Oral hygiene and the fresh breath associated with it are part of healthy, daily habits. Over time, poor dental care will cause mouth odor. Of course, the foods we eat contribute to bad breath, too. However, bad breath may be a symptom of a health condition of a side effect of a medication
Dental hygiene refers to the practice of keeping the mouth, teeth, and gums clean and healthy to prevent disease. Dental hygiene and oral health are often taken for granted but are essential parts of our everyday lives.
Bad breath in particular can be embarrassing and in some cases may even cause anxiety. It’s no wonder that store shelves are overflowing with gum, mints, mouthwashes, and other products designed to fight bad breath. But, many of these products are only temporary measures because they don’t address the cause of the problem.
Certain foods, health conditions and habits are among the causes of bad breath. In many cases, you can improve bad breath with consistent proper dental hygiene. If simple self-care techniques don’t solve the problem, see your dentist or physician to be sure a more serious condition isn’t causing your bad breath.
Most bad breath starts in your mouth and there are many possible causes. First we must consider what you put in your mouth. The breakdown of food particles in and around your teeth can increase bacteria and cause a foul odor. Eating certain foods, such as onions or garlic, also can cause bad breath. Smoking causes its own unpleasant mouth odor. Smokers and oral tobacco users are also more likely to have gum disease, another source of bad breath.
We also have to be aware of how we take care of our mouth. If you don’t brush and floss daily, food particles remain in your mouth, causing bad breath. A colorless, sticky film of bacteria, also known as plaque, will begin to form on your teeth. If not brushed away, plaque can irritate your gums and eventually form plaque-filled pockets between your teeth and gums.
Some ways to combat bad breath include:
- brush after meals
- floss before bedtime
- gargle and rinse with mouthwash regularly
- chew sugar-free gum
- stay hydrated
- seek regular dental care
The best way to treat bad breath is to take the steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen in the first place. Brush and floss regularly and take care of your mouth!