Save Your Breath

bad breath treatments Alexandria

This post from the Center for Dental Anesthesia in Alexandria focuses on a problem experienced by many people, bad breath.

Bad breath, or halitosis, has several causes. The most common cause is poor oral hygiene. Often, halitosis develops midday arising from the inability to brush teeth between meals. Small food bits on the teeth, gums, and tongue grow bacteria. The wastes of the bacteria and decay of the food create a sulfur compound, which emits the undesirable odor. Food particles, bacteria, and sulfuric gas all need to be removed to eliminate bad breath caused by poor oral hygiene.

While poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of halitosis, many elements can contribute to or worsen the issue. The best remedy is consistent, thorough brushing and flossing, but other actions might also be necessary depending on the cause(s).

For example, a salivary gland issue or certain medications can cause dry mouth. Saliva moistens the teeth and gums, clearing away odiferous dead cells. Saliva also neutralizes the ever-present acids on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. Limiting caffeine, chewing sugar-free gum, using OTC saliva substitutes, and using a humidifier can add moisture to the mouth.

Most Common Causes of Bad Breath:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Gum disease or cavities
  • Smoking
  • Braces
  • An infected root canal
  • Diabetes
  • Infection
  • Dry mouth (Xerostomia)
  • Dieting
  • Ear, nose, throat or tonsil issues
  • Specific foods: garlic, onions, horseradish, etc.

To Minimize or Prevent Bad Breath:

  • Brush teeth, tongue, gums, and roof of the mouth
  • Use a tongue spray or scraper
  • Use antimicrobial mouth rinse
  • Chew sugarless gum
  • Brush and floss after each meal
  • Drink plenty of water (A dry mouth is conducive to bacteria growth)
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months
  • Have a toothbrush and floss available when you are out

Remember, the very best defense to bad breath is a good dental health routine: brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist.

At the Center for Dental Anesthesia in Alexandria, we offer family and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Center for Dental Anesthesia:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

5284 Dawes Ave
Alexandria, Virginia


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