Bad breath can have a major negative impact on one's life. It affects some people to such an extent that they become antisocial and avoid meeting people because they're so embarrassed by it. But, it doesn't have to stop you from enjoying your life because in most cases it is relatively easy to treat. DENTAL CENTRE MALLORCA®´s expert dentist explains what you can do to cure your bad breath once and for good.
1. Maintain good oral hygiene
Most people think that brushing teeth twice a day is enough but that’s a major misconception. Each time you eat, some food will remain in gum pockets and in-between and on the surface of the teeth. This food is a breeding site for bacteria leading to a build up of dental plaque. As the bacteria break down the food they release sulfur compounds which give bad breath its unpleasant smell. This is why it is so important to brush your teeth after each and every meal to keep bacteria away. Remember that toothbrushes are also a breeding site for bacteria so buy a new one at least once every 2-3 months. However, teeth are not the only place where microorganisms can build up. In fact the tongue is considered to be the most common source of bad breath. Most bacteria is found at the back of the tongue which is rarely disturbed by normal hygiene routine so regularly cleaning it can help you cure bad breath. You can do that with a normal toothbrush or even better with a special tongue scraper. Lastly, adding a mouthwash like Parodontax with chlorhexidine to your routine can be helpful thanks to its bacteria-killing properties.
2. Treat gum disease
If you’ve noticed that your gums bleed or itch, that your teeth appear longer due to gum recession or if you have bad breath despite brushing regularly, you should see your dentist because your symptoms could be caused by gum disease also known as periodontitis. If left untreated gum disease can lead to loss of teeth and even more serious health issues such as joint problems and heart disease. Although bad hygiene is a risk factor for development of periodontitis, even people who take great care of their teeth but suffer from diabetes or low immunity are predisposed to it. To treat gum disease, as the only dental clinic on the island, DENTAL CENTRE MALLORCA® is proud to offer the innovative Waterlase® dental laser by Biolase® which uses a painless laser beam to remove necrotic tissue, disinfect and kill the disease-causing bacteria.
3. Visit your doctor to diagnose possible medical problems
If you exclude inadequate hygiene and problems within the oral cavity, the next step to take is to visit your medical practitioner, usually a gastroenterology specialist, to dig deeper into the possible cause of bad breath. It has been shown that patients with Helicobacter pylori associated stomach ulcers often develop the unpleasant odour as they usually also harbour gum disease-causing bacteria. The same applies to patients who suffer from gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) where acid rises up from the stomach to the esophagus and sometimes even further up into the mouth. Fortunately, these are relatively easy to treat with medication. Less commonly, bad breath is one of many symptoms of liver disease, where we then call it fetor hepaticus. Nevertheless, before attempting to contact your doctor, it is good to see your dentist first because problems within the oral cavity are still the most probable cause of bad breath.
To summarise, the best ways to cure bad breath are:
Brush your teeth after every meal
Scrape your tongue to remove bacteria
Add a chlorhexidine mouthwash to your hygiene routine
Treat gum disease
Visit your doctor to exclude stomach ulcers, GERD, liver disease and other medical conditions which can cause bad breath.