At one time or another, everyone experiences bad breath. The occasional meal¾heavy with garlic, onions, or spices¾may leave a lingering odor, but it is a temporary problem. Chronic bad breath is another problem entirely. It can be caused by periodontal disease, decay in teeth, decay under fillings or crowns, as well as digestive system or sinus problems. Foul breath odor caused by any of these conditions needs to be corrected by your dentist or physician.
Although there can be medical and/or systemic problems that cause the breath odor, most of the time bad breath is the result of things left on and around your teeth. Your mouth is warm, moist, and dark¾the perfect place for bacteria to grow and decompose. When this happens and the teeth are not cleaned properly on a daily basis, a chronic odor can result. Bad breath can be eliminated fairly easily, or at least controlled, by removal of food debris, plaque, or calculus; replacement of broken fillings causing a food trap; restoration of areas of decay; and/or eliminating gum disease. Plaque that accumulates at or along the gumline can also find its way into the deep recesses on the top surface of your tongue, contributing to mouth odor.
Tooth brushing, tongue cleaning, and flossing correctly, at least once a day, are the best prevention and cure for bad breath. Not only will these procedures prevent periodontal disease and decay by removal of bacteria, they will also remove all food debris. Manufacturers of toothpastes, toothbrushes, floss, tongue scrapers, and mouth rinses do make claims to help prevent bad breath and may provide temporary relief of that symptom. No matter which product you use, be sure to thoroughly remove the bacterial plaque on a daily basis.
The key to preventing dental problems and preventing bad breath odor is to clean your teeth and tongue properly every day. The best way to learn how to clean your mouth is by visiting us. You have the ability to take good care of your mouth; it is just a matter of practicing the right hand skills best suited to your unique oral conditions. Whether you have many fillings, crowns or bridges, removable partial or full dentures, implants, braces, or other appliances in your mouth, there is a method or tool that will work for you.
Also, to ensure fresh breath, have your teeth cleaned professionally, by us, on a regular basis. The goal here is not only to correct any disease-related problems but also to prevent any problems from beginning in the first place.
Your bad breath problem does not have to be a chronic source of embarrassment. Most often it is a sign of a dental problem. The sooner it is treated, the easier and less expensive it will be to fix.
If you have any questions about bad breath, please feel free to ask us.