How to tell if you have bad breath and how to fix it

Many people suffer from bad breath – often referred to as chronic halitosis – and aren’t even aware of it. Bad breath can be embarrassing. How can you tell if you have bad breath, and what can you do to prevent it? A few simple steps will ensure that your breath stays fresh and that your teeth, gums and mouth are in good shape.  A close friend or family member may have hinted that your breath is less than fresh. You may have suspected it yourself.  What can you do to ensure to control your bad breath and take good care of your oral health?  Good oral hygiene is important for overall mouth health, but it’s especially important when combatting halitosis. A few things to remember:

Brush and floss: most bad breath originates from the teeth and gums, so it is especially important to brush and floss as least twice daily.  Brush for at least two minutes during each session to remove food particles and plaque.  Keeping your mouth free of debris and decay causing bacteria will keep your breath smelling fresh.

Clean your tongue: Bad breath can also be caused by food debris and bacteria on the tongue.  Use a tongue scraper or tooth brush in a gentle back-to-front motion to clean the surface of the tongue and help freshen your breath.

Use mouthwash: It is important to remember that there are several kinds of mouth washes available.  Some only cover up odors and do not treat or correct mouth issues.  Talk to your dentist about the mouth wash that is right for you.  If you are seeking to quickly freshen breath, swishing your mouth with plain water, black or green tea, or water infused with a few drops of peppermint oil can help, as well.

See your dentist regularly: Nothing can replace good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist. Not only will your dentist’s office provide periodic thorough teeth cleaning and plaque removal, your dentist can help you address and treat any issues such as decay, bad breath, problem teeth, dry mouth or other issues.  Don’t let anxiety stand in the way of regular dental visits. Your dentist will partner with you to handle any concerns and ensure that your mouth stays as healthy (and odor free!) as possible.

Avoid tobacco products: Smoking and the use tobacco products contribute to bad breath.  Tobacco dries out the mouth, which is not good for gum and tooth health. Tobacco products leave behind an unpleasant odor that cannot be removed with brushing or rinsing.  Tobacco products are bad for your overall health and your oral health, as well.  

Drink water: Drinking plenty of water is important for overall wellness, but it’s good for you mouth, too.  Water washes away lingering food particles and damaging bacteria and also prevents dry mouth, which can cause bad breath and tooth decay.  If you suffer from excessive dry mouth due to a medical condition or certain medications, talk to your dentist about special mouthwashes or other aids that may help you.

Snack smart: Chewing sugarless gum, enjoying sugar free hard candy or snacking on crunchy fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots and other treats can help keep your mouth smelling fresh. These treats and snacks stimulate saliva flow, which washes away food particles and odor causing bacteria.

If you have questions about chronic halitosis or regular oral care, speak to your dentist.  Your oral health care provider can offer suggestions that will ensure a healthy mouth, fresh breath and a bright smile.  Don’t let your fear of the dentist or embarrassment about bad breath keep you from inquiring. Your dentist is used to all kinds of questions and has treated many kinds of conditions. If you think you have bad breath, but aren’t sure what to do about it, talk to you dentist today.  To learn more about painless dental procedures, visit dentalvibe.comto find a Dental Vibe dentist near you. 

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