Bad breath (halitosis) can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition. All of us suffer from bad breath from time to time, especially in the morning. Some common reasons for bad breath include:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Periodontal (gum) disease
- Tooth decay
- Tobacco Use
- Prescription medications
- Medical conditions
Your Troy, OH family dentist wants you to be informed about the reasons for bad breath and how to eliminate it. While there may be a medical reason for chronic bad breath, there are some easy lifestyle changes you can make to minimize the risk.
Don’t smoke: While there is a multitude of reasons to quit the bad habit of smoking, one of the more obvious ones is to devoid yourself of the smell externally (clothes and body) and internally (your mouth).
Don’t eat foods with strong odors: Avoid onions and garlic, especially before or during an important business meeting or another event where you need to interact with others. Onions and garlic leave a strong odor because they contain elements that make their way into your bloodstream and travel to your lungs until you finally breathe them out.
Do floss: Flossing isn’t only necessary for your oral health to prevent cavities, but it dislodges food particles that would be otherwise stuck between your teeth, trapping bacteria and causing a distinctive odor.
Do chew sugarless gum: If you can’t brush your teeth immediately after eating, try rinsing out your mouth with water or chewing sugarless gum about 20 minutes after mealtime. Chewing stimulates saliva production, which combats bacteria and cavities that lead to bad breath.
Chronic breath is not only unpleasant, but it may also be an indication of a more serious problem like periodontal disease. Please call your Troy, OH family dentist to arrange an appointment. You may be surprised that’s all that’s needed is a thorough dental cleaning to refresh your smile.
According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately 70 percent of Americans are taking some sort of prescription medication, with antibiotics and antidepressants topping the list.
You may be surprised to learn that these and many other medications - including antihistamines, vitamins, and even some herbal preparations - can have an unwanted effect on the health of your mouth. The Troy, OH family dentist explains:
Prescription Medications and Dry Mouth
A number of medications (both prescribed and over-the-counter) indicate dry mouth as a potential side effect. Some of these are decongestants, high blood pressure medication, and antidepressants. Dry mouth is a nuisance, but it can actually create conditions in your mouth that lead to periodontal disease.
Saliva has a cleansing effect because it carries away food debris and kills bacteria in your mouth. Drying irritates the soft tissues in your mouth, causing inflammation making decay and infection more likely.
Practicing a diligent oral hygiene routine is essential because the absence of sufficient amounts of saliva reduces your body’s natural ability to neutralize bacteria in your mouth.
If dry mouth is a problem for you, please your Troy, OH family dentist know so we can recommend an oral hygiene routine to limit the discomfort. Drinking water or sucking on a sugar-free lozenge, or chewing sugarless gum can all be helpful for stimulating the production of saliva to counteract dry mouth.
Knowledge is Power
We are NOT suggesting you stop taking any medication prescribed by your doctor. But understanding the effects they can have on your oral health can keep you informed and one step ahead of potential problems.
Open communication is an important element of providing you with dental treatments that protect and preserve your oral health. You should never hesitate to talk to your family dentist about any medical concerns, even if you think they are not related to the condition of your mouth.
Please call us to arrange your next appointment so we can review your medications and make adjustments as necessary.
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