Bad breath is often seen more as a social problem than a health issue; covering up bad breath with mints or other foods might “help” in the short term, but without identifying and addressing the underlying problems that are causing it, you might be ignoring a real warning sign about your own health. Your dentist can be a tremendous asset here, and considering your medical history as well as your history of dental issues can likely find the problem and beat bad breath permanently.
Obviously bad breath can be caused by fragrant foods, such as those containing larger amounts of garlic; and everyone understands that smoking causes breath to smell foul. And there are of course more serious health problems, such as diabetes, kidney and liver failure, or any number of systemic infections and stomach problems that can lead to bad breath — and if any of those are possible, a visit to your physician is the most important move you can make.
But bad breath often is a reflection of poor oral hygiene habits, in that without proper brushing and flossing most patients are at increased risk of health concerns such as tooth decay and gum disease — both of which are characterized by bad odors. If the problem is not too far progressed, the simplest solution is to work to increase the regularity and quality of your brushing and flossing — most dentists will recommend brushing twice each day and flossing once. Many patients forget about the tongue, which can harbor bacteria and cause bad breath as well; gentle brushing with a regular toothbrush can help clean your tongue, as can specifically designed home instruments like tongue scrapers — many of which are integrated into toothbrushes.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact our office today!