False Teeth - Making the Right Choices

Problems That Cause Bad Breath: Guidelines For Controlling Halitosis

There's nothing quite more humiliating than being told you have bad breath. This condition, known medically as halitosis, is a common issue, affecting about 60 million American adults. Often, bad breath is caused by poor dental hygiene. If you're worried about having bad breath, here are a few of the main culprits, along with some ways to control the problem.

Inadequate and Improper Brushing

Bad breath can be caused by not brushing your teeth properly or not brushing long enough. You actually need to brush your teeth at least twice daily, spending two minutes or more at each session. Be sure that the head of your toothbrush is able to access all areas in your mouth and that you brush both the exterior and interior of each tooth. Don't forget to include the spots where the gum and teeth meet.

Besides cleaning between your teeth, scrape and brush your tongue. You need to get rid of those decaying food particles that can easily cause halitosis. Even worse, failing to clean your tongue can result in gum disease, plaque and other severe oral problems. Use a plastic tongue scraper, which you can find at a pharmacy. To use it, scrape your tongue forward so that you can remove any coating.

Dirty Dentures

Bacteria and food particles can easily become ensnared in dentures, just as with natural teeth. That's why it's critical that you clean your dentures regularly. Use a cream or denture paste and a brush to clean your dentures each night before going to bed.

Be sure any powders or toothpastes you use are non-abrasive to avoid scratching your dentures. Consider that scratched dentures can provide hideouts for food particles, which can create a breeding ground for many types of foul substances to develop.

Dry Mouth

A parched mouth, which entails a lack of saliva, can lead to plaque accumulating, resulting in halitosis, along with other dental problems. The condition, known as dry mouth, can be the result of taking certain medications, salivary gland disease or breathing issues. If you frequently struggle with this problem, see your dentist.

One way to prevent a dry mouth (xerostomia) is to consume an adequate amount of fluids.  To determine the amount of ounces of water you need to drink, take the number of pounds you weigh and divide it in half. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you'll need to drink 75 ounces of water each day.

Considerations and Warnings

  • If you can't brush your teeth after eating, swish your mouth out with water.
  • Don't fast or practice crash dieting as these activities can cause bad breath. This is because of the chemicals, called ketones, which are formed from fat breaking down. 
  • Replace your toothbrush about every three to four months.
  • Use a battery-operated toothbrush. This type of brush does a better job of removing debris and plaque than a manual toothbrush does.

For more information, contact McMillin Jeff DDS or a similar dental professional.