HOW FRESH IS YOUR BREATH?
Few things make it difficult to enjoy an intimate moment like bad breath. Although everyone has bad breath occasionally, some people struggle with chronic or acute bad breath. Also known as halitosis, worrying about bad breath can be a problem for men and women of all ages. If you are concerned about bad breath, schedule an appointment with a board-certified dentist in Chicago, IL to find out if a bigger issue is giving you halitosis and what you can do to take care of it. Our team at DentalWorks – Chicago Loop reviews some of the top causes of bad breath, how you can deal with halitosis, and approaches to stop breath problems in this post.
WHAT CAUSES BAD BREATH?
- CERTAIN FOODS
Garlic, onions, certain spices, and coffee all create odors that may linger even if you’ve brushed or popped a breath mint. The smell of these foods may remain as long they are being digested by your stomach.
Chewing tobacco, smoking cigarettes, and using other tobacco products will leave you with bad breath. This distinct bad odor can often be smelled by others, even if you don’t smell it.
- ACID REFLUX
Chronic acid reflux is bad for both your stomach and breath. The acid that builds up in your stomach can get caught in the back of your throat, causing bad breath.
- POOR DENTAL CARE
If you don’t floss and brush your teeth every day or if you aren’t doing it correctly, you may have bad breath. Leaving bits of food in your teeth may also result in gum disease and cavities.
- DRY MOUTH
Having a healthy amount of saliva in your mouth can help to rinse away bacteria and debris that cause bad breath and other problems. If you have a dry mouth, this might be contributing to your bad breath.
- GUM DISEASE OR AN INFECTED TOOTH
Chronic bad breath could be a symptom of a larger problem. An oral infection (like cavities and gum disease) can cause bad breath if it is not addressed.
IDENTIFYING THE CAUSE OF HALITOSIS
When you have chronic bad breath, schedule an oral health examination and consultation with a board-certified dentist in Chicago, IL. Be prepared to talk about your diet, your brushing and flossing habits, when your halitosis started, and your medical history. This will all help your dentist find the source of your halitosis. During the physical exam, your dentist will check the health of your teeth, gums, and jaw, as well as feeling your neck for lumps and swelling. Digital x-rays or other diagnostic tests might be required to help your dentist find the problem. Once your examination is finished, your dentist will talk to you about the results and treatment options to help your breath.
At DentalWorks – Chicago Loop, we offer custom treatment plans to eliminate your halitosis problem. The treatment your dentist recommends for your halitosis will be dependent on the underlying source. Your treatment may be as simple as changing your at-home dental hygiene routine or visiting the dentist more often for professional cleanings. If you have an infected tooth, you may need a root canal. Bad breath caused by gum disease might be fixed with periodontal therapy. Your dentist may also recommend visiting a general practitioner if your bad breath is related to chronic acid reflux or another medical problem.
- DAILY BRUSHING
Remove debris and odors by cleaning your teeth at least twice a day. Talk to your dentist about proper brushing technique and if they recommend a special toothpaste. In the morning, try brushing your teeth after breakfast instead of first thing in the morning.
- FLOSS EVERYDAY
Make sure you are getting the debris and bacteria trapped between your teeth by flossing at least once every day. You may consider flossing your teeth before you brush, so you can rinse everything away, instead of just moving it throughout your mouth.
- USE MOUTHWASH
If you’re not able brush your teeth after drinking or eating, rinse with mouthwash. Better than breath mints with a lot of sugar, a mouthwash will rinse away debris and bacteria during the day and gives you fresher breath.
- CLEAN YOUR TONGUE
After you’ve flossed and brushed your teeth, gently scrub your tongue. Some people use specific tongue brushes or scrapers, but your regular toothbrush and toothpaste should be enough to remove bacteria and lingering odors.
- DON’T SMOKE
Reduce your risk of developing oral cancer and help your breath by quitting tobacco products. Talk to your doctor to learn about tobacco cessation techniques that may help you quit.
- VISIT YOUR DENTIST
In addition to keeping your teeth clean at home every day, you need to visit a dentist in Chicago, IL twice a year. Professional cleanings remove built-up plaque and tartar from your teeth that could promote bad breath. Throughout your oral health exam, your dentist can find and treat issues, like cavities or gum disease, that if left untreated, can cause bad breath and other serious problems.
- DRINK MORE WATER
Rinse away bacteria and lingering odors by remaining hydrated. Drinking plain water throughout the day can also alleviate dry mouth, which often leads to halitosis.
- CHANGE YOUR DIET
If you’re worried about bad breath, look at avoiding garlic, onions, spicy foods, coffee, and other known culprits of halitosis. If you do eat any of these things, make sure you use a mouthwash or brush your teeth afterward to help reduce odors.
FIGHT BAD BREATH BEFORE IT STARTS
If you’re constantly worried about your breath or using too many breath mints, schedule an appointment with a board-certified dentist in Chicago, IL. At DentalWorks – Chicago Loop, our team works with patients to find the source of bad breath and then create a customized treatment plan. You may have to change your diet or improve your oral hygiene habits, but we’ll help you get fresher breath and also more confidence when you get close to others.