Today’s post from the Mt. Vernon Center for Dentistry in Alexandria focuses on a problem a lot of people endure, bad breath.
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, has several causes. The most frequent cause is poor oral hygiene. Often, it arises midday arising from the inability to brush teeth between meals. Small food bits on the teeth, gums, and tongue grow bacteria. The wastes of the bacteria and decay of the food create a sulfur compound, which emits the nasty odor. Food particles, bacteria, and sulfuric gas all need to be removed to eliminate bad breath.
While poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of halitosis, many conditions can contribute to or worsen the problem. The best remedy is consistent, thorough brushing and flossing, but other actions might also be necessary depending on the cause(s).
For example, a salivary gland issue or certain medications can cause dry mouth. Saliva moistens the teeth and gums, clearing away odiferous dead cells. Saliva also neutralizes the ever-present acids on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. Limiting caffeine, chewing sugar-free gum, using over-the-counter saliva substitutes, and using a humidifier can add moisture to the mouth.
Remember, the very best defense to bad breath is a good dental care routine: brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups. If you struggle with bad breath in spite of vigilant oral hygiene, ask us for help in identifying the source.
At The Mt. Vernon Center for Dentistry in Alexandria, our services include family and restorative dentistry. Ask about clear braces from Invisalign! Call us today to schedule your next cleaning and checkup.