What Is that Smell?
"Pssst!" "Hey, what's that smell? … I'm not so sure it's the onions you had on that pizza this afternoon - it might be that you've just got bad breath."
Has a friend ever shared this kind of news with you? Probably not. Most of us, in fact, go about our daily lives unaware the brilliant sentences we speak, are also being delivered with an accompanying odor ... of significantly, less brilliance. Egad! But, do not fret, while halitosis can be embarrassing, it can also be addressed once its underlying cause is known. Let's take a look at some of those reasons, and learn some tips that'll help you be the one with the freshest breath in the room.
What Causes Bad Breath?
The causes of bad breath range from the simple to the serious, but most often, it's the result of gum disease brought on by inadequate brushing and flossing. Halitosis can also be caused by certain foods you consume (like garlic and onions), acid reflux, post-nasal drip, sinusitis and tonsoliths. More seriously, however, illnesses such as cancer and diabetes can present themselves in this way, so it's important to visit a dentist if your breath issues are prolonged.
Tips to Keep the Bad Breath Monster Away
Outside a visit to your dentist, a few simple tricks will help you care for your mouth in ways that can translate into fresh breath:
- Floss daily, or use a water irrigation tool.
- When brushing, don't forget to brush your tongue and the inside of your cheeks.
- Purchase an inexpensive tongue-scraper and use it as part of your nightly routine. A scraper will allow you to reach the very back of your tongue that is difficult to reach with a brush.
- Get regular cleanings from your dental hygienist to keep plaque and gingivitis at bay.
- And, avoid smoking or too much alcohol. Both dry out your mouth which can lead to bad breath, and can contribute to a higher incidence of oral cancer.
These days, we understand finding the time to stay on top of your oral hygiene can be a challenge. But, the rewards are well worth it. You'll have less dental expense, a beautiful smile, and fresh breath that will keep you eminently kissable all year round.
Justin Rader DDS