Dentist in Portland | Bad Breath: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

How To Take Control if You Have Bad Breath

bad breath

It’s every Romeo or Juliet’s nightmare, but bad breath doesn’t have to ruin your life — or your dating life. There are simple ways to take control of the situation and ways to know when you can address the problem yourself and when to seek help from a dental health professional.

Most often, bad breath — called halitosis — is caused when bacteria in the mouth break down food, which it is supposed to do. In the process, though, the bacteria release volatile sulfur compounds, which is why the worst bad breath can smell like rotten eggs.

We’re not talking here about the bad breath caused by eating aromatic foods like onions and garlic. That’s easily fixed by simply not eating those food when you need your breath to be fresh or washing out your mouth, perhaps brushing and flossing as well after you eat them.

The good news is that most halitosis is treatable by flossing and brushing every day and scheduling regular dental cleanings. Why? Because a clean mouth — one where every nook and cranny is cleaned every day and periodically deep cleaned by a dental hygienist — harbors few places where bacteria can take hold and multiply.

The dental professionals at Downtown Dental Associates of Portland care about your dental health and how it affects your general health and, in this case, your social life. That’s why we encourage anyone who will listen to practice good oral hygiene and see a dentist at least once a year.

But sometimes even that isn’t enough.

There are times when there is an underlying problem that is is not so easily addressed. For instance, halitosis can be caused by gum disease, gastric reflux, sinus drainage, diabetes, tonsil stones or other oral diseases. Another factor is lack of saliva, since part of what saliva does in help keep the mouth clean. For these reasons, it’s important to tell your dentist if, despite good dental hygiene, you still suffer from bad breath, so he or she can suggest a treatment.

Compounding the problem with bad breath is the fact that it’s hard to know when you have bad breath because the mouth and nose are linked internally. For obvious reasons, you get used to your own breath. That’s why it’s important to tell someone — nicely and privately — if they have continuous bad breath. You’re doing them a social favor for sure, but you might also be helping them spot an underlying problem.

We’d also tell you that if people frequently offer you gum, mints or cough drops, you might consider asking someone you trust if you have bad breath. And please remember that the someone can be us here at Downtown Dental Associates. We know there’s nothing to be ashamed about when it comes to halitosis, and we’re here to help.

Call us today with any questions you might have about this or any dental health topic. You can also schedule an appointment here.

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