Understanding Halitosis

Have you ever noticed the unpleasant smell coming from your mouth in the morning when you wake up? This unpleasant morning breath, also known as halitosis, is a common daily experience among most people. It occurs since your body stops to produce saliva while you are asleep. This causes the development of foul smell due to bacteria and germs to build up in the mouth. At Brightwork Family Dentistry, Dr. Benjamin J. Crowley and his team are ready to help overcome this condition before it can ruin your confidence levels.

How do you know if you have bad breath?

You may fail to recognize that your mouth has a foul smell. You can ask a trusted friend to smell your breath if you suspect you have halitosis. Alternatively, you can use dental floss to help point out the smell of your breath or cover your mouth and breathe into your palm.

Causes of Smelly Breath

Bad breath from poor oral hygiene is a leading cause of oral malodor. If you have dentures or are using plastic orthodontic dentures, these can provide ground for bacteria build-up, leading to chronic oral malodor. 

Other causes of bad breath include:

  •       Use of low-carb diets
  •       Consumption of pungent foods and drinks such as onions, garlic, and coffee.
  •       Use of tobacco
  •       Dental and periodontal diseases
  •       Xerostomia (dry mouth)
  •       Use of certain medications
  •       Existing medical conditions including pneumonia, sinus infections, bronchitis, and diabetes.

Preventing Oral Malodor

It can be embarrassing to have chronic bad breath. Here are five ways to help avoid oral malodor:

Maintain Proper Oral Care

Brush your teeth and tongue after every meal using antibacterial toothpaste to help kill bacteria which cause plaque. Use dental floss to get rid of hard-to-reach food particles trapped between the teeth. Visit your dentist frequently for teeth cleaning and to help point out other medical conditions that could be manifested by bad breath.

Avoid highly flavorful foods

Your mouth can produce a bad smell after consuming highly flavored foods. Avoid consuming foods that have strong odors since these can leave your mouth with a bad smell.

Use Breath Fresheners and Antibacterial Mouthwash

Use of xylitol chewing gums that contain no sugar and antibacterial mouthwash can help freshen your breath. Breath fresheners and mouthwash solutions help mask bad odors from your mouth when you are not able to brush after eating. Avoid sugary mints since they can worsen the bad smell.

Stay Hydrated

Saliva helps flush out germs and bacteria in the mouth. When you drink more fluids, this helps the mouth stay hydrated and free from bad breath. Drink plenty of water after eating if you are unable to brush your teeth to get rid of food particles that attract germs and cause your mouth to smell bad.

Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco Products

The use of alcohol and tobacco is known to cause bad odor in the mouth. Too much drinking can also cause dryness in the mouth, leading to a bad smell.

If you are struggling with halitosis, do not allow this condition to take away your confidence. Visit Brightwork Family Dentistry today to learn more about oral hygiene.