Few things can wreak havoc on your confidence like bad breath can! Whether it’s a job interview, first date or a party, life is full of situations where you’re talking to people – and hopefully leaving a good impression. But if you feel self-conscious about interacting with others up-close, it will really impact the way you come across to them. That’s no way to go through life!
The good news is that there are solutions. As a general dentist, we’ll talk about some of the common culprits behind bad breath and what you can do about them. We’ll also review some ways you can improve your hygiene habits at home to keep your breath its freshest.
What Causes Bad Breath?
- Diet – This one is no surprise. Garlic, onions and coffee are a few examples of foods that can contribute to bad breath. Thankfully, it’s temporary! Since many of these foods are healthy and delicious, there’s no need to avoid them entirely. Instead, be mindful of important events and plan accordingly. Also, if you can’t avoid them, eating a sprig of parsley afterward can make a world of difference.
- Acid Reflux – If you suspect you have acid reflux, seek diagnosis and treatment from your doctor. Since this source of odor is coming from within your digestive tract, no amount of brushing and flossing will help!
- Dry Mouth – Saliva washes away food, plaque and odor-causing bacteria. If you have dry mouth, which is a side effect of many prescription medications, you’re at a higher risk of bad breath because bacteria will simply sit in the mouth. Stay hydrated, chew sugar-free gum, and try one of the oral care products available specifically for dry mouth.
- Tobacco – Smoking or chewing tobacco will obviously affect your overall health, but it will also cause bad breath. Today there are many tobacco cessation tools available to help you quit. It’s not easy, but it is worth it!
- Poor Hygiene – Food particles, bacteria, and plaque accumulate under the gumline and in between the teeth every day. Without good habits, these things will contribute to halitosis.
How Can You Treat or Prevent Bad Breath?
- Mouthwash – Many types of mouthwash only work for a short while, but there are some specially formulated for bad breath that target the specific bacteria responsible for it. These are much more effective.
- Clean Your Tongue – You can use a toothbrush to do this, but you can also try an inexpensive tongue scraper. These are easy and comfortable to use and can make a big difference.
- Regular Dental Visits – Always make sure that you stay on top of regular cleanings with your family dentist. Even with great brushing and flossing, you likely have deposits of tartar that you simply can’t remove yourself.
With professional dental care along with these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to living life without the fear of bad breath!
About the Author
Dr. Gary Sherman understands the importance of confidence and how it can impact someone’s life. In addition to helping his patients have the best oral health possible, he also strives to restore their confidence by educating them about causes and solutions for bad breath. If you have any questions, he can be reached through his website or at (516) 538-1100.