Treat Bad Breath and Increase Your Confidence

Treat Bad Breath and Increase Your Confidence

By Dr Howard Lee

Bad breath is all around us. If you don’t believe that, the next time you’re in line at the grocery store, just take a look at the scores of breath-enhancing products you can find at the register alone.

Doctors say that halitosis, or bad breath, can result from poor dental health and in some cases is linked to serious health problems.

And while bad breath isn’t always a health problem, it does come with one very serious side effect – low self-confidence. In order to stop bad breath cold, Ulladulla Dental Centre would like to introduce you to some of the most common causes of bad breath and some possible ways to deal with it, both at home and in our office.

Causes Of Bad Breath

Morning. While you slumber away, bacteria stay busy. Your saliva production decreases dramatically, and since saliva helps keep your mouth clean, you may awake with bad breath. If your morning brushing does not remove that smell, make an appointment with us at Ulladulla Dental Centre!

Mouth breathing. Mouth-breathing can cause saliva to evaporate, drying your mouth out and reducing its ability to stay clean.

Foods and spices. Spiced foods, and pungent foods like garlic and onions are often culprits in this. And even if the smell fades from your mouth, it can return in burps, or settle in the GI tract and lungs, escaping later.

Not eating. Skipped meals mean less saliva production and increased GI disruption.

Smoking. Smoking increases the number and volume of smell-producing compounds in the mouth and lungs, and dries out the mouth.

Medication. Some meds, including antihistamines, diuretics, antipsychotics, and muscle relaxants—can dry your mouth and reduce saliva production.

Cavities. Food can actually get caught in the cavities, and stay there for long periods of time. This leads to bad breath.

Dental appliances. Braces, dentures, and fixed bridges need to be cleaned every day, to stave off bad breath and to fight higher amounts of plaque accumulation.

Alcohol. A 2007 study in Israel discovered that alcohol was linked to higher rates of bad breath.

There are plenty of other possible causes as well, including:

Heartburn – bad breath can be triggered by disorders like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Strep throat

Natural differences in oral bacteria

Diabetes-induced high blood sugar

Sjogren’s syndrome – an immune system disorder.

Obviously, each of those causes suggests some answers/treatment. Don’t smoke, don’t drink, hydrate well, brush your teeth regularly, etc.

What Can You Do?

Brush your teeth, at least twice daily, for two to three minutes to eliminate plaque and food debris. Brush before going to bed, and be sure to reach all areas of the teeth.

Floss daily. This removes food debris from in between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. If the food debris is not removed, the bacteria will begin to feed on it, causing bad breath.

Brush or scrape your tongue. Purchase a tongue scraper. If a tongue scraper is not available, use your toothbrush to brush your tongue.

Temporarily use a mouth rinse. A mouth rinse will mask the odour and not cure underlying causes. Peppermint oil, and black or green teas can also be used as rinses.

Visit your dentist.

Quit smoking and avoid tobacco products.

Stay hydrated. Drinking water helps wash away food particles and bacteria. If you have ongoing dry mouth or use medications that contribute to a dry mouth, consult with your dentist about over-the-counter saliva substitutes.

Have a piece of sugarless candy or chew on sugarless gum. Sucking on a piece of sugarless candy or chewing sugarless gum can increase saliva flow.

Munch on “detergent” foods. Crisp, fresh fruits and vegetables increase saliva flow between meals.

Your appearance (and how you feel about it) can have a huge impact on your life.

If you don’t like a physical feature, it can have an effect on your social life, love life, and even your career.

And perhaps no single physical feature has as much impact as a smile.

Call (02) 4412 7877 to book your appointment and find out how we can help you today.