Preventative Tips for Halitosis

Dental CareThere are no precise statistics on how many people suffer from halitosis, or bad breath, but it is known that in most cases the cause of this stinky malady is a group of anaerobic, sulfur-producing bacteria that breed beneath the surface of the tongue and often in the throat and tonsil area. The upside of this discovery is that paying attention to the dental care you receive can go a long way toward reducing the chances that you’ll experience halitosis.

Here are a few dental care tips for eliminating bad breath, and preventing it from returning in the future.

Preventative Dental Care Tips for Halitosis

Watch your diet. One of the most easily treatable causes of halitosis is the presence of odor-producing or extremely spicy/fragrant foods in your diet. Extreme diets, including ultra-low-carb eating plans, can also cause halitosis. To prevent bad breath, snack on raw carrots, celery, or apple slices, which can clear your mouth of debris and have a mild pleasant fragrance themselves, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Brush, floss and scrape your tongue. Plaque, the biofilm that forms on your teeth after you eat or drink, contains bacteria that contribute to bad breath. Brushing keeps the level of bacteria in your mouth down, and flossing cleans the 40 percent of teeth surfaces that a toothbrush cannot reach. And don’t forget to scrape your tongue – bacteria can hide there, too. Use your toothbrush to clean your tongue, or use a specially designed tongue scraper.

Address dental care and systemic health conditions. If you’re eating well and follow a good dental self-care routine every day, you will want to discuss the possibility of other health conditions that could be driving your halitosis with your dentist and your family physician. Gum diseases, such as gingivitis and periodontitis, often have bad breath as one of their symptoms. So does xerostomia, or dry mouth, and advanced cases of tooth decay. An array of general health conditions, ranging from post-nasal drip and acid reflux to diabetes, can also underlie a case of chronic bad breath.

“Halitosis is one of dental care’s most embarrassing conditions, but the good news is that it is one of the most easily preventable and treatable,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist with a practice in central Phoenix.

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