Whether it is morning breath that occurs from time to time or a long lasting bout with halitosis, everyone has bad breath sometimes. Fortunately, most bad breath is very treatable.
Medical Causes of Bad Breath
Sinus infections & abnormal sinus anatomies, post nasal drainage (drips)
Dental Causes of Bad Breath
Extensive dental decay
Periodontal (gum) disease
Oral infections or abscesses
Xerostomia (dry mouth condition). Many medications contribute to xerostomia.
Oral conditions resulting from post-nasal drips or discharges
The treatment of bad breath depends on its cause. If your Dental Health dentist conducts an exam and determines your mouth is healthy, yet you still have bad breath, we may refer you to your general health provider or a specialist to determine the cause.
Good oral hygiene is crucial to help with the reduction of bad breath. Keep these points in mind as part of your daily oral hygiene plan:
- Brush long enough. Most people only brush their teeth for 30 to 45 seconds. To sufficiently clean all the surfaces of your teeth, you should brush for at least 2 minutes twice a day.
- Remember to brush your tongue. Bacteria love to hang out there.
- Floss. Brushing alone won’t remove harmful plaque and food particles that become stuck between your teeth and gums.
- Keep your toothbrush fresh. Be sure to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, even if you don’t have bad breath, but especially if you do.
- Keep an extra brush at work. Keep a spare toothbrush and toothpaste at work so you can brush your teeth after lunch.
- Drink plenty of water. Keeping your mouth moist helps minimize the amount of bacteria in your mouth that can cause bad breath.
- Sugar-free gum or sugar-free breath mints can help you keep breath fresh and prevent plaque from forming.
What About Morning Breath?
Everyone has morning breath to some degree. That’s because when you sleep, your mouth dries out. When your mouth dries out, odor-producing bacteria proliferate. If you snore or breathe through your mouth at night, you’re more likely to have bad breath in the morning than those who don’t. In both situations, your mouth is even more prone to drying out, setting the stage for bacteria to grow.
Some things you can do to prevent morning breath are:
- Floss, Brush, and Gargle Mouthwash. Make sure you take your time as you brush, and floss and do a good job.
- Use a Non-Alcoholic Mouthwash. Alcohol dries out your mouth. Use a mouthwash that does not contain alcohol and also try to use an oxygenating mouthwash such as TheraBreath.
- Gargle Baking Soda. The bacteria that cause bad breath thrive in an acidic environment. Gargling baking soda will cause your mouth to be more alkaline. Just put a teaspoon in a cup of water and gargle the solution for a minute. Just spit out the solution and do not rinse your mouth before going to bed.