It is normal to experience bad breath occasionally, especially after eating foods such as garlic or onions. This can be easily corrected by eating a breath mint, chewing gum, or even better, by flossing and brushing your teeth after eating these types of foods. Sometimes it is just a matter of rinsing your mouth out with water or gargling with mouthwash. However, if you have chronic bad breath, you may want to ask yourself what your breath is telling you about your dental health. Chronic bad breath can be a sign that you have more serious issues going on in your mouth.
In many cases, bad breath is caused by bacteria. One good way to keep bacteria from building up in your mouth and causing bad breath is to practice good daily oral hygiene. This includes brushing at least twice per day and flossing at least one time per day. Another way is to visit the dentist regularly (at least every six months) for a professional cleaning. A dental hygienist is equipped with special tools and methods for removing plaque and tartar that cannot be achieved at home using a toothbrush and floss.
If your mouth is not producing enough saliva, this can cause dry mouth which makes it easier for bacteria to build up in your mouth. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many medications on the market including antihistamines and other medications used to treat colds and allergies. You may want to check the package insert of any medications you are taking to see if dry mouth is a possible side effect. You can then talk to your dentist about how you can best combat this side effect or speak to your doctor about a different type of medication that may be used to treat your symptoms.
Sometimes, chronic bad breath is a result of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and supporting tissues around the teeth. If your bad breath is being caused by periodontal disease, it is very important to seek treatment immediately. Worse than bad breath, untreated periodontal disease can damage the teeth and gums and lead to tooth loss as well as loss of the supporting bones and tissues in the mouth. During your regularly scheduled exams, your dentist will check for signs of periodontal disease. That is one reason that it is so important to get a thorough dental examination at least once every six months. If you have not received a thorough dental exam in more than six months, you could be putting your dental health at risk. Schedule an appointment with your dentist today.
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