Cures and causes of bad breath

We all dread the embarrassment of bad breath and do everything in our power to prevent it. 

We buy gum, breath mints and heavy-duty mouth washes to hide it. And if none of those products are handy, we drink water and warn people so they aren’t caught off guard by the potential stench. But rarely do we stop to wonder, what is the true cause of bad breath, and what steps can be taken to prevent it? 

There are many potential causes of bad breath including eating certain foods, poor brushing habits, and infrequent flossing, diet, and smoking and chewing tobacco products. But bad breath can also be the result of an underlying health issue such as gum disease, oral yeast infections, sinus infections and post-nasal drip. 

To prevent bad breath, dentists recommend practicing good oral hygiene including brushing twice a day and flossing regularly. When brushing, pay attention to the tongue and consider purchasing a tongue scraper to prevent bacterial build-up. Also, be sure to replace your toothbrush often to prevent bacteria from accumulating on the bristles— every 2 to 3 months is often recommended or if you have been sick. 

Another way to prevent bad breath is to alter your diet. Consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples, and broccoli, is shown to remove odor-causing plaque from your palate and drinking water after a meal and throughout the day will keep your mouth hydrated and fresh. 

Finally, be sure to visit the dentist regularly—at least twice a year—to get a professional cleaning and check for underlying oral health problems. 

If you have bad breath issues or just haven’t visited a dentist in a while, give Jackson Dental a call at 573-243-5200 to schedule an appointment. We are always accepting new patients and would love to see your smiling face at our office!