We’ve all had bad breath, which is also called halitosis, at one time or another. That doesn’t make it any less embarrassing. If you’ve been told you have bad breath, Dr. Tab A. Boyle, in Lancaster, CA can help.
One of the scariest things is that you could have chronic bad breath and not not even know it. That’s because it’s hard for us to detect bad breath in ourselves. There are theories as to why this is, but one is that we’re just so accustomed to our own bodily smells.
It’s like when you walk into your house after being away for a while. You can detect subtle odors that you may not have noticed while you were inside for a period of time.
Bad breath can have social consequences. Whether you’re going on a job interview or a first date, you don’t want to do it with bad breath.
Bad breath has become big business. The problem is that many of the “solutions” offered only mask the problem like perfume masks a body odor. The best way to have fresh-smelling breath is good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups.
If you think you may have bad breath or have been told that you do, you might wonder what causes it. Bad breath can be caused by any number of reasons.
There are hundreds of types of bacteria that naturally live in your mouth. When you leave food on your teeth after eating, this bacteria breaks those food particles down. The result is a release of chemicals with a strong odor.
Saliva helps wash food particles out of your mouth. If you don’t produce enough saliva, then this process is impaired. You can develop a dry mouth from certain medications, from smoking, and from breathing more through your mouth than your nose.
Gum disease is an infection of the tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth. It’s called plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on your teeth. If your gums bleed, or are red, tender or swollen, it could be a sign of gum disease. We can take a look and let you know for sure at our office.
Some medical conditions can cause you to have bad breath. These can include sinus infections, tonsil problems, diabetes, and gastric influx.
What Can You Do?
There are some things you can do between dental checkups to lessen your chances of getting bad breath. The most important thing to do to prevent bad breath is to exercise proper oral hygiene. Here are some tips:
- Brush and floss regularly. Regular brushing and flossing can keep tartar from your teeth. Tartar can become plaque, which is harder and can only be removed with special dental tools.
- Drink plenty of water. Drinking water and swishing water around your mouth can help to freshen “morning breath.”
- Swap out your toothbrush regularly. The American Dental Association recommends that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months, even sooner if the bristles become frayed. The reason for this is because a toothbrush can be a breeding ground for germs.
- Scrape your tongue. Many people neglect their tongues in their oral care. But the tongue can harbor bacteria the same way your gums can, which can cause mouth odor. You can buy a tongue scraper from any pharmacy. Just hold the tip of your tongue with gauze, pulling it forward. Then get as far back on your tongue as you can with the scraper.
- Use a good mouthwash. Mouthwash is effective in the fight against tooth decay and gingivitis, the very things that can cause bad breath. While mouthwash can’t remove existing plaque from your teeth, there is some evidence that it can keep plaque from accumulating.
As we mentioned before, the most important thing to do to prevent bad breath is to exercise proper oral hygiene. It’s also important to schedule routine dental appointments with us. That way, we can keep your teeth from accumulating tartar and also keep an eye out for any developing gum disease.
Make an appointment with Dr. Tab Boyle and he can evaluate your mouth for signs of what might be causing your bad breath. Then we can fix it! Give us a call at 509-591-0515 to set up an appointment. Or you can use our convenient online form to schedule an appointment.