Teeth stains may be the most common cosmetic dental blemish, but foul breath is more prevalent, and affects nearly everyone at some point in their lives. Fortunately, bad breath is also typically easier to defeat than teeth stains, or other dental health issues, like cavities or gum disease. Though chronically bad breath, or halitosis, can sometimes indicate an underlying health issue, it’s often the result of poor hygiene. Therefore, beating bad breath could simply mean improving how well you take care of your teeth and gums.
The Causes of Bad Breath
Have you ever wondered why your breath is especially foul when you wake up in the morning? When you sleep, your saliva production slows considerably, allowing anaerobic (oxygen-hating) oral bacteria to gather excessively on your teeth, gums, and tongue. Some of these germs release foul-smelling sulfur compounds that can overwhelm your mouth by the time you wake up—hence, morning breath. When you don’t practice adequate hygiene, like brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice every day and attending regular dental checkups and cleanings, these bacteria can overpower your mouth’s defenses. Many of these bacteria are the main cause of bad breath, and controlling them is the best way to prevent it.
How to Beat Back Halitosis
Besides good hygiene, other ways you can help defeat offensive bacteria include;
- Eating breakfast—After waking in the morning, eating a well-balanced breakfast before brushing your teeth can help kick-start your saliva flow, increasing the amount of bacteria you can clean away before starting your day.
- Drink more water—Water, which is rich in oxygen, is a natural bacteria fighter, and can help neutralize the harmful substance that your mouth’s microbes produce.
- Chew sugarless gum—Chewing gum also stimulates your saliva flow, and can help eliminate more bacteria throughout the day. However, be sure the gum is sugarless; sugar feeds oral bacteria, and may exacerbate your bad breath as well as your risk of developing dental complications.
Learn More About Beating Chronic Bad Breath
If you suffer from chronic halitosis, then it may mean that you need dental or periodontal treatment to address an existing oral health condition. To learn more, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kania by calling her periodontal office in Encinitas/San Diego, CA, at (760) 642-0711.