Halitosis, otherwise known as bad breath, is very common. People of any age may have halitosis, including: The elderly, infants and disabled who have difficulty maintaining dental hygiene. People who use appliances in the mouth, including dental braces and dentures. Smokers are more prone not only to halitosis, but also periodontal disease (another bad breath contributor). People with certain medical conditions including, but not limited to: tooth decay, impacted tooth, abscessed tooth, periodontal disease, alcoholism, uncontrolled diabetes, sinusitis, post-nasal drip, allergies, throat and lung infections (such as bronchitis), and dry mouth. Dry mouth may be the result of a high protein diet, non-fibrous diet, or medication. Individuals on certain medications.
For example, certain vitamin supplements, antihistamines, calcium blockers, cardiac medications, blood pressure pharmaceuticals, and psychiatric drugs have been known to inhibit saliva flow or produce dry mouth, setting the precedence for halitosis. Dry mouth may also lead to excessive thirst and tooth decay – a good foundation for halitosis once again. Poor dieters may have bad breath that is caused by certain food and drink that trigger dehydration, including: diet soda, onions, spices, garlic, curry, cabbage, coffee, and Tabasco sauce. High protein food debris lodged between the teeth can produce halitosis as well.
Your Birmingham dentist will be able to advise you on various solutions to bad breath. The following is a list of solutions recommended by dentists in the Birmingham area.
Eat a Proper Diet. Diet plays a role in dental hygiene, as appropriate food and drink can support proper saliva flow to help limit the possibility of halitosis. Fibrous foods have been known to help maintain a healthy mouth. Eating a healthy breakfast every morning helps initiate saliva flow after evenings of sleep when bacteria and odor can build. Drinking sufficient water is also important to help limit bad breath. Drinks that are high in sugar and acid such as sodas and juices do not a support a healthy breath environment.
Exercise Good Dental Hygiene. Key to deterring halitosis is dental hygiene. It is very easy for food debris to be lodged between teeth or around gums, creating an ideal bad breath bacterial environment. As instructed by your dentist, brushing your teeth and flossing between each tooth after every meal are the minimum requirements. Brushing and flossing are particularly important after high protein meals or other meals that trigger foul breath and dehydration.
Selecting an antiseptic mouthwash to gargle with and using it before bedtime is particularly helpful in reducing bacteria growth during sleep. Antiseptic mouthwash ingredients include chlorhexidine (PerioGard or Peridex), chlorine dioxide (Oxyfresh or ProFresh), zinc chloride (Lavoris), and oils (Listerine, BreathRX, Tooth and Gum Tonic).
Tongue cleaners can also be useful in managing bad breath. It is important to gently clean the mucous off the back of the tongue, where bacteria may be present. Gentle tongue cleaning is extremely important to prevent damage to the tongue.
Click here for a dentist in Birmingham that offer bad breath treatment.