3-2-1…Happy New Year! Most people enjoy ringing in the new year with a kiss from someone special, but the number one deal-breaker when it comes to kissing is bad breath. Unfortunately, some people with bad breath aren’t even aware there’s a problem. Your dentist can help you determine if your breath problems are caused by an oral problem and then develop a treatment plan to help eliminate it.
Pay attention to what you order for dinner. Certain foods, such as garlic and onions, contribute to bad breath. Brushing, flossing and mouthwash will only mask the odor temporarily. Odors continue until the body eliminates the food. Dieters may develop unpleasant breath from infrequent eating.
If you don’t brush and floss daily, particles of food remain in the mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Food that collects between the teeth, on the tongue and around the gums can rot, leaving an unpleasant odor.
Bad breath can also be caused by dry mouth (xerostomia), which occurs when the flow of saliva decreases. Dry mouth may be caused by various medications, salivary gland problems or continuously breathing through the mouth.
Tobacco products cause bad breath. If you use tobacco, ask your dentist for tips on kicking the habit.
Bad breath may be the sign of a medical disorder, such as a local infection in the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, liver or kidney ailment.
Maintaining good oral health is essential to reducing bad breath. Schedule regular dental visits for a professional cleaning and checkup. If you think you have constant bad breath, keep a log of the foods you eat and make a list of medications you take.
Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque. Brush your tongue, too. Once a day, use floss or an interdental cleaner to clean between teeth.