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What Causes Bad Breath And How to Fix It

What Causes Bad Breath And How to Fix It

Bad breath, also known as “halitosis” or “malodour,” is a common problem that most have experienced at least once in their lifetime. There are many causes of bad breath and many ways that bad breath can be improved. Bad breath can be caused orally or gastrointestinally, but studies show that 80% of the source of bad breath comes from the mouth. Please read below to understand the causes of bad breath and how to improve it. 

Cause of Bad Breath 

– Plaque accumulation on tooth and gum surfaces may lead to gingivitis or inflammation of the gums and periodontitis, which is inflammation of the supporting structures of the teeth, also known as gum disease. 

– Plaque accumulation on the tongue surface 

– Dental decay and broken fillings 

– Food traps between teeth 

– Dentures that are not being properly cared for

– Ketogenic diet (high in proteins and fats and low in carbs)

– Smoking and tobacco products 

– Foods that alter your breath (garlic, onions, coffee, etc.)

– High sugar intake

– Dry mouth, caused “xerostomia” 

– Acid reflux 

– Certain medications such as antihistamines and diuretics 

– Certain medical conditions such as diabetes, liver disease, respiratory tract infections and bronchitis 

How to Improve Bad Breath 

– Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day 

– Keep your tongue clean. Use a tongue cleaner daily 

– Use a mouthwash approved by the CDA/ADA with medial ingredients 

– Have cavities/broken fillings fixed

– Keep dentures clean and take them out each night 

– Reduce sugar intake, increase intake of fruits and vegetables 

– Reducing smoking and use of tobacco products 

– Get checked for acid reflux and other medical conditions that are linked with bad breath 

– Use a salivary substitute if you suffer from a dry mouth 

– Make sure not to miss your routine check-ups and cleanings with your dentist and dental hygienist 

If you suffer from bad breath and are interested in treatment options or have any questions about how to improve your breath, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Learn The Importance of Cleaning Your Tongue

Learn The Importance of Cleaning Your Tongue

Did you know that at any given moment, you have millions of bacteria living in your mouth? Bacteria exist on every surface in the mouth, including the surfaces we know of, such as our teeth and gums and lesser thought of surfaces such as the tongue and cheeks. It is essential to have a well-rounded oral hygiene regimen that including reducing bacteria in these infrequently cleaned areas. 

The tongue harbours loads of bacteria because it’s a rough surface filled with thousands of taste buds, called papilla. If examined underneath a microscope, the surface of the tongue appears as many hills and valleys. Bacteria are easily trapped between the microscopic papilla and stick around. In addition, the act of tooth brushing can clear plaque away from the teeth and gums but transfer it onto the tongue with the help of the saliva. It is important to clean your tongue at least once a day.                                                                                                      

Signs/ symptoms of bacteria accumulation on the tongue are: 

  • A yellow, white or grey discolouration of the tongue
  • Bad breath, called malodour 
  • Altered or reduced taste 
  • A metallic taste in the mouth 

How to Clean Your Tongue 

There are several tools you can choose between to clean your tongue. The most important aspect of a tongue cleaner is its ability to clean between the papilla/ taste buds thoroughly. Some manual toothbrushes are built with a tongue scraper on the reverse side of the bristles. Other tongue cleaners contain bristles or corrugated plastic. The best way to clean the tongue is to drag or scrape the tongue cleaner from the back of the tongue to the front several times in a row with rinsing in between. It is important to clean out and rinse your tongue cleaner after each use. Only use your tongue cleaner on the top surface of your tongue. The underside of the tongue is a delicate tissue that should not be brushed or scraped.  

In addition to using a tongue cleaner, you should also use an alcohol-free mouthwash to help reduce oral bacteria. Mouthwash helps to clean smooth surfaces of your mouth, such as your cheeks and palate. If you have any questions about how to clean your tongue, or if you still notice bad breath or a coating even after tongue cleaning, please call us today to schedule an appointment.