bad breath faq

bad breath faqBad Breath

Maryville and Knoxville, TN

Bad breath (halitosis) is more than just a social problem. It can indicate a serious dental problem, including gum disease, tooth decay, and even oral cancer. Your family dentists in Maryville at Crestview Dental Care compiled this information on how you can prevent bad breath, and how we can help.

What causes bad breath?

  • Diet – Many people love coffee, onions, and garlic, but all three are known for causing your breath to smell bad. The odors from eating or drinking these foods can stick around until your body has fully processed those foods or beverages.
  • Poor dental hygiene – Failing to brush and floss as recommended, allows bacteria to proliferate in your mouth. These bacteria excrete foul-smelling waste particles.
  • Tobacco – You know that smoking is bad for your health, but it also can cause bad-smelling breath. The same goes for chewing tobacco. Please consider quitting if you use tobacco in any form.
  • Dry mouth – This happens when your ability to produce saliva diminishes, usually because of age, chronic mouth breathing, or a side effect of taking certain prescription medications.
  • Medical conditions – Bad breath can be a symptom of certain ailments, such as sinusitis, bronchitis, gum disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal trouble, liver ailments, and kidney disorders.

How can you prevent bad breath?

The best way to combat bad breath is to have your teeth cleaned professionally (called prophylaxis) and to maintain your own home care through regular brushing and flossing. The American Dental Association recommends each person brush at least twice per day, floss daily, and see their dentist every six months for a check-up that includes a professional dental cleaning. Make sure to brush your tongue as well as your teeth. Bacterial growth on the tongue causes the majority of cases of halitosis. You may want to purchase a tongue scraper to remove sulfur compounds that can accumulate on your tongue.

You also can change your diet. If you’re bothered by bad breath, limit your consumption of coffee, garlic, and other pungent smelling foods.

You may also want to evaluate what medications you’re taking. Antihistamines, for example, can dry out your mouth. But, speak to your doctor before ceasing any medications.

Chewing gum is good, but avoid gum that is not sugar-free. Sugar-based gums and mints can give you a mouthful of decay.

Will mouthwash help?

Not necessarily. Generally, they are alcohol-based, and will, therefore, dry out your saliva and, in the long run, make things worse. And, they really do not kill bacteria (with the exception of Listerine, which does kill some bugs). One mouthwash, Peridex, is effective. It contains 0.12% Chlorhexidine Gluconate, which has been shown to eliminate oral bacteria effectively. Peridex is available by prescription only.

Dental care in Knoxville

Bad breath can be a turn-off to those around you, and a sign of potential issues. If your bad breath is due to gum disease, Crestview Dental Care offers treatment for this ailment. We also provide general dentistry services, such as professional cleanings. Don’t live with the stigma and risk of bad breath. Schedule an appointment at our Maryville office today by calling (865) 982-1700.

Crestview Dental Care is here to serve patients in the areas of Maryville and Knoxville in Tennessee.