People occasionally suffer from bad breath — whether you wake up after not brushing your teeth, or eat something with a strong scent. However, if you find yourself needing to constantly pop a breath mint or gargle with mouthwash, there might be a more insidious problem. Regular habits could be causing the odour. Changing your routines can make your breath smell fresher.
Check out these habits that may cause bad breath:
1. Using an old toothbrush. There’s a reason why toothbrushes should be replaced after three months of use. Old, splintered bristles are less effective at removing plaque (which houses bacteria). Bacteria can cause offensive odour in your mouth.
2. Skipping breakfast. “Morning breath” is normal, but eating breakfast helps stimulate saliva and removes bacteria from your mouth (even after brushing). Skipping breakfast (especially if you’re an avid coffee drinker) results in dry mouth.
3. Smoking. The smell of cigarettes and tobacco lingers in the mouth. It can irritate gums, stain teeth, and reduce your sense of taste. Tobacco use also increases the likelihood of mouth cancer.
4. Too much mouthwash. Contrary to popular belief, mouthwash only “masks” bad breath; it doesn’t eliminate it. Using mouthwash too often can kill bacteria in the mouth, and they respond by repopulating more odour-causing bacteria. Eating too many mints is also a contributor to bad breath. These “breath fresheners” are only a temporary fix and never completely remove an odour.
5. Drinking alcohol. Alcohol dehydrates you and dries out the mouth, which can lead to reduced saliva production. Lack of saliva to clean your mouth can lead to increased bacteria production, which causes bad breath.
6. Mouth breathing. Saliva evaporates when you’re breathing through your mouth. A dry mouth has reduced ability to rinse away food particles. Some people breathe through their mouth when they sleep, and may continue to do it while exercising. Replenish fluids after a workout, and rinse teeth after sleeping.
7. Poor oral hygiene. This is the most common cause of bad breath. If you don’t floss or brush regularly, any food trapped in your mouth will be feasted upon by bacteria and thrive in your mouth. Brushing your tongue and visiting the dentist on a regular basis is a regular part of a healthy oral care routine.
No one wants smelly breath; fixing this problem could be as easy as changing a few habits and consulting your dentist.
Lambton Family Dental can help with bad breath problems in Sarnia. Contact us at (519) 344-5747 and schedule an appointment today.