Bad breath-causes and what helps!
We often get asked about bad breath. Sometimes, popping a mint or chewing some gum is enough help freshen breath. Often though, its not enough- it mearly covers up the underlying issue for a short amount of time. So lets talk about some common factors that cause bad breath.
1. Poor oral hygiene: Often, bad breath is caused by food that gets stuck on or in between your teeth. Brushing a minimum of 2 times/day and flossing (or waterpiking) a minimum of 1 time a day is suggested. Ask your dental hygienist for tips on the best way to keep your mouth clean!
2.Coated tongue: Bacteria love warm, moist areas of the mouth! This means that the tongue is the perfect area to build up bacteria that also causes bad breath. Brushing your tongue can help!! We have included a picture of a tongue brush that we really like: GUM tongue brush. Simply use the brush end to loosen the coating, and then rake it forward with the other side.
3.Periodontal disease: A chronic infection in the gums and bone. Because it is a chronic infection, meaning it happens slowly over time, this infection typically doesn't hurt until the disease has progressed to severe bone loss. The diseased tissue can cause bad breath. Your dental hygienist will take measurements of your gums/bone and will address any disease issues with the dentist.
4. Dry mouth: This can happen for many reasons, see our post from last week about dry mouth! Saliva helps clear/rinse bacteria out of the mouth. A lack of saliva means that the bacteria/food can get stagnant and cause bad breath.
5. Smoking: Smoking also deposits tar, nicotine and hundreds of other toxic chemicals in the mouth creating a pasty layer throughout the mouth, teeth and tongue.
6. Tonsilloliths (Tonsil stones): These are calcium deposits that accumulate on the tonsils and are made up of bacteria, and food. If you have repeated issues with tonsil stones, you may want to visit with an ENT to evaluate if tonsil removal is in your best interest