Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and everyone wants to have the confidence in knowing that bad breath isn’t going hamper their efforts during that perfect Valentine’s Day date. Bad breath can be caused by many sources. Infection in the sinuses and reflux from the stomach can all be causes of bad breath in many people, but most people suffering from bad breath have the problem coming from their mouth.
Bad breath in the mouth can be caused by:
- Tooth decay – decayed teeth have a particular smell as they are areas that bacteria have been vigorously working away at decomposing teeth. Untreated decay can most definitely contribute to funny smells coming from the mouth.
- Poor oral hygiene – any food caught between teeth can attact bacteria and this bacteria will cause the mouth to smell as it breaks down the food.
- Smelly foods – foods that contain sulphurs in their breakdown products such as garlic are a prime reason for poor breath. Very often these particles are retained on the carpetty surface of the tongue, which acts like a reservoir. This can cause bad odours.
- Dry mouth – saliva helps clear food particles from the mouth and contains antibodies which fight bacteria. Not drinking enough water, mouth breathing and drinking too much caffeine can all contribute to dry mouth, which can also put you at risk of tooth surface erosion due to the lack of saliva.
So what can I do to decrease the chance of having bad breath?
Here are some things we would suggest to do to combat bad breath:
- Have a good oral hygiene regime – brush twice a day and floss every night to remove as many food particles and bacteria as possible.
- Brush your tongue – Cleaning your tongue either with a tongue scraper or toothbrush will get rid of any food particles that live there. Cleaning the tongue may be difficult for some people with a strong gag reflex, though.
- Stay away from too much caffeine and drink lots of water – caffeine can cause dehydration and decreases your ability to clear out the smells which foods can leave in your mouth.
- Have regular checkups and cleans – we recommend coming in for a regular check up and clean once every 6 months to pick up on any decay before it becomes a big problem and keep tartar under control. Ridding your mouth of food traps and good hygiene will help get rid of bad breath. If it has been more than 6 months since your last checkup, call to make an appointment today on (07) 3844 6071 or contact us.
Hopefully we’ve been able to give you some good tips for avoiding bad breath. We’ll see you at your next checkup!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
About Our Author:
Dr Will Wang:
Dr Will Wang has been a dentist at Highgate Hill Dental Centre since 2008. He aims to make seeing the dentist a positive, happy experience for the whole family, and enjoys making it a fun visit for children. Will has a particular interest in preventative and restorative dentistry; and spends a lot of time explaining concepts to empower patients with the ability to maintain their own dental health between visits.