Bad breath, or halitosis, is common in more than a quarter of the population of the world. Just because it is a common condition does not mean that it is acceptable. It is embarrassing for the person who has it and hard on the people around them. However, there are simple ways you can avoid bad breath, such as maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting our office regularly.
The most common reason for developing bad breath is poor oral hygiene that results in bacteria living on the tongue, below the gum line or between the teeth. Other causes may be malnutrition, uncontrolled diabetes, dry mouth, diet and some medications.
Even with good oral hygiene, you can have intermittent bad breath after eating certain foods, such as garlic, onions, alcohol and coffee. If you smoke or use tobacco, you have a good chance of having this condition. Some illnesses may also result in bad breath, such as a sore throat, a sinus infection, heartburn, lactose intolerance and ulcers.
Here are some tips for avoiding this condition:
• Start with cleaning. Proper brushing and flossing is the best first step to remove this condition. Since bacteria lives on the surface of your tongue, you should scrape it every morning with a tongue cleaner or a spoon. You can also brush your tongue, but scraping is more effective. After cleaning, use a non-alcohol mouthwash. Baking soda makes a good acid-neutralizing mouthwash. Just dissolve a half-teaspoon in about four ounces of water.
• Regular check-ups at our office are essential for maintaining good oral health. When you have your teeth and gums thoroughly cleaned twice each year, your brushing will be more effective.
• Water is your friend. Drinking enough water every day will help keep you hydrated, which will help to prevent bad breath. It is also recommended to wash your mouth with water after every meal to neutralize the acids from the food and help remove food particles.
• Saliva flow is important for washing away food debris and bacteria. To stimulate saliva, you can suck a piece of sugarless candy or chew sugarless gum.
• Your diet plays a big part in the odor of your breath. Even if you practice good oral hygiene, you could have bad breath if you are constipated. Foods that are high in fiber will keep your bowels running smoothly. Fresh fruits and vegetable are your friends, including apples, raw carrots, celery and salads. Leafy green veggies, such as parsley, are high in chlorophyll. When you chew them, they deodorize your breath.
• Smoking is not only hazardous to your health, but it could also damage your gums, stain your teeth and give you bad breath.
• You should try to avoid sugar in your drinks, foods and candy. Sugar creates acid in your mouth that wears down your teeth and causes bad breath. If you must eat sugar, make sure to rinse your mouth with water afterwards.
Bad breath is a common affliction, but fortunately, it can be remedied, so you need not feel embarrassed. With locations in Destin and Panama City Beach, Runnels Orthodontics is here to help. We also serve the following cities: Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Freeport, Miramar Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Panama City Beach and Panama City. Contact us today to schedule a professional cleaning, or to learn more about ways to avoid bad breath.