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How to Stop Bad Breath

general dentistry dunnellon fl dentist officeHalitosis Happens. It’s a fact that bad breath can happen to anyone. Research shows that 50 percent of all adults report having had bad breath — also known as halitosis — at some point in their lives. Dr. Carter Perkins and his team at Perkins Dentistry in Dunnellon FL want you to help you win the battle against bad breath.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Bad breath has numerous causes. While most of them are harmless outside of making your breath unpleasant, some can be a warning of something more serious.

Bacteria

Our mouths are full of bacteria although most of it is basically harmless. Your mouth is an ideal habitat for them as it is moist and warm. When you eat, these bacteria feed on the particles of food left behind in your mouth. This process produces a foul-smelling waste product that causes bad breath.

Dry Mouth

Saliva washes out your mouth constantly so it’s very important you have enough of it. If not, your mouth and teeth aren’t being rinsed clean as well or as frequently as they should. Dry mouth can be a side effect of certain medications, untreated salivary gland problems or of breathing through your mouth. Proper hydration is important to prevent a dry mouth. Doctors recommend drinking at least 2 liters of water, or eight 8 ounce bottles per day, to prevent dehydration.

Gum Disease

Persistent bad breath that you cannot get rid of or a having bad taste in your mouth constantly can be a sign of advanced gum disease. Gum disease is when bacteria living in sticky, cavity-causing film on your teeth — called plaque — infect your gums and cause them to become inflamed.

Medical Conditions

While it makes sense that gum disease and conditions of the mouth can cause bad breath, other medical conditions can also contribute. If your dentist has already ruled out other dental or oral health conditions and you brush and floss daily, your halitosis could be the result of another health issue. Ailments such as a sinus infections, gastric reflux, diabetes, liver and kidney disease can all cause bad breath. In this case, see your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

How Can I Prevent Bad Breath?

Brush and Floss

Brushing twice daily and flossing between your teeth daily will help rid you of bacteria in your mouth that are most likely causing your bad breath.

Take Care of Your Tongue

Don’t forget to clean off your tongue when you’re brushing your teeth. If you stick out your tongue and look at the very back, you’ll see a white or brown coating. That’s the area where most of bacteria that cause bad breath tend to build up. Use your toothbrush or a tongue scraper to clean them off your tongue when you brush your teeth and you may find your breath improving.

Mouthwash

Over-the-counter mouthwashes can kill some of the bacteria, neutralizing and temporarily masking bad breath. However, this is only a temporary solution. The longer you wait between brushing and flossing, the more likely you are to develop halitosis.

Keep Saliva In Your Mouth

Healthy foods that require a lot of chewing, like carrots or apples help generate saliva. Also, keeping hydrated is important for your body to make saliva. Chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free candies can help as well. Your dentist may also prescribe artificial saliva if these quick fixes don’t help your condition.

Schedule Regular Appointments With Your Dentist

If you’re in the Dunnellon FL area and you’re concerned about what might be causing your bad breath, schedule an appointment to see Dr. Perkins or Dr. Barth at Perkins Dentistry. Regular check-ups will help your Perkins Dentistry dentist to spot any emerging problems such as gum disease or dry mouth and stop them before they become more serious. If your your mouth is healthy, you may be referred to your primary care doctor. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Perkins or Dr. Barth at Perkins Dentistry, call (352) 440-5827 or make an appointment online.