Fresh Breath and Dental Hygiene
Fresh Breath Maintenance!
Now, I don’t know about you but there have been some conversations that I just could not finish with some individuals. Sometimes people would come to me and start a conversation, pretty close to my face, and I would literally have to do what this man is doing in the photo above. I couldn’t bear it. I felt bad but, sometimes it was gag-worthy. Naturally, after a few of these encounters I started wondering how my breath smelled to others. Luckily, a few self-tests confirmed; I wasn’t so bad off with my breath (unless it was the morning and I hadn’t brushed my teeth yet).
Fresh breath seemed like a desirable thing in society, and I began to diligently uncover what would help make mine among the freshest of all the breaths. This was pretty easy to find out, you know, working in the dental industry and all. I wanted to share with you some of the things that cause bad breath before I go into how to get your fresh breath back. Just as a note, about 80% of the causes of bad breath come from an oral source.
Bad breath (the literal antithesis of fresh breath) has several sources as mentioned above. The first I’ll go into is pretty broad. I’ll break it down though, so don’t worry. BACTERIA! Yes, as I said, pretty broad, right? Well, bacteria in your mouth directly cause several oral health problems: 1. Cavities, 2. Gingivitis and Gum Disease, 3. Gross dentures, among other things. The same bacteria that are making your teeth look like Swiss cheese produce some pretty foul odors with their waste. Gingivitis and more advanced forms of gum disease are also caused by bacteria. In fact in some of the more advanced forms of gum disease, you will start developing pus. The pus forms in pockets created by the affect that the bacteria have on the gums and bone surrounding a tooth infected with the bacteria. Gums, not wanting to be near the infection will actually pull away from the tooth, this will create a sort of pocket around the infected tooth. When this occurs, your bone starts to go as well. In fact in some of the more serious cases of gum disease, it’s not uncommon to see “pockets” around the teeth with 9mm of depth. Obvious, this would be hard to clean and the bacteria thrive in those pockets. This is when you start seeing pus, and the combination of uncleaned food particles, bacteria, and the pus is just not good. I mean, it can get pretty bad. So, yeah, bacteria are a pretty major cause of bad breath.
There are also other actual medical issues that can hinder your fresh breath, even after a brush. Bronchitis, other upper respiratory tract infections, diabetes, and even others can cause foul odor. Acid reflux, postnatal drip and also just having a really dry mouth can cause this as well. Some stomach problems will do it also.
So you see, there are many things that get in the way of fresh breath and actively cause, or contribute to, bad breath.
What to do?
You’ll want to rule out the non-dental related bad breath possibilities before coming in to see us. Dentists focus on the bacteria related problems in the mouth itself.
If you notice that you have bad odor in your mouth even after you brush your teeth, you could always come in to see the dentist so he can check for any signs of infection, either in the teeth or the gums. If you have gum disease, a deep cleaning to remove the bacteria under the gum line would be in order possibly. Regular dental cleanings always help. Make sure you brush twice a day, at least! Floss once a day, at least! Mouth rinse helps kill bacteria in the mouth as well, however, I like to use alcohol-free mouth wash, as mouth wash with alcohol tends to dry my mouth out (making a playground for any bacteria that enter my mouth when I AM asleep). One thing a lot of people surprisingly do NOT do (but SHOULD), is clean their tongues thoroughly. There are a lot of bacteria that regularly hang out on your tongue. Get them off!
Stay healthy my friends.