Valentine’s Day is almost here and talks turn to romance. So there you are on Valentine’s Day snuggling up to your sweetie. You smile and decide to give them an “I love you” kiss. But wait! How is your breath? Whether you’re married or single... going on a first-date or celebrating your 25th Valentine’s Day together, if there’s one thing that can ruin the most romantic holiday of the year, it’s bad breath.
Bad breath [or halitosis] affects almost every person at one time or another. You may be suffering from halitosis and not even know it.
- Is your mouth frequently very dry?
- Does milk or coffee leave a bad taste?
- Do people frequently offer you breath mints?
- Is there a white coating on your tongue?
Don’t think that you can check for bad breath by breathing into your own hand. It simply doesn’t work. We are too close to our own smells to notice them.
So what causes bad breath?
Saliva is our body’s natural mouthwash which constantly works during the day to wash away bacteria and particles that cause bad breath. Bad breath results when bacteria in our mouth decompose food particles and other matter to generate foul-smelling gases such as sulfer. Bad breath is usually the result of one of the following top 3 causes:
Neglecting your teeth
One of the most common causes of bad breath is due to inadequate oral hygiene and untreated dental disease. Halitosis can occur from a number of different sources such as dry mouth, gingivitis, gum disease, poor oral hygiene, the presence of cavities and faulty restorations, infections, smoking, as well as the accumulation of plaque and food debris on teeth, gums and the tongue.
Certain foods like garlic and onions contain pungent oils that can contribute to bad breath because the oils are carried to your lungs and out through your mouth. Chewing gum, mouthwashes and breath mints can temporarily mask the odour but they can’t eliminate it completely.
Halitosis can also reflect medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney or liver problems, infections of the lungs, or problems such as acid reflux. Various medications can also significantly diminish saliva production and result in ‘offensive breath’. When saliva flow is decreased and our mouth becomes dry providing the perfect environment for these odour-causing bacteria.
What to do to keep your breath fresh and clean
In addition to professional treatments, maintaining fresh breath will require practicing good oral hygiene habits and following a few tips at home:
- Clean your tongue daily to remove accumulated food, dead cells and odorous bacteria. This can be one secret weapon to keeping your breath fresh.
- Stay hydrated. Dry mouth is caused by a lack of saliva and the best way to produce saliva is to keep your mouth moist by drinking water.
- Brush and floss. Brush 2-3 times a day for at least 2 minutes to sufficiently clean all the surfaces of your teeth. You’ve heard this time and time again, but flossing daily is equally as important as brushing. Flossing will remove the hidden food and odorous bacteria in plaque that may be fermenting between your teeth and below the gums.
- Try natural cures. Some of the natural cures that have been found beneficial for treating bad breath are sipping green tea, adding a cinnamon stick to your drink, and chewing herbs such as mint, parsley and cilantro.
- Visit your dentist regularly. Visit your dentist at least twice a year for a professional cleaning and thorough exam. Aside from keeping your mouth healthy your dentist can look for signs of gum disease and other treatable cause of halitosis.
- Get pending dental work done. Broken fillings, cavities, gum disease are all sites of bacterial breeding grounds and possible sources of halitosis. Prompt treatment will keep your smile bright, mouth healthy and prevent further bad breath problems.
Bad breath doesn’t have to be a chronic issue. Take control of your life now. Don’t let Halitosis impact on your personal and professional life.
Call us at (450) 627-2658 if you're concerned
about bad breath
or suspect a problem.
We can help you eliminate the problem
and enjoy the confidence that comes with fresh clean breath.