What can I do about bad breath?

If you’re constantly worrying about bad breath, you’re not alone. Bad breath (halitosis) is an all too common problem that can be both embarrassing and distracting. Deducing the most likely cause of your bad breath is the best way to determine what you can do to prevent it.

Greatly reduced saliva flow during sleep (the cause of morning breath), certain foods, poor oral hygiene, periodontal (gum) disease, dry mouth, tobacco use, dieting, dehydration and some medical conditions can all cause bad breath. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day—in the morning and at night—is the first thing to start doing, if you are not already in the habit. Brushing after every meal is even better, if you can. If not, chewing sugar-free gum after meals can get food particles out of your teeth. Additionally, clean between your teeth daily with floss or interdental cleaners, and remember to brush your tongue. Brushing your tongue will make a big difference in how clean your mouth feels and smells. If you wear dentures, be sure to remove them at night and clean them thoroughly before replacing them the next morning. Toothbrushes should be replaced every couple months.

Biannual dental cleanings and checkups at our Schaumburg dental office will not only keep your teeth and gums in good shape, but seeing you regularly will also allow us to better detect any problems, including gum disease, dry mouth (xerostomia) and decay, that can cause persistent bad breath.

Breaking a tobacco habit can significantly improve your oral health and the way your breath smells. Ask us about ways we suggest to help break a tobacco habit. Drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy, balanced diet also keeps your mouth moist and more free of bad bacteria. Mouth rinses can help, too, but ask us which rinses actually kill the germs that cause bad breath, because some only mask odor as a temporary solution.

When bad breath is a symptom of a larger bacterial problem in your mouth, we can help. If our Schaumburg dentists find that your mouth is healthy, they will refer you to your physician for further consultation and more comprehensive treatment.