It’s not a taboo subject, but if you suffer from chronic bad breath, you may be less apt to talk about it. Not only does the topic hit close to home, but conversing with people at all might be embarrassing if they catch a waft of your malodorous breath. Nevertheless, speaking about your condition with your dentist is imperative if your bad breath refuses to go away. Lake Forest dentist, Dr. James Fondriest, understands that chronic bad breath, or halitosis, can have a significant impact on your quality of life, and in some instances, may indicate trouble with your dental health. Luckily, bad breath can be conquered with the right care and attention, starting with identifying the cause of your offensive exhalations.
Identify the Cause
Like any physical or dental health issue, halitosis is treated by addressing the reason behind it, which can be any of a large number of factors. Other than morning breath, one of the most common causes of bad breath is especially pungent food, such as garlic and onions. The smell of the food can linger in your mouth, and as it’s digested and absorbed into your bloodstream, the food can travel to your lungs and be exhaled through your breath. Sugarless gum and mints can help mask food-induced bad breath, but it won’t go away until the food has passed through your body.
Bad breath that lingers long past your meals is often the cause of oral bacteria that release volatile sulfur compounds. Poor hygiene can allow masses of bacteria to buildup in your mouth and release excessive amounts of foul-smelling gases. These germs are also the reason for morning breath, which occurs when your reduced saliva flow during sleep allows oral bacteria to gather almost uninhibited. If brushing and flossing your teeth after breakfast doesn’t eliminate your morning breath, then your mouth’s germs may have a hold on you oral tissues, and freshening your breath may require professional treatment.
Revisit the Basics of Good Hygiene
You can’t see oral bacteria, but you can see and feel their byproduct, dental plaque. When enough microbes accumulate, they form sticky dental plaque to protect themselves from saliva and other defenses. The film also helps them to cling to your teeth, allowing some bacteria to attack the enamel surrounding them and lead to the development of cavities. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once can help you control the population of bacteria in your mouth, reducing the risk of halitosis and other dental diseases. After a while, however, dental plaque calcifies into tartar, which can’t be removed with toothpaste and can protect enough bacteria to pose a threat to your oral health.
Tips for Improving Bad Breath
If germs are the cause of your consistent bad breath, then improving your hygiene routine can help improve it by cleaning your teeth, gums, and tongue of the harmful microbes. Aside from properly brushing and flossing your teeth, you can also try;
- Eat breakfast before brushing—Sometimes, you may just need a boost ridding your mouth of bacteria in the morning. Since your mouth is dry due to reduced saliva, try eating a well-balanced breakfast to kick-start your saliva flow before brushing your teeth in the morning.
- Quit smoking/chewing tobacco—The chemicals found in smoking and chewing tobacco can interfere with proper cell activity in your mouth. The disturbance can create a hospitable environment for harmful bacteria, increasing your risk for chronic dental health issues like bad breath and gum disease.
- Visit the dentist—Regular dental checkups and cleanings allow Dr. Fondriest and his team to control plaque and tartar on your teeth and along your gum line, as well as diagnose and treat any dental conditions that may be causing your chronic halitosis. If cavities or gum disease develop, the bacterial infections that cause them can contribute to persistent bad breath, and treating the disease may be the only way to freshen your breath.
About Lake Forest Dental Arts:
Aside from providing expert family and cosmetic dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds highly-respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, and knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from Chicago and all surrounding communities. To schedule your consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.