Studies show that about 80% of bad breath cases result directly from the mouth and the bacteria thriving there. Millions of oral bacteria produce sulfur gases and other compounds that smell unpleasant. Since it’s challenging to detect your own breath, try sniffing floss after you’ve used it to get an idea of lurking odors.
Cavities, gum disease, unclean dentures, or tonsil problems may all contribute to this nagging relationship inhibitor. Stay on schedule with your preventive dental visits to be sure any disease activity is eliminated. Untreated gum disease is also the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. Together we can stop bad breath and help you keep your smile healthy.
Sometimes you’re practicing excellent oral hygiene but still feel frustrated by unpleasant mouth odors. If you’ve eliminated the other possibilities, it’s time to take a better look at your tongue. The top of the tongue is covered in a forest of papillae, projections that support taste buds and provide a textured surface to aid tactile sensation. But the velvety surface traps dead cells, food debris, and bacteria. Sulfur gases produced by bacteria contribute to the odiferous mix, and a coating forms across the tongue. When this coating thickens, your taste may also be altered as the odor intensifies.
Even though you remember to brush and floss, don’t forget the benefits of cleaning your tongue at least once a day. Scrubbing with a brush helps a little, but a tongue cleaner is a unique device that you draw gently across the surface of the tongue. Like a gentle rake, it removes the debris embedded in the papillae. Finishing with an anti-bacterial mouthwash may help freshen your breath. Be aware that many rinses contain alcohol and could dry out your mouth and exacerbate the issue. A fluoride rinse is often the best choice, while other patients benefit from mouthwashes formulated specifically for difficult bad breath cases. Rather than briefly masking odors, these mild rinses neutralize sulfur gases. We can discuss the options and customize a choice for you.
Be careful with other masking techniques such as sugared mints or candies. Excess sugar exposure can quietly create an environment where cavities thrive and cause bigger problems. If you like using mints, look for those sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol tastes great and works to destroy cavity-causing bacteria.
If you keep regular visits with your hygienist, you’ll always have a partner for excellent oral health. Finding the right strategies and tools will keep your teeth and gums healthy….and your breath fresh as the summer breeze!