Stop Your Bad Breath Now! 5 Ways to Treat Your Bad Breath As It Occurs

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No one likes bad breath. It’s embarrassing to have and sometimes worse to endure if someone around you has it. Luckily, there are a number of ways to prevent and treat this annoying, commonplace occurrence. 

Of course, the best strategy to fight bad breath is to prevent it. Reference our guide to preventing bad breath for everything you need to know about stopping the smell before it starts.

However, there are times when you might find yourself in that unavoidable, unpreventable situation where you have bad breath and need to get rid of it fast. For these unfortunate situations, we have you covered with the top five ways to treat your bad breath as it occurs. 

One: Brush Your Teeth After You Eat

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is primarily caused by the food you eat. Foods that are strong in flavor and smell can leave an immediate odor in your mouth. Additionally, any food not properly removed from your mouth by your saliva, toothbrush, floss or mouthwash will eventually lead to a buildup of bacteria called plaque, which will also produce foul smells and bad breath. The best way to treat your bad breath is by brushing your teeth after you eat.

When brushing your teeth, make sure to use a dentist-recommended fluoride toothpaste and brush continuously for two minutes. To ensure that your mouth is clean and that all food debris has been removed, it is important to not only brush your teeth, but also your gums, tongue, cheek pockets and the roof of your mouth.

Two: Breath Mints and Gum

If you find yourself stranded, without a toothbrush, in a meeting with bad breath, the second best treatment is a breath mint or chewing gum. Mints and gum are convenient fixes to bad breath, readily available and easy to carry in your pocket. 

However, not all mints and gum are created equal. When using these sorts of remedies, be careful  you are careful to prioritize sugar-free mints and gum. Although added sugar may make your mint tastier, the sugar can actually worsen bad breath. The bacteria in our mouths that cause bad breath feed on sugars, which will result in more intense halitosis. 

Although mints and gum are very effective in treating the odor of bad breath by filling your mouth with fresh flavors, they are not a permanent solution. Brushing, flossing and other oral hygiene measures are the only way to combat bad breath at its root causes.

Three: Mouthwash

Another quick fix to bad breath is to rinse your mouth with a germ-killing mouthwash. Mouthwash is a great remedy to bad breath because it introduces that fresh minty taste that we all love, while operating with the power to combat your halitosis at its root causes – bacteria and germs.

When using mouthwash, a little goes a long way. All you need is four teaspoons and 30 seconds of swishing. As you put the mouthwash in your mouth, be sure to swish and gargle without swallowing. Once 30 seconds have passed, spit the wash into the sink and rinse your mouth with water to remove any residual mouthwash.

Four: Drink Water

This remedy may seem too good to be true, but drinking water is an effective treatment for bad breath. Water not only hydrates your body; it also encourages saliva production. Your saliva is your body’s natural defense against bad breath because it breaks down food particles and fights bacteria buildup – the two greatest culprits in the bad breath equation. 

When your mouth starts to dry out due to a lack of saliva, you are most vulnerable to bad breath. This condition is called “dry mouth” and is the reason behind the morning breath phenomena. Just as most people wake up with dragon breath because their mouth is dried out from breathing through their mouth while sleeping, you can develop bad breath midday if you are not wetting your whistle enough.

Water is also an easy remedy to bad breath because it rinses your mouth (similar to mouthwash) and can remove food debris – removing the cause of your halitosis.

Five: Eat an Apple

An apple a day keeps the bad breath away! This organic treatment may be the game changer you are looking for. Crisp snacks like apples, carrots and celery act as nature’s toothbrushes. By eating these foods in between meals, you will increase saliva output and remove food debris and bacteria from your teeth, tongue and gums.

Chronic Bad Breath?

If your bad breath persists and doesn’t seem to subside with these five remedies, it is probably time to go to the dentist. Chronic bad breath may be a symptom of something more serious that our doctors can treat and cure! Schedule your appointment at The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte today. Our in-house team of dental specialists can help address your halitosis and refresh your breath. Same-day appointments are available when you call (704) 800-0252.

