Bad breath, also called halitosis, happens to everyone at some point. We all wake up with morning breath, and no one is immune to the foul-smelling aftereffects of eating garlic or onions. The most common causes of bad breath are oral bacteria and pungent foods. Oral bacteria collect everywhere in the mouth, especially between the teeth and on the tongue. In addition, when food particles become caught between teeth or linger on the tongue, they will eventually rot and feed the bacteria in your mouth, producing a foul odor. Properly cleaning your teeth, gums, and tongue will eliminate the unpleasant odors. Strong-smelling foods like onions and garlic, however, not only make your mouth smell bad but can also infiltrate your entire body, causing bad breath that emanates from your intestines and lungs. Often, you will have to wait until the offending food is out of your system before your breath improves.
Oral Hygiene for Fresh Breath
To ensure fresh breath and a healthy mouth, you should brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste, brushing every tooth surface and along the gum line for at least two minutes. You also need to floss at least once a day, gently inserting the floss between teeth, making a sawing motion all the way down to the gum line. As the tongue harbors the majority of bacteria in the mouth, don’t forget to brush your tongue or clean it with a tongue scraper.
When to Seek Professional Help for Halitosis
If your bad breath returns within a few minutes of thoroughly cleaning your teeth, you may have a serious oral health issue, such as periodontal disease, tooth decay, xerostomia, or oral thrush. Dr. Engelberg will determine the root cause of your halitosis and promptly treat it to restore your oral health and eliminate the foul odors. If he does not detect an oral health problem, your bad breath may be caused by a medical issue such as acid reflux, diabetes, sinus infection, liver disease, or respiratory infection, at which point you will be referred to your physician for diagnosis and treatment.
For exceptional restorative and cosmetic dental care in Arlington Heights, contact Dr. Brent Engelberg today. We serve patients from Buffalo Grove, Lake Forest, Highland Park, Palatine, Wheeling, Barrington, and the surrounding areas.