help.
Most causes of bad breath yield to treatment. Try the self-help tips in this post and see your dentist if the problem persists. Soon you’ll be breathing free and easy once more.
About the Author
Dr. Natasha Patel is a second-generation dentist and a graduate of the highly regarded Nova Southeastern University School of Dental Medicine in Fort Lauderdale. You can reach her office online or by calling (904) 278-9011.