Bad Breath – Preventing and Fighting it with Dental Hygiene

I think one of the most frequent questions asked in our Toronto Dental office is how do I fight bad breath?

Everyone suffers from this occasionally. Bad breath is commonly caused by the foods we eat, and how often we brush our teeth and clean our gums and tongue.

At WestClair Dental we stress to our patients at each hygiene appointment how important it is to brush and floss your teeth and gums at least twice a day. It is just as important that you clean as far back on your tongue as you can because that is where the bacteria often collects. If you do not clean your mouth regularly any remaining food particles will attract bacteria, which causes bad breath and contributes to tooth decay. At our offices, depending on your tongue surface we provide something called a tongue scraper. This can be used to thoroughly remove bacteria from the top of the tongue.

Another major cause of bad breath is certain foods we eat such as garlic, onions and some spices. After digestion, the proteins in these foods circulate in the bloodstream. They are carried into the lungs and exit your system with each breath you expel. This can cause bad breath for up to 72 hours.

Another cause for bad breath is smoking. Cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco can cause dry mouth and bad breath and is harmful to your health in general. Ask your dentist for help with smoking cessation.

Dry mouth leads to bad breath. Our saliva inhibits the growth of bacteria that contribute to bad breath by cleansing the mouth and removing odor-causing food particles. Dry mouth is also caused by some medications, alcohol and breathing with your mouth open. To keep your mouth moist drink lots of water or chew sugar-free gum or use rinses or products specifically for dry mouth.

Chronic bad breath is a sign that something is not right. It can be an early symptom of gum disease or dry mouth. Be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist. If it is due to an oral condition, your dentist can develop a treatment plan to help eliminate it. If your gums and teeth are healthy your dentist may refer you to your family doctor or a specialist. Bad breath may be an indicator of a medical disorder such as sinusitis or gastrointestinal disturbances.[/fusion_text]