What is Halitosis (also known as bad breath)?
A fairly common problem that is caused by a few factors, such as poor oral hygiene (bacteria), periodontal (gum) disease, specific foods/drinks, tobacco use, specific medications, and medical conditions.
Tips to Reduce Bad Breath
Practice a good oral hygiene routine daily.
You need to remove the bacteria, plaque, and food debris from all the areas of your mouth, or it will become smellier/more harmful over time (may be a sign of gum/periodontal disease). Mechanical removal twice a day includes brushing, flossing (including water flossing or other interdental aids), and using a tongue scraper. Mouthwash is great for targeting the “planktonic” or floating bacteria in the mouth.
Drink more water!
Not only does water rehydrate your body, but it improves the saliva quality and quantity which also helps reduce cavity risk and helps to rinse out any food and bacteria inside your mouth. Dry mouth (Xerostomia) can result from medications, medical conditions, dehydration, and other habits like vaping and/or using cannabis products. Reduce your consumption of Caffeine and Alcohol as they are dehydrating.
Check your OTC and Prescription medications for side effects that cause dry mouth and talk to your Medical Doctor about it. Using Xylitol products like mints or gum can help stimulate saliva flow which decreases dry mouth AND it helps reduce your risk of cavities!
Avoid tobacco products and specific foods/drinks.
This one may seem fairly obvious, but anything with a strong odor/fragrance has the opportunity to linger and contribute to bad odors.
Get checked by your Medical Doctor and/or Dental Professional.
Let’s say you’ve made changes by addressing the tips I stated earlier, but you still notice a problem. Well, talk to your Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) at your next visit, and discuss the issues at hand!
It’s possible that your Periodontal Disease is going untreated (more virulent bacteria that are difficult to access with how you’re already performing your daily routine) and that should be dealt with professionally with dental hygiene treatments and more often than you may think.
Also, your RDH can take microbial samples and send them off for tests through a company (https://www.oravital.com/), and the RDH can recognize when they need to do a referral; sometimes and more rarely, Halitosis can be caused by odors that you exhale. It can be a result of an infection in your sinuses/lungs, postnasal drip, or even a Gastroesophageal Reflux condition.
The main thing here is that we can’t support you if we don’t know what’s bothering you! So, please, on your next visit, bring it up! We’d be happy to help you!