If you’ve ever had a friend or family member slip you a breath mint at a dinner party, they’re basically telling you (in a nice way) that your breath is a little funky.
Now, in many cases it’s due to the food you may have just eaten, which is no big deal and can be cleared up with a simple brushing and flossing. However, if you’re one of the millions of people who experience chronic bad breath, you may have a condition known as halitosis.
While that word may sound a little scary, it really isn’t. Bad breath is actually a common problem that has many causes, each of which can either be eliminated completely or at least managed effectively.
So, if you’re tired of living your life afraid to strike up a conversation for fear of bad breath, this article is for you. As a side note, if you happen to live in or around the Babylon, NY area, our dental office provides professional halitosis treatment and can also help you put together a daily game plan for fighting bad breath.
Your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria…so neutralize it
Every human being has a seemingly infinite number of bacteria floating around their oral region, creating a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. As this bacteria collects between teeth, under your tongue, and in every nook and cranny, it can cause bad breath that is difficult to control.
The solution, of course, is quite simple— you need a toothbrush, a tongue scraper, and dental floss. By brushing your teeth thoroughly 2-3 times per day, using a tongue scraper at least once per day, and flossing every day, you’ll take a giant leap forward in the fight against bacteria.
Of course, it’s also important to see a dentist for a cleaning at least every 6 months. If you’re in the West Babylon or Patchogue area and you’re looking for a new dentist (or you just haven’t been to a dentist in a while…it happens…we don’t judge), then we encourage you to call us and schedule your appointment.
How a “healthy” diet can cause bad breath
It’s pretty obvious that eating a bunch of sugary, processed foods and not taking care of your oral health can lead to a variety of issues including bad breath, but did you know that following a so-called “healthy diet” can also lead to bad breath? It’s true!
Researchers have found that individuals who follow a low carb diet are likely to release ketones, a chemical naturally produced by the body that emits a less-than-ideal smell right from your mouth.
Now this isn’t an excuse to get off your diet, but we do want you to be aware of how a seemingly healthy eating plan can have negative side effects for your oral health and well-being.
Two common ways to fight this problem: chew sugarless gum and drink more water, as hydration promotes a healthy mouth and better smelling breath.
Are tonsil stones causing your bad breath?
Tonsil stones are not pleasant, and if you’re a little squeamish, you may want to proceed reading this paragraph with caution. You see, tonsil stones form in small pockets within the mouth and then harden into a substance that has a cheese-like consistency.
As you can probably imagine, this can become quite foul smelling over time and can lead to chronic bad breath very easily. The good news? You can typically remove these stones with either a water flosser or a cotton swab, and then gargle with warm salt water on a consistent basis in order to keep them from forming again.
In extreme cases, patients who suffer from tonsil stones may need to have their tonsils surgically removed.
Acid reflux: A common bad breath culprit
Have you ever brushed your teeth, flossed thoroughly, and noticed your smile is looking like a million bucks, only to still have bad breath?
Acid reflux is a very common condition and it causes bad breath on a frequent basis. Typically, you’ll notice this problem after you eat or early in the morning if you belch (burp).
In order to treat this cause of bad breath, you have to treat the underlying issue. There are many over-the-counter medications that assist in neutralizing stomach acid, as well as other medications that can be prescribed by your doctor.
A common way for individuals suffering from acid reflux is to alter their diet and focus on eating more organic, whole foods while eliminating or reducing processed foods.
A word of caution: when bad breath isn’t just bad breath
It’s important to note— while the vast majority of halitosis sufferers are tired of bad breath that stems from some sort of oral problem, it can also be a symptom of a more serious underlying issue.
For example, diabetes, liver disease, and a variety of stomach conditions can be a leading contributor to your bad breath issue. If you feel your bad breath may be caused by a more serious underlying condition, we encourage you to visit your general practitioner immediately.
So what now?
According to most estimates, 80% of bad breath is either directly caused or significantly influenced by dental problems, which means that seeing a dentist for a halitosis evaluation is the next logical step.
If you are searching for a new dentist on the South Shore of Long Island in or around the West Babylon or Patchogue areas, please give our practice nearest you a call today!
We have two locations (Babylon Dental Care at Great South Bay and Babylon Dental Care at Gateway Plaza) and would love to meet you and your family.
So what are you waiting for? Give our office a call today!