HALITOSIS (BAD BREATH)
Halitosis comes from the breakdown of proteins from bacteria that inhibit our mouth. Byproducts of the breakdown are substances with a displeasing smell, such as sulfides. The bacteria that are responsible for the production of such substances can be found in:
- the teeth, in case they are carious or are not properly cleaned
- the gums, in case they have periodontal disease (gingivitis, periodontitis) or are not properly cleaned
- the tongue, especially in the back of the tongue (near the throat)
What can I do to cure bad breath?
If the primary sites of bad breath are the teeth or the gums, then these should be addressed first. A thorough dental evaluation should be done in order to treat caries and periodontal disease. Proper dental hygiene (brushing, flossing) is of paramount importance, in order to eiminate on a daily basis the odour-producing bacteria.
Proper dental hygiene consists of teeth brushing, at least twice daily, and flossing between the teeth (in places the toothbrush can't reach) once a day. A mouthwash can be used as well, to help in the removal of the bacteria and to give a refreshing breath.
In case bad breath comes from the tongue, then we try to eliminate the bacteria that live in the back of the mouth. This can be done by scraping the tongue off with a soft toothbrush or a tongue scraper. If we use a toothbrush, no toothpaste should be used, just water or a mouthwash.
What else can be done to fight bad breath?
- Don't forget to visit the dentist regurarly
- Brush your teeth correctly twice daily
- Don't forget to floss before the last tooth brushing
- Scrape the back of the tongue after brushing
- Drink a lot of fluids, but reduce coffee
- You can chew a sugar free gum to freshen your breath
- Eat fresh vegetables, like carrots