Nothing can make you feel more uncomfortable than having bad breath. While everyone suffers from an unpleasant odor after eating a spicy meal or their favorite garlicy dish, others live with a daily battle trying to combat the problem. When it is a frequent, reoccurring issue, it is known as halitosis. It is estimated that roughly 50% of adults will deal with it at some point in their lives. To try to cure the problem, brushing and flossing may not be enough; however, that does not mean that all hope is lost. Instead, your dentist in Virginia Beach can help you take control to stop the odor.
Why Do I Have Bad Breath?
Chronic bad breath is often due to an underlying issue, such as an accumulation of bacteria in the mouth. They feed on the food particles that have been left behind after eating, causing the smell. This is an especially common problem for those with gum disease due to the bacteria that has caused the infection.
In some cases, it can result from certain conditions, like dry mouth, while other times, it is caused by lifestyle choices, such as smoking or tobacco use. For others, the issue may be a little harder to treat because it can be caused by certain medications, like those needed to control diabetes or gastric reflux.
How Can I Stop the Odor?
To take control over your bad breath, you must first find the underlying cause of the problem. Your dentist will perform a comprehensive examination to determine what is causing the smell and how to treat it. If it is due to an oral health issue, like tooth decay or gum disease, you will need the appropriate treatment.
In addition, your dentist will recommend certain changes to your oral hygiene routine. It is best to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each session. Pay careful attention to clean the tongue where odor-causing bacteria tends to thrive. To remove bacteria that your toothbrush cannot reach, floss your teeth every night before going to bed.
Your dentist may also suggest the use of a mouthrinse to kill or neutralize bacteria. In some cases, a mouthwash that caters to dry mouth may be recommended if lack of saliva is causing the problem.
To prevent bad breath, it is also important to look for changes that you can make at home, such as stopping tobacco use or avoiding foods that are known to trigger it, like onions and garlic.
Stop Living with Bad Breath
With a proactive approach, you do not need to feel insecure about bad breath. You can stop the odor to regain your confidence.
About Dr. Sarah Esparza
Dr. Sarah Esparza received her Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1999 from the University of Maryland Dental School. As an active member of various organizations, including the American Dental Association, she provides trusted dental care. If you are dealing with chronic bad breath, contact Esparza Family Dentistry today to schedule a consultation.