It is not long until Valentine’s Day and there’s one problem you don’t want playing on your mind…
Bad breath. It is nobody’s friend that’s for sure!
That’s why today at River Practice we are talking about the simple tips and tricks to avoid it.
Whether you are going on a first date or spending the evening with your long-term partner, it is no secret that we all prefer minty fresh breath.
The day is fast approaching! So, grab a pen and let’s make some notes.
What causes bad breath?
Bad breath can be caused by a number of reasons but is most commonly caused by poor oral hygiene. Your daily oral routine should be in place to avoid gum disease and other issues that may arise due to neglecting your mouth’s health.
If you do not brush your teeth regularly, floss or visit your dentist at least twice a year, your oral health may suffer. Bacteria can build up on your teeth, gums and tongue and this can then lead to problems. This is bad news for the smell of your breath as bad scents and gases are released from the bacteria causing an unpleasant smell.
If this continues, it can lead to a number of problems such as gum disease and tooth decay – so don’t forget to visit your dentist regularly, so they can spot the signs before it is too late.
Tips to banish the stench!
Don’t forget to brush your tongue
Not only should you be brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily, you should also be scraping your tongue.
There can be a lot of bacteria sitting on your tongue. It grows in and around the rough surfaces and can build up over time, causing an unpleasant smell.
Make sure that during your daily oral routine that you brush your tongue daily to keep your mouth in tiptop condition.
Stay away from smelly food
We all know that garlic is the number one culprit that can turn people away in disgust! Don’t let it get to that, please!
Onions, spices, coffee and alcohol can all have this effect. Of course, these are all fine to have in your diet but it may be best to avoid before a big date.
Smoking is not only terrible for your health, it is also another cause for unwanted bad breath. It has devastating effects on your mouth, putting strain on your teeth, irritating your gums whilst also reducing your ability to taste.
Smoking is also linked to gum disease therefore by quitting smoking, you’ll be able to lower your risk whilst also saying good bye to bad breath!
Keep your mouth moist
Having a dry mouth can increase the build up of bacteria and cause terrible breath. Bad breath can also be a side effect of medical conditions such as lung, throat and nose infections and also diabetes.
If your saliva is not flowing correctly, this could result in a dry mouth. Sleeping with your mouth open during the night can also cause a dry mouth and this can lead to bad breath in the morning.
Although this can be hard to manage during the night, try to make sure you are breathing through your nose during the day to avoid getting a dry mouth.
Another great tip is to make sure you are keeping hydrated during the day. Not only is this beneficial to your health, it will also ensure there is plenty of saliva in your mouth.
Don’t disguise it
It can be easy to grab a stick of gum or take a swig of mouthwash but be careful. This only disguises the odour of bad breath so it is important to ensure that you are practising good oral health by brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing and visiting your dentist.
That doesn’t mean avoid mouthwash, it is great to use after brushing your teeth and it’s a sensible method to improve your oral health.
Sugar-free gum is also good to have during the day in between brushing your teeth as it keeps your mouth moist and can remove any food debris stuck in your teeth.
Teas can help
Did you know that green and black teas can battle against unwanted bad breath? Both teas contain polyphenols that work by eliminating sulphur compounds. This makes them great at removing bacteria from the mouth – perhaps tea is an option to replace coffee in the morning?
See your dentist regularly
It is advised that you visit your dentist twice a year to keep on top of your oral health. Your dentist can spot if you have any problems that can be dealt with quickly. If you suffer from bad breath often, your dentist will be able to do an oral examination to see whether they can detect periodontal disease or further problems which could be causing that nasty smell!
Log the food and drink you consume
Certain food and drink can contribute to bad breath and can affect people differently. Therefore it could be beneficial to keep a log of the food and drink that you consume, this is then easy to look back on so you can easily detect what triggers your bad breath.
Avoiding bad breath with dentures
It is important that you take good care to your dentures as bits of food can get stuck around the edges as well as in between your teeth. If food is left, it can rot and release those unpleasant gases that smell.
With dentures, ensure that you are using a separate toothbrush to clean them. Brush the dentures, leave them to soak and then brush them again. Clean all of the surface area of the dentures and if you notice them staining, contact your dentist to have them cleaned.
When you need to seek advice
If you continue to suffer from bad breath, it could be down to gum disease or other medical conditions. Firstly visit your dentist who will be able to inform you if the odour is from an oral origin.
If it is gum disease causing the bad breath, they will treat you or refer you to a periodontist who specialises in treating gum disease.
If your mouth is healthy, your dentist may refer you to your doctor who will be able to look further into your bad breath and test if this is due to a medical condition.