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Bad Breath Triggers and Tips

Almost everyone has bad breath from time to time. It is embarrassing and can be a “deal breaker” in both business and social situations. Avoiding bad breath triggers and tips for dealing with them can make the problem less likely to happen to you.

  • Food Triggers – Onions, garlic, coffee, and sugary drinks cause bad breath but even sulfurous vegetables like cabbage add to the problem. The bad breath caused by some foods sticks with you even after you have brushed because of the chemicals absorbed in your bloodstream and the digestive process itself. Avoiding these foods is the only way to solve the problem.
  • Poor Oral Hygiene Trigger – Decaying food particles that have not been cleaned from the mouth are a feast for your oral bacteria.  When you exhale the odor from decomposing food, bacteria and the plaque on your teeth can get pretty nasty. Proper brushing and flossing can take care of this – ask your hygienist to show you proper techniques for both at your next visit.
  • Oral Disease Triggers Gum disease is responsible for a lot of  severe bad breath. The same bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities are responsible for your halitosis.
  • Smoking Trigger –  There are over 4,000 chemicals in the average cigarette and 200 of those are poisonous. Is it any wonder that smoking is bad for you. The health effects of smoking are well documented and smoking contributes to gum disease which means even worse breath. This is another situation where part of the problem comes from the chemicals in your bloodstream. Stop smoking and enjoy fresh breath.
  • Dry Mouth Trigger – Xerostomia, also known as “dry mouth” is a condition that reduces the amount of saliva you produce. Saliva is  important for a healthy mouth. It rinses away food particles and helps remineralize your teeth. Without the cleansing effects of saliva flow the food debris stays in the mouth and is attacked by bacteria causing an unpleasant odor. This condition can be a side effect of certain types of medicines or may be a sign of a more serious condition. Talk to both your dentist and your physician if you are experiencing dry mouth.
  • Medical Condition Triggers – Many medical issues including sinus infections, diabetes and even kidney failure can cause your breath odor to change. If you have good oral hygiene habits, visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings but suddenly develop bad breath you should visit your physician.

Treating bad breath includes  brushing and flossing regularly. Invest in a tongue scraper, it is important to use it every day. This will remove odor causing bacteria living on the tongue. Regular visits for professional dental cleanings will make sure that oral bacteria that cause bad breath are kept in check.

If you have a meal that is heavy on the onions or garlic you can try to mask the immediate effects by chewing a piece of parsley (naturally cleansing and deodorizing) or a piece of sugarless gum. Your breath will be back to normal in about a day.

Please contact Columbus cosmetic dentist Dr. Mark Levy at StoneRidge Dental Care  614-476-6696 today to schedule your next appointment. Clean, shiny teeth and fresh breath are just a phone call away.