Do you find yourself chewing gum or obsessively popping breath mints throughout the day to keep your sour breath at bay? Bad breath—or halitosis—can be an embarrassing and annoying condition, especially when it’s chronic. If you’re concerned about your bad breath and are worried that it’s affecting your social or work life, it may be time to book an appointment with your dentist.
Regular dental check-ups allow your dentist to monitor your oral health and identify conditions that may cause bad breath. These include gum disease, which results from a build-up of plaque, and dry mouth, which can arise when the production of saliva in your mouth decreases, either due to problems with salivary glands or as a side effect of some medications. When saliva production is compromised, food particles are not washed away completely, and you may end up with bad breath.
Your dentist will also work with you to identify other factors that may be contributing to your halitosis. An obvious one is smoking, which not only leads to bad breath, but can also irritate your gums, putting you at greater risk for gum disease. Eating strong foods, such as garlic or onions, may also contribute to bad breath.
Of course, making sure you’re taking good care of your teeth and gums and maintaining optimal oral hygiene is crucial to keeping bad breath at bay. This means brushing twice a day, and flossing daily to remove food particles from between your teeth. And don’t forget to brush your tongue, too, since it can harbour bacteria that may lead to bad breath.
Don’t be embarrassed… talk to your dentist on your next visit!