What Causes Halitosis? Understanding Your Bad Breath

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Bad breath, also known in the medical world as halitosis, is an extremely common occurrence that often leaves a person embarrassed and inconvenienced. To avoid the unfortunate situation of having bad breath, it is important to know the common causes of halitosis.

Below, we’re going to dive into the main causes behind bad breath, and equip you with strategies to leave it all behind.

Your Diet

The foods we eat are the largest culprits for the majority of our bad breath. Food starts to break down the second it enters our mouth which can put off unwanted odors almost immediately. Any food particles that remain between your teeth can potentially increase bacterial levels within your mouth and result in halitosis. 

Foods with strong flavors and odors will have the greatest impact on your bad breath. Foods such as:

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Cheese
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Sugary foods and drinks

These and other food items are leaders in causing bad breath. 

Halitosis caused by the food you eat can persist until the food is completely digested and passes through your body. Digested food enters the bloodstream and is carried to your lungs, which affects the air that you exhale.

Poor Hygiene

Your parents were right when they nagged you everyday to brush and floss your teeth. Food particles remain in your mouth – and in between your teeth – if you are not brushing and flossing daily. This build up of leftover food turns into bacteria called plaque, which will emit those dreadful odors all of us are trying to avoid. Plaque causes an array of oral health issues including cavities and gum irritation and inflammation (gingivitis) causing additional odors and bad breath.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a real medical condition called xerostomia (zeer–o-STOE-me-uh) and is the reason behind the infamous “morning breath” phenomenon. Saliva is a natural cleansing substance that not only breaks food down but keeps our mouths clean and fresh. When our saliva production decreases or stops altogether, bad breath is almost certain to follow. Dry mouth leaves your breath defenseless to the bacteria caused by food particles.

Most dry mouth occurs at night when we are asleep, which is why many people wake up with halitosis (morning breath).

Smoking and Tobacco Products

Most tobacco products are taken orally and can cause some pretty nasty side effects. These can include: bad breath, dry mouth, gum disease and cancers. Smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes and using different chewing tobaccos all leave their own distinct odors in the mouth that can linger long after the initial indulgence. Halitosis is also more likely in tobacco users because the diseases (such as gum disease) that are caused by tobacco products have bad breath as a common side effect.

Mouth, Nose and Throat Conditions

Bad breath can be caused by an array of infections and illnesses. Infections of the mouth like gum disease and tooth decay can produce a foul smell. Other common illnesses that affect our sinuses and throat can lead to postnasal drip, which can also result in halitosis. The bacteria in your mouth will feed on the mucus produced by your body which leaks from your sinuses when you have an infection or virus.

Another way common infections cause bad breath are by throat stones, which are tiny stones created by a bacterial build up that cling to the tonsils when one is sick. This is often associated with strep throat and other common illnesses.

Digestive Issues

Food is the leading factor in most cases of halitosis. As a result, any disruption in the way that food is digested can also cause bad breath. Acid reflux and other gastrointestinal issues often push recently eaten food back up the digestive tract into the esophagus and mouth resulting in bad breath. Other experiences of constipation and stomach upset can cause foul odors and bad breath.

Less Common Causes of Bad Breath

There are many more causes of bad breath that are less common – but are still relevant – to many people. Certain medications are associated with bad breath as they cause dry mouth and chemical reactions when ingested that result in foul odors that are exhaled. Diabetes, kidney problems and liver issues can cause bad breath.

Bad Breath: How To Fight Back

Luckily there is great news for those of you that are suffering with halitosis. There are many ways to mitigate, prevent, and remedy bad breath.

