What To Do About Bad Breath
Summer is almost here and now my patients tell me they are wanting even brighter, whiter teeth to play in the sun, but I often ask them when we discuss their need for better dental hygiene, “What good are white teeth when your mouth is in a state of decay?
Haven’t we all found ourselves trapped in a conversation with someone with bad breath? We stop and wonder for a minute, “Does my breath smell?” Well, for more than half of the population, many of us will suffer from bad breath at some point in their lives.
Almost all cases of bad breath are caused by bacteria. We have good and bad bacteria in our mouths and bodies. Just as humans do, bacteria consume foods, and excrete waste products and some of this waste product produced by oral bacteria are smelly, sulfur products, which can be caused by any number of more than the 500 different types of bacteria.
Dry mouth is also accompanied by bad breath, as a proper amount of saliva with its antibacterial properties is also needed to flush out food particles left in our mouth after eating. Sinus problems can contribute to a bad smelling mouth. Systemic abnormalities such as diabetes or lung disease can also be the cause.
A bad breath odor is a sign telling us something shouldn’t be ignored. A balance is necessary between the good and bad bacteria. As an oral health care professional, the most common sources for ‘halitosis,’ the medical name for it–are gum infections, an abscess, cavities, infected teeth or inadequate dental hygiene. Most of my new patients don’t know that more than half of the oral bacteria loves to live on the tongue. Those of you with a white coated tongue, start scraping it daily with a tongue scraper that you can find at any pharmacy. My favorite tongue scraper is the attachment that comes with the WaterPik water flosser, or you can purchase it to use it with your water flosser at WaterPik.com. In addition to scraping the tongue, it send water deep in between the grooves of the tongue to flush out bacteria hiding there.
However, poor dental hygiene is not the only bad guy when it comes to a foul smelling mouth. How about your diet? My clients who are seeking better nutrition in their overall wellness plans have seen they fall prey to bad breath when they’ve succumbed to eating a lot of processed and sugary foods. Bad breath can be a symptom of stomach issues. There’s a breath test that measures bacterial overgrowth in the stomach as well as food intolerances. It is a hydrogen breath test and it can be done at your nutritionist or physician’s office.
Just another reason to brush your teeth and floss regularly. Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, especially vegetables high in fiber and fruits such as green vegetables and apples which help clean the teeth, tongue and intestines and can change the bacteria in your mouth for the better. Yes, you are in control of your breath!
In great health,
To discuss your dental hygiene with an award-winning periodontist and nutritionist contact Dr. Sanda Moldovan to schedule a consultation.