Bad Breath: What are the major offenders?

For many people, their diet choices can explain the odor emanating from their mouth. But when chronic halitosis persists, a visit to the family dentist will identify the root cause.
Strong foods like onions, garlic and many spicy meats and vegetables; or beverages like coffee and alcohol … these can result in bad breath upon consumption. Brushing teeth, gargling with a mouthwash, or sucking on a breath mint are ways to handle the occasional bad breath.
If brushing, gargling, and breath mints are not a resolution, it could be your oral health has been compromised. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease with one of its early symptoms being bad breath. Other indicators that gingivitis is present include:
  • Bleeding gums – Gum tissue may bleed if using a hard bristle tooth brush or applying too much pressure while brushing. Switch to a soft bristle brush and lighten up when brushing for best results. If bleeding persists, it is time for a trip to the family dentist for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Red, swollen gum tissue – Gums are supposed to be pink and not puffy.
  • Teeth appear to be pulling away from gums; or teeth feel loose.
  • Unusual or persistent discomfort.

Quite often gum disease gets its start due to inefficient or negligent dental care. Although even the most vigilant patient can follow all the rules for excellent oral health, they might still develop periodontal issues. This can be due to generic tendencies, medications taken, or other health issues.
However, the majority of patients that follow the rules do not deal with gum disease or bad breath including:

  • Floss daily.
  • Brush a minimum of twice daily with a tooth paste or gel.
  • Visit the dentist twice per year for a professional cleaning and dental exam to catch any problems before they can escalate.
  • Get sufficient rest.
  • Eat a diet rich with plenty of fruits and vegetables; limit sugary snacks and beverages.
  • Stay hydrated (preferably with water).
  • Exercise – keeping the body healthy will likely help keep teeth and gums on the right track.

If bad breath is the result of poor dental care, your dentist will treat the problem. But it is up to the patient to keep plaque build-up under control by adhering to a daily hygiene regimen along with keeping those twice yearly visits to the dentist to make sure the problem stays controlled.

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