Studies have shown that about 50% of adults suffer from some form of bad breath at some point in their lives. If you are one of those adults, don’t worry you are not alone in your struggle. Our Highlands Ranch dentists, Dr. DeLapp and Dr. Parsons, want you to be aware of potential causes of your bad breath, referred to medically as halitosis, and what you can do to prevent it.
While some causes of bad breath can be harmless and easily remedied, others may indicate a more serious dental or medical problem. It is always recommended that you see our Highlands Ranch dental office at least two times per year for a healthy mouth.
Did you know that your mouth contains hundreds of different types of bacteria. Some of these bacteria can cause bad breath. You mouth plays host to these bacteria and allows them to grow and when you eat the food left in your mouth can leave a bad smelling waste product by these bacteria. These bacteria also are the main source of cavities and periodontal disease. It is important to make sure you do not have a more serious underlying dental disease. Make sure to see our Highlands ranch dentist on a regular basis.
Part of the protective mechanism of saliva is to wash away harmful bacteria and to return your mouth to a harmonious state after eating and drinking. Dry mouth indicates a lack of saliva production. This can be from medications, mouth breathing, and certain diseases that attach the salivary glands. This means that your mouth is not able to “wash” out bacteria and food debris on a regular basis.
As discussed above, gum disease is caused by bacteria that begin to attack and inflame the gums and can progress into eating the bone in your mouth. Overtime you may notice sensitive teeth, loose teeth, or un-esthetic appearance. Gum disease will also causes constant bad breath. It is important to treat gum disease so that it doesn’t progress and cause more problems or tooth loss. Our highlands ranch dental office can help treat your gum disease.
Different foods such as garlic, onion, coffee… to name a few will cause your breath to smell bad.
Smoking and Tobacco use
We all know the harmful effects of tobacco and smoking, yet some out there still chose to use these products. In addition to dramatically increasing your risk for cancer, these agents will also produce a fowl smelling breath. In addition, it will reduce your ability to taste your foods and your ability to smell, leaving you unaware of how bad your breath smells. Smoking and tobacco use are never recommended. Talk to our Highlands Ranch dentist on how to quit smoking or see your primary care physician.
Other Medical problems
Infections, diabetes, gastric reflux, kidney/liver disease, sinus problems can all attribute to bad breath.
How can you keep bad breath at bay?
Brush and Floss
Your daily oral hygiene routine is the most important factor to keep bad breath bacteria at bay. Brushing and flossing will wash away that harmful bacteria. Check out our blog on oral hygiene here.
Did you know that you tongue harbor bacteria. If you stick your tongue way out you may note a white or brown film covering it. This is colonies of bacteria that contribute to bad breath. Brushing your tongue is not everyone’s favorite thing to do, but good tongue hygiene is key in keeping your breath fresh. Make sure to brush your tongue everyday or use a tongue scraper. Check out our previous blog on how your tongue could be the culprit to your bad breath here.
Mouthwash can help kill and eliminate bacteria in the mouth. It also works to neutralize and mask bad breath. However, this is only temporary. The most important hygiene is to brush and floss regularly.
Clean your dentures
If you wear dentures or any removable prosthetic, it is important to take them out at night and clean them. Our Highlands Ranch dentist, advise against wearing your prosthesis all the time. Your tissues and prosthetic need to be cleaned and removed on a nightly basis.
Increase your Saliva rate
As discussed above, saliva is a very important part of oral hygiene. If you find yourself suffering from dry mouth or lack of saliva production, it is important to stimulate it or use products that will help substitute it’s purpose. Sugar free sour candies can help stimulate saliva flow- try something like sugar free lemon drops. You may need to invest in Biotene products that are specifically designed to help those who suffer from dry mouth.
Smoking and Tobacco is an unhealthy habit and dangerous to your overall health. Quitting smoking is both beneficial to your health and your breath. If you are thinking about quitting smoking our Highlands ranch dentist can help!
Regular Dental Visits
Many of the reasons you suffer from bad breath can be remedied with regular dental visits and early dental disease detection and intervention. Make sure to make your appointment with our Highlands Ranch dental office at least twice a year. Contact our office today at 303-694-9740.