The Good News About Bad Breath

Bad breath can be a major problem and one that you might not be as aware of as you think. While some might blow it off as simply “morning breath” or “coffee breath” the truth may be deeper that on the surface. The good news is that bad breath can often be prevented with some simple steps.

Bad breath, referred to as halitosis, is caused by odor-producing bacteria that grow in the mouth. When you fail to brush or floss regularly, bacteria accumulate on the particles left in your mouth and between your teeth. The sulfur compounds released by these bacteria make your breath smell.

While poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of bad breath, there are several more conditions that cause bad breath that can be related to a deeper health concern such as sinusitis, gum disease, GERD, etc.  You should visit your dentist or your doctor if you suspect a problem. Once the cause is determined you can properly take care of it.

There are lots of common thoughts about taking care of bad breath that are just not true.

Breathing into your hand to check your breath

Breathing into your hand simply doesn’t do it. When you breathe, you don’t use your throat the same way you do when you talk. When you talk, you tend to bring out the odors from the back of your mouth (where bad breath originates). Also, a person tends to get used to their own smells, which makes it even more difficult to discern whether you have bad breath or not.

Bad Breath is caused by the foods you eat

While it’s true that odorous foods like garlic and onions emit a foul smell and will give you bad breath, that unpleasant smell is short-lived. Chronic bad breath is not caused by the foods you digest but rather the molecules that buildup up in your mouth that grow the bacteria that settle. 

Mouthwash kills bad breath

Mouthwash only gets rid of bad breath temporarily. If you do use mouthwash, look for an antiseptic (kills the germs that cause bad breath) and plaque-reducing one with a seal from the American Dental Association (ADA). 

Brushing your teeth avoids bad breath

The truth is that most people only brush their teeth for 30 to 45 seconds, which just doesn’t cut it. To sufficiently clean all the surfaces of your teeth, you should brush for at least 2 minutes at least twice a day. Remember to brush your tongue, too. It’s equally important to floss because brushing alone won’t remove harmful plaque and food particles that become stuck between your teeth and gums.

Chewing gum or a breath mint 

Grabbing a breath mint or chewing gum might improve your breath quickly but it actually might make your breath worse. If you are chewing gum or a mint with sugar in it such is the case. As a general rule use sugar-free breath mints or gum but remember this will only temporarily mask odors.

There is no permanent cure for bad breath

Every oral disease has a cure unless the root cause for it is not found, the same goes with halitosis or bad breath. Make an appointment with your dentist who will examine your oral health and find the root cause for the bad breath. Dental cleanings that remove plaque and other treatments could help get rid of bad breath permanently if you continue to practice good proper oral hygiene.

At Dr. Soto The Downey Dentist, our staff is happy to answer any of your questions and help you decide treatment is right fit for you. Call us today at 562-923-7799 or book an appointment via our online form on this website.

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