Unpleasant breath happens to the best of us every now and then, but what about those who battle halitosis, or chronic bad breath. Dr. Vi Mai, your Garland, TX general dentist, shares advice for maintaining a healthy mouth and fresh breath.
Brush Up on Basic Oral Hygiene
Poor oral hygiene is the leading cause of a sour taste and unpleasant odor. The recommended dental care regimen for the average adult entails brushing your teeth for a full two minutes, twice daily, and flossing at least once daily. A significant amount of bacteria make their home on the surface of your tongue, especially near the back of your mouth. Using a tongue scraper to remove these bacteria could cut down on foul odors. Dr. Mai advises most patients to schedule twice-yearly dental checkups for professional cleaning and screening for oral cancer and gum disease.
Why does it work? In most cases, bad breath stems from a buildup of sticky plaque, a mixture of leftover food and bacteria. These bacteria, which accumulate on and between teeth, emit smelly sulfur compounds after they become trapped in the mouth.
Steer Clear of Breath-Befouling Foods
Two of the worst offenders, garlic and onions, don’t respond to vigorous brushing. Indeed, all of the breath mints in the world won’t quash that bad smell. Once these substances end up in your bloodstream, they travel on toward your lungs. You exhale, and guess what everyone smells? So powerful are these odors that the only way to avoid bad breath is to avoid eating them altogether.
Other foods, though not as offensive as onions and garlic, may still linger on your breath. Dr. Mai advises you to brush your teeth as soon as possible after eating. If you cannot brush, at least rinse your mouth with plain water for 30 seconds. You can also chew sugar-free gum.
Why it works: Rinsing flushes away leftover bits of food before they can mix with bacteria to form plaque. Plaque, which clings to the surface of your teeth,
Kick Your Cigarette Habit
Of all the health risks posed by tobacco, bad breath is the least of your worries. Even a few months of smoking cigarettes can leave your teeth yellowed, your tongue stained, and your risk of lung, throat, and oral cancer significantly higher than before. The same applies to cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco.
Why it works: Tobacco use dries out the tissues in your mouth and gums. As a result, you become more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease, both of which cause unpleasant mouth odors.
Concerned about bad breath? To schedule an appointment with Dr. Vi Mai, contact us at (972) 530-0552. We provide restorative, preventive, and family dentistry to patients living in Richardson, Murphy, Allen, Garland, and nearby cities across the Dallas area.