Halitosis Overshadows a Beautiful Smile

In cosmetic dentistry, we rave about the benefits of a gorgeous smile. Studies show, an attractive smile makes a person appear smarter, more successful, friendlier, and a bright smile can even earn a higher salary. While a sensational smile holds amazing power, one small problem can sabotage your beauty: bad breath.

We’ve all been in close quarters with a person who suffers from halitosis. What can you do when someone’s breath stinks? Hold your breath – but that can only last so long. You can try to escape with polite excuses. But what if you’re the person with bad breath? Have you ever noticed, people with bad breath usually don’t know they smell?

Experts tell us that we can use the sniff test: cup a hand over your mouth, breathe out through our mouth, then in through our nose, and gauge whether you have bad breath. I’m not sure this works. It’s certainly not fool-proof. If you want to take measures to ensure fresh, delightful breath, put away the mouthwash and gum. These products have been used since the Elizabethan era and only mask the real problem. Here are a few tips that will ensure you’re never the person people dread; you’re always a breath of fresh air.

  • Keep your mouth moist by drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day
  • Avoid stinky foods, like garlic and onions
  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Use a tongue scraper and floss when brushing before bed
  • Attend six-month dental checkups and cleanings
  • Address tooth decay and gum disease immediately
  • Keep oral appliances clean
  • Stop using tobacco and drinking alcohol
  • Diet: avoid refined carbohydrates, carbonated drinks, ice creams, syrups, and increase your intake of fiber-rich foods and avocados

Bad breath is often caused by sulfur produced by oral bacteria. Tooth decay and gum disease also cause a foul odor. In addition, bad breath can come from the stomach and intestines. Smelly foods, constipation, and intestinal decomposition are common sources of bad breath. Dry mouth, too, fosters halitosis. Dry mouth can stem from antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, and antihistamines, as well as certain diseases. The dreaded morning breath is a result of dead cells accumulating in the mouth and decomposing.

Professional products can help alleviate bad breath. For instance, prescription, alcohol-free mouthrinses, special toothpastes, and breath spray is available in many dentist’s offices.

If you’re a victim of bad breath or you’re afraid that you might become one, call us to schedule a visit with Dr. Fondriest. As a cosmetic and restorative dentist, Dr. Fondriest can give you the smile—and the breath—you’ve always wanted. Our office serves families from Lake Bluff, Knollwood, Green Oaks, North Chicago, and surrounding communities.

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