Many patients inquire about their foul breath affecting all aspects of their lives: work environment, social interactions, and feeling good about oneself. What is the bad breath coming from and how do you fix it?
A few of the factors that affect your breath are the diet you maintain (the food you ingest), the condition of your teeth (if cavities are present or not), as well as the bacteria in your mouth. A variety of foods can cause different scents, but the factor that plays the largest role is the bacteria in the mouth. Every mouth has bacteria, some of which are good, and some which aren’t. Removing the bacteria is essential to keeping good overall health as well as reducing the possibility of halitosis (bad breath).
It is necessary to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, but ideally after every meal. When brushing, it is essential to also brush your tongue. It is also critical to see your dentist and hygienist on a regular basis so they can take x-rays, and measure your gum pockets and determine the extent of the bacteria in your mouth, as well as remove the bacteria from above the gums. Occasionally, it is noted that bacteria may be able to get inside the gums and cause gum infections (gum disease) and tooth loss. This is the leading cause of bad breath, and removal of the bacteria is essential. Generally, when this is noted, a deep cleaning might be recommended to remove the bacteria causing the problems. This can be done with lasers and small cameras that show where the bacteria are. Removing these bacteria also removes the bad breath.
Once it has been determined you have gum disease, it is recommended to have cleanings done every 3 months to maintain the health of the gums. Generally, the gum measurements are made to determine how well the gums are responding to treatment and cleaned, to ensure the continued improvement of the bacteria removal. It is necessary to always brush and floss as often as possible throughout the day.