Although it may seem strange, saliva actually helps prevent bad breath because it contains chemicals that kill odor-causing bacteria. If you have dry mouth this Valentine’s Day, your breath may not be as fresh as you want it to be.
Not to worry! Our Ballwin office is here to explain dry mouth, its causes and how to fix it. We want all of our dental patients to have a perfect Valentine’s Day, however they choose to spend it, and a great way to start is with fresh, healthy breath!
Dry Mouth = Bad Breath
There are many things that could contribute to a dry mouth, such as how long it has been since you’ve eaten or drank, what you last ate or drank, the amount of physical activity you’ve participated in, or even what time of day it is. Other factors can include medication, systemic diseases, body chemistry, and overall health.
Halitosis affects nearly everyone in the population at some point in their lives and is estimated to be the third leading cause for dental appointments. Dr. Postol is certainly no stranger to discussing this issue, so don’t be afraid to mention it at your appointment. Bad breath is not a new problem either: there are historical records mentioning it dating all the way back to 1550 BC.
How to Know if You Have Bad Breath
A huge problem with bad breath is simply figuring out whether or not you have it. If you are too scared to ask your dentist or hygienist at our Ballwin location, you can also check with a trusted friend or family member. If that is still too intimidating, try licking your wrist or scraping the back of your tongue with a plastic spoon, waiting a minute for it to dry and then smelling the results. Keep in mind that self-tests only give approximations and that your breath changes hundreds of times throughout the day.
If you have breath that is extremely foul or persistent, it may be a sign of a serious underlying medical issue. At your appointment our Ballwin dental staff will be able to rule out any life-threatening causes and help you discover ways to treat the problems.
So You Have Bad Breath
You have officially figured out that you have bad breath. Now what? The best solution is, as always, to maintain a proper dental hygiene routine, but you can’t brush your teeth all day every day. When you brush your teeth, don’t forget to clean off your tongue, where 80-90% of all bad breath issues reside.
Sipping water is the perfect way to keep your mouth from drying out and it encourages salivary flow as well. Stay away from offending foods such as garlic, onions, fish and cheese. If you do eat one of these, or find that your breath is suddenly stinky, use a mint, mouthwash, or gum. See our next blog post for which brands Dr. Postol recommends the most!