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes and floss once daily.
  2. Rinse your mouth with a doctor recommended mouthwash twice daily.
  3. Drink lots of water. Water not only rinses your mouth, but also increases saliva production.
  4. Chew sugarless gum. The fresh scent can mask your bad breath and help saliva production.
  5. Eat apples, carrots, and celery which act as an oral deodorant. These and some other fruits and vegetables can help cleanse the mouth of food particles and plaque that cause halitosis.
  6. See your dentist regularly – at least every 6 months.

Roughly 30% of the world’s population suffers from bad breath. You don’t need to be one of them. Schedule an appointment at The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte today, where our in-house team of dental specialists can help address your halitosis and refresh your confident smile. Same-day appointments are available today when you call (704) 800-0252.

Masks Can Give You Bad Breath. Here’s What You Can Do About It.

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The past year and a half has brought so many changes to our daily lives, as a novel pandemic changed the way we socialize with one another. One of the greatest changes to our social lives was the introduction of wearing masks and other face coverings whenever we were in public.

With this new social norm came new oral health issues most people had never experienced. One of the prominent issues was the experience of feeling trapped in a mask with our own bad breath. Before the pandemic, only a select few (surgeons, doctors, dental specialists, etc.) dealt with the phenomena of having to smell one’s own bad breath behind a mask. But for the better part of 18 months, almost all of us have encountered this unpleasant experience at least once, if not several times a week.

Fortunately, it’s easier than you might think to take control of your mask breath. And we’re going to show you how.

Mask Mouth – The Dirty Secrets of Your Oral Health Behind the Mask

“Mask mouth” is the term used to describe an array of oral health problems caused by wearing a mask for a prolonged period of time. Conditions such as bad breath, dry mouth, increased cavities and even gum disease have been linked to extended mask wearing.

Why Does Mask Mouth Happen?

Mask wearing can cause various oral health concerns because several things take place behind the mask. For one, wearing a mask may change the way we breathe. This is in part caused by the restriction of air flow and the way in which masks cover the nose and mouth. The human respiratory system is constructed in a way that favors breathing through the nose. However, many masks add pressure to the nose, seemingly cutting airflow leading to an abnormal amount of breathing through the mouth. 

By breathing through our mouths, we dry our saliva production causing dry mouth, a condition that fosters bacterial growth. Saliva is the body’s natural mouthwash. It breaks down food and cleanses our teeth and gums of bacteria that feeds on the food particles that remain in our mouth after eating. This bacteria, called plaque, produces foul odors, bad breath, cavities, and can lead to many other more serious oral health conditions like gingivitis and gum disease.

Mask Wearing and the New Epidemic of Bad Breath

In addition to dry mouth, wearing a mask limits the distance of airflow that you exhale, which is the goal when slowing the spread of illness. However, this limited exhale also means that much of the bacteria emitted from the mouth (that causes bad breath and other dental concerns) is trapped behind the mask and reintroduced back into the mouth when we inhale. 

Although masks are effective in protecting us from COVID-19 and other viruses, the situation that mask wearing creates for our mouths is one that is prone to bacterial build up and bad breath. Many of us have experienced the accosting effects of our own bad breath trapped behind the mask – only intensifying the odor.

Preventing and Treating Mask Mouth

Luckily, there are many things we can do to avoid and overcome the bad breath that mask mouth causes. To free yourself from the dreaded experience of wearing a mask with bad breath, while at the same time utilizing the mask to protect yourself and others from virus follow these suggestions:

1. Stay Hydrated

Because much of mask mouth is caused by dry mouth, it is important to combat this by staying hydrated. Similar to how wearing a mask can adjust the way you breathe, it also causes one to drink less water than they normally would. Staying hydrated by drinking water will not only wet your whistle; keeping your mouth from drying out will actually help you avoid bad breath and mask mouth altogether. Drinking water assists in the process of dislodging food debris in the mouth and rinses bad breath inducing bacteria away.

2. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Although COVID-19 lockdowns and mask wearing may tempt us to become more lackadaisical in personal hygiene, it is important to maintain a proper oral care routine. This routine should include brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and using antibacterial mouthwash. Good oral hygiene will protect your mouth from bad breath and the unwanted side effects of wearing a mask.

3. See Your Dentist Regularly

Now that we know wearing a mask can actually increase our risk of bad breath, dry mouth, cavities and gum disease, it is even more important to make an appointment with your dentist to get a check up. To make sure your oral health is fully taken care of and your smile is a healthy one, schedule your appointment with our exceptional team at The Steele Creek Dentist. Same-day appointments are available today when you call (704) 800-0252.

The 5 Easiest and Most Effective Ways to Prevent Bad Breath

Hemby Bridge family dentistBad breath, also known as halitosis, can cause low self esteem, anxiety and social distress. To avoid these terrible side effects and leave bad breath behind, follow these simple tips and tricks to prevent bad breath from ever occurring.

One: Brush Your Teeth Twice A Day

Healthy, consistent oral hygiene is the greatest way to prevent bad breath. Brushing your teeth twice a day is crucial to cultivating great oral health and fresh breath. Food debris, plaque and gingivitis are the greatest culprits that cause bad breath and brushing is the first tactic in your hygiene routine that keeps your teeth clean and white and your breath smelling nice and fresh. 

When brushing your teeth, it is important to use a dentist-recommended toothpaste, preferably one with a fluoride or baking soda that kills germs and strengthens your teeth. As you brush, you should focus on brushing every part of your mouth – not just your teeth. Food particles and bacteria causing bad breath build up on your teeth, gums, cheeks and tongue. As a result, a thorough brushing lasts 2 to 3 minutes and will include gentle brushing of the gums and cheeks, and the scraping of the tongue.

Brushing twice a day, once in the morning (especially after that cup of coffee) and once at night is a solid foundation to keeping your mouth clean and fresh. In addition, brushing after each meal will further prevent any bad breath that may result from the food consumed.

Two: Floss Once A Day

Flossing, or cleaning between your teeth, is essential to fighting bacterial build up known as plaque, which prevents cavities and bad breath. The pockets in between your teeth are rarely cleaned solely by brushing, and can become havens for odor-producing plaque and food particles. It is important to remove this bacteria and food debris with floss, a waterpik or other interdental brushes at least once a day.

Three: Rinse Your Mouth Twice A Day

In addition to brushing and flossing, regularly rinsing your mouth with mouthwash improves oral hygiene and helps stop bad breath by preventing cavities and gingivitis. Mouthwash with antibacterial agents kills the bacteria most likely causing your bad breath.

Four: Avoid Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a common medical condition called xerostomia (zeer–o-STOE-me-uh) known to contribute to foul smells and bad breath. In fact, dry mouth is the most common reason for waking up with bad breath – an experience known as morning breath. Dry mouth means that the glands that produce your saliva are functioning at a reduced rate, either caused by some sort of condition or by habitually breathing through your mouth (as is often the case when people sleep).

A lack of saliva production increases the risk and intensity of bad breath, because saliva is the mouth’s natural cleansing agent that breaks down food and fights bacteria. To avoid dry mouth, do the following:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day
  • Chew sugar free gum
  • Eat an apple, carrot, or celery stick (these foods demand an increased amount of saliva to break down therefore encourage saliva production)

For chronic dry mouth, some doctor-prescribed oral medication may also be needed.

Five: Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Finally, visiting your dentist regularly – every 6 months – is the best way to ensure positive oral hygiene and prevent bad breath. Regular dental cleanings and checkups allow your dentist to help you prevent and diagnose dental problems like cavities, infections and gum disease – all of which can lead to bad breath. 

Our in-house team of dental specialists at The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte are ready to provide you with exceptional, comfortable cleanings and help you prevent your bad breath. Schedule your next appointment with The Steele Creek Dentist today. Same-day appointments are available when you call (704) 800-0252.