Almost everyone does it. That quick breath check before an important conversation, interview or date. Has your breath been smelling extra strong lately? It may seem like a quick fix to pop a mint or stick of gum into your mouth and consider it dealt with, but did you know that bad breath may be more than just a nuisance and could be an indicator of your oral health? Let’s talk about how to manage bad breath by looking at the most common causes.
More Common than Garlic
Unless you just ate garlic or onions, bad breath is most often caused by bacteria in the mouth which can also lead to tooth decay and gum disease, so it’s important to address it at its source. Areas that commonly harbor bacteria and plaque include the tongue, between the teeth, and along the gumline. If not cleaned properly and regularly, some of these areas that attract and hold bacteria can turn into a more serious problem like a cavity, gum disease or infection.
What Should You Do?
If you’re looking for how to manage bad breath at the source, the answer is usually very simple and easy. Brush your teeth after each meal and floss daily, taking extra care to clean all the sides of your teeth and along the gumline. If you can’t brush right after a meal, a helpful substitute until you can brush is to rinse well with an antiseptic mouthwash. Practicing these steps diligently and regularly can help to keep your mouth free of odor causing bacteria and plaque before it causes bad breath or more serious problems.
When to Get a Professional Cleaning
It’s also a good idea to make an appointment with your dentist for an exam and cleaning, especially if you have persistent bad breath, or haven’t recently had a cleaning. Dentists usually recommend getting a professional dental cleaning every 6 months, so if you’re overdue for a cleaning, getting one may help a lot with bad breath and give you a head start on your home care routine.
It can be a great opportunity, as well, to ask your dentist about how to manage bad breath. It may seem like an embarrassing topic to bring up, but it’s actually a question that dentists get a lot. After an exam to assess your oral health, you can ask your dentist to help you troubleshoot any causes such as difficult to clean or problem areas. An exam will also give them a chance to rule out other medical conditions as possible causes of bad breath.
Bad breath isn’t something you should feel embarrassed about. Everyone has it sometimes! But it can be a sign of more serious problems developing, so it’s important to address it. With just a few easy daily steps and the help of your dentist, you should be able to approach conversations and important meetings with a worry-free smile of fresh confidence.
Call our The Woodlands Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.