Bad breath is also known as halitosis which is an odor coming from the mouth, teeth, or as a result of an underlying health problem. It can be a temporary problem or a chronic condition. In addition to a bad smell in your mouth, you may also notice a bad taste in your mouth. If the taste is due to an underlying condition and isn't because of trapped food particles, it may not disappear even if you brush, floss and use mouthwash. Poor oral hygiene which leads to gingivitis and periodontal disease is the most common reason and also eating spicy foods like garlic. Other culprits causing bad breath can be the following: smoking, dry mouth, sinus infection, post nasal drainage, chronic bronchitis, an infection in your upper or lower respiratory system, kidney disease, diabetes and gastroesophageal reflex disorder.
Bacteria breaks down food particles trapped in the teeth or mouth. The combination of the bacteria and decaying food in your mouth produces an unpleasant odor. Brushing and flossing regularly removes trapped food before it decays. Bad breath also can be a problem if you wear dentures or ortho appliances and don't clean them daily.
Periodontal disease happens when you don't remove plaque promptly from teeth. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar. You can't remove tarter by brushing, and it can irritate your gums. Tartar may cause pockets, or small openeings, to form in the area between the teeth and gums. Food, bacteria, and dental plaque can collect in the pockets, causing a strong odor.
If breath odor is due to plaque buildup, a dental cleaning may solve the problem. A deep dental cleaning may be neccessary if you have periodontal disease. Treating underlying medical problems, such as a sinus infection or kidney disease, can also help improve breath odor. Your dentist may recommend that you use an artificial saliva product and drink plenty of water if dry mouth causes your odor problem.
You should brush your teeth two or more times each day. Floss daily, making sure to get in between all of your teeth. Use antimicrobial mouthwash daily to kill bacteria. Brushing your tongue with a toothbrush or tongue scraper can also help remove bacteria.
Staying hydrated can often help to eliminate breath odor. Clean your dentures, mouth guards, and retainers daily. Replace your old toothbrush with a new one every three months, and schedule a dental cleaning and examination every six months.
There are several routines that can prevent breath odor. Clean your dentures, mouth guards and retainers daily. Replace your old toothbrush with a new one every three months and schedule a dental cleaning and examination every nine months.
Consult your dentist or dental hygienist when choosing oral hygiene aids to help you eliminate plaque and odor causing bacteria and review the techniques that should be utilized at home. Also, ask your dental professional what oral hygiene care products they would consider you use to help eliminate bad breath (antibacterial toothpaste, antiseptic mouth rinse, tongue brushes or scrapers and interproximal cleaning devices).
The key to a clean, fresh mouth is optimal oral hygiene conducted at home on a regular basis and professional recommendations discussed with you by your dental professional.