Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is more than a potential source of embarrassment. In some cases, it can indicate serious health conditions such as diabetes. In this post we’ll share some tips from a dentist in Columbia for dealing with this common problem. If your halitosis persists after trying these ideas, then make an appointment to see a healthcare professional right away.
The Basics of Fresh Breath
One of the most common causes of bad breath is food particles trapped between the teeth. Over time they can cause harmful bacteria to breed on the teeth and gums, creating an objectionable odor.
Fortunately, there is an easy way to deal with this problem: regular brushing and flossing. Here’s how to get the most benefit from this important practice:
- Follow the 2 x 2 rule: this means brushing at least two times a day for a full two minutes each time. Make sure to cover all surfaces of your teeth. You should also brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth, as these can also harbor malodorous germs.
- Floss at least once a day: brushing alone can never remove all of the particles between your teeth. Floss strings are available in a variety of widths and with wax coatings for your comfort. Dislike flossing? Try an interdental tooth brush or water stream flossing device instead.
- Use a mouthwash or dental rinse: brands with added fluoride are the best choice. Not only do they help to freshen your breath, they also help guard against plaque and tartar buildup in your mouth.
Other Ways to Tame Your Halitosis
Here are some added steps you can take to keep your breath smelling its best:
- Drink plenty of water: this is important for creating saliva, which has powerfulanti-germ properties. Getting your H2O straight from the tap is the best way to do it, since most municipal water supplies contain fluoride. If you prefer bottled or filtered water, then consider using fluoride supplements, which are available online or at many pharmacies.
- Snuff out the smoking habit: not only does smoking give you bad breath, it also has serious consequences for your oral health. Cigarette smoke erodes tooth enamel, inhibits salvia production, and interferes with your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food.
- Finish your meals with a sprig of parsley: this is an old trick that still works today. You can also find parsley available in supplement form. Not only does it freshen your breath, many people say it helps to prevent indigestion.
When It’s Time to Seek Professional Help
Sometimes bad breath is serious cause for concern, as we mentioned before. See your dentist or other healthcare professional if the problem is accompanied by any of these symptoms:
- Changes in your bathroom habits: for example, increased urination is a common warning signs of diabetes.
- Severe toothache or discharge from your teeth or gums: these are signs that tooth decay has reached an advanced stage. Left unaddressed, the consequences can include tooth loss or even worse.
- Weakness, shaking, or a change in skin color: these can signal liver failure and other potentially life-threatening conditions.
Bad breath doesn’t have to leave you down for the count. Use the tips in this post to sweeten those sour odors and you’ll soon have more than enough reason to smile.
About the Author
Dr. Philip Batson combines a youthful sense of energy with extensive expertise to provide top-of-the-line dental services to his valued patients. He offers not only a full range of general dentistry services but cosmetic and restorative procedures as well. You can reach his office online or by calling (573) 875-7071.