It shows up when we least expect it, and can linger behind even the most beautiful smile: bad breath. Known as halitosis, bad breath refers to odor caused by bacteria that is lingering in our mouths. These bacteria can be a result of tooth decay – in the form of untreated cavities or gum disease – or it can have dietary origins. People consuming a large amount of meat, alcohol, or dairy products are at an increased risk for halitosis. Even certain medications, like antidepressants and heart pressure stabilizers, can increase the frequency with which you’re experiencing bad breath. Manhattan porcelain veneers expert Maurice Benjamin, DDS, offers advice about how people can prevent bad breath.
While your instinct may be to reach for mouthwash, gum, or mints, these options only provide a temporary fix, and can actually exacerbate the underlying cause of halitosis. Mouthwash often contains high levels of alcohol, which dehydrates your mouth, creating a dry environment in which bacteria thrives. Gum and mints, on the other hand, often contain sugars that leave residue on your teeth and gums and lead to bacterial growth. So the next time you’re battling bad breath, give one of these other tricks a try:
1) Rinse Your Mouth. Because acidity in the mouth—caused by indigestion, or too much coffee, tea and soda—can be a culprit of bad breath, try gargling with a neutralizer like baking soda or hydrogen peroxide to inhibit bacteria growth. Even a simple salt-water rinse can do the trick.
2) Hydrate. Simply drinking eight glasses of water a day will increase saliva production, facilitate your body’s waste elimination process, and combat indigestion—all factors that prevent bad breath. Drinking water can also keep you from reaching for acidic beverages like coffee, tea, and soda, which can all cause halitosis.
3) Reduce Sugar Intake. Most of us love a sweet treat every now and then, but it’s important to eat these goodies in moderation! Refined carbohydrates and sugars – like those found in baked goods, sodas, and syrups – lead to an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the mouth. Go the extra mile by reaching for carrots instead, or other crunchy vegetables, which can help reduce odor-causing plaque.
4) Eat avocados. Consuming this delicious fruit is an easy way to help eliminate intestinal decomposition, and the bad breath it causes.
5) Take care of your teeth. Keeping a healthy oral hygiene regimen is of the utmost importance when fending off bad breath. So don’t just brush—floss as well, and scrape your tongue nightly with a toothbrush to rid it of bacteria and plaque-causing food particles.
If bad breath persists, contact your dentist for expert advice. A cavity, gum disease, or another dental problem that has gone untreated may be the root of your problems! If you have any questions about general or cosmetic dentistry in Manhattan, contact All American Smile Dental Studios! Our cosmetic dentist offers teeth whitening and the placement of porcelain veneers in Manhattan.