Is your breath offensive to others? It might be – and you may not even be aware of it.
Internal medical conditions can cause bad breath, also known as halitosis. These include diabetes, liver disease, respiratory tract infection, chronic bronchitis and even acid reflux.
But most cases of bad breath come from an oral source such as cavities, gum disease, cracked fillings and dentures that aren’t spotless.
Here are the most important things you can do to prevent bad breath:
- Practice excellent oral health care. A quick brushing, twice a day, is not enough! Make sure you brush for 2 minutes each time. A daily flossing can get to the 30% of tooth surfaces that brushing misses. Electric water flossers and interdental cleaners also do a good job of cleaning between teeth while they stimulate the gums.
- Visit your dentist twice a year. Without regular exams, gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, may go undetected. Gingivitis can worsen to periodontal disease which, in addition to causing bad breath when bacteria and food particles get trapped in pockets of the gum, can lead to gum infection and tooth loss.
- Stop smoking. Did you make a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking? Every day is a good day to kick the habit! Nicotine breath makes your breath – and hair and clothes – smell nasty. Tobacco products also increase your risk of gum disease.
- Drink plenty of water. Keeping hydrated can prevent dry mouth. This condition allows mouth bacteria to increase more easily and release odors. Avoid excess caffeine and alcohol which can increase dehydration.
- Pass on the garlic. Avoiding strong-smelling foods like garlic, onions and spices, and drinks like alcohol and coffee, can keep your breath fresher.
For a quick breath refresh, chew on some sugar-free gum or mints to stimulate saliva flow and freshen your breath.
Let Us Know If You Have Questions on Any Aspect of Oral Health Care
Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating and educating patients for over twenty-five years. Our office serves the New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury, and Sherman areas of CT and Pawling, Patterson and Putnam Lake of New York. You can call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.