Is Freshness a Problem?
- Posted on: Jul 15 2017
We all like the idea of having fresh, minty breath, even if this is not an aspect of our image that we think about as often as, say, our hairstyle or clothing. Fresh breath is somewhat of a given; it is something that advertisers are all-too-ready to tell us how to get, and why we should get it. If you think about any interaction with a person who had bad breath, you may remember that you noticed little more about them than the odor that was coming from their mouth. You get the picture. Bad breath, you don’t want it. So, what can you do if freshness in your mouth becomes a problem?
We have heard time and time again that we can clean up “dirty mouth” with a certain brand of chewing gum. While gum and mints and even mouthwash can give us a temporary boost, the real cleaning up of dirty mouth involves better hygiene. Much of the time, halitosis, or chronic bad breath, is a matter of bacteria. The mouth has millions of them, and they are alive. That means everything we do, they do, including excretion. Yuck. We know. It has to be said, though.
Brushing and flossing are what we do to remove the byproduct of bacteria, as well as some of the collective of bacteria that live in the mouth. A few swipes with the toothbrush doesn’t cut it. Brushing is a two-minute job, one that requires our full attention. After the full two-minutes of brushing, flossing is a quick task, but one that must be done. Without this step, bacteria remain in between teeth. As a final step in the hygiene process, the tongue should be gently cleaned with a tongue scraper. The nastiness that is on the back of the tongue is prime makings for bad breath!
A dry mouth is a vulnerable mouth. Saliva not only keeps the soft tissue moist, but it also adds minerals to enamel, and it washes residue away from susceptible surfaces. If your mouth is often dry, change your drinking habits to frequent sipping (several times an hour) rather than gulping. If this does not resolve the issue, talk with your dentist. With management and appropriate treatment, dry mouth may no longer put you at risk for bad breath and other problems.
Posted in: General Dentistry