Most of your friends would probably never tell you if you had bad breath. After all, it can be a rather embarrassing topic to bring up, even though they may be doing you a favour. Of course, if you have small children, you can probably count on them to let you know! Kids are not too shy and we all know how they will just say what is on their minds.

However, if you do suffer from bad breath, you may already be aware of it. The question is what can you do about it?

In most instances, bad breath is caused by poor oral health practices. If you do not brush your teeth and tongue at least twice a day and floss at least once, you are likely leaving behind food particles between your teeth and along the gum line. The same can be said if you are brushing too quickly or just not doing a thorough job.

Unfortunately, you are not the only person who likes the food you eat. Bacteria also love it!  Colonies of bacteria will be attracted to remaining food particles. They can be particularily good at accumulating around the gum line and on your tongue! Trust us when we say that this bacteria does not smell good! In fact, it is what causes most instances of bad breath, and bad breath is not the only problem that may result. Left untreated, the bacteria in the mouth will turn to plaque. It can continue to spread under the gum line and may result in your developing periodontal disease.

If you have bad breath, treat it as a warning sign that you need to improve your oral health practices! The first step that may be necessary is a visit with us at Rideau Dental Centre.  Plaque is not always easy to remove with just a brush and floss, particularly if it is below the gum line. We can provide the professional cleaning you need to remove that plaque and, quite literally, give you a “fresh” start!

After that, brush your teeth and tongue morning and before bed time. You should also bring a toothbrush to work so you can brush after lunch! And do not forget to floss at least once per day. Don’t forget to change your toothbrush every three months. A dirty toothbrush cleans your teeth as well as dirty water cleans your dishes!

If you continue to experience bad breath despite your improved oral health regimen, come back to visit us. If you seem to be in good oral health, you may actually have another health concern that is the cause of your bad breath. For instance, bad breath may be a sign of undiagnosed diabetes! You may have to discuss this matter with another medical practitioner to determine the cause of your problem.

For most people, however, good oral health practices will solve their battle of the breath! So take the time to brush and floss properly as that is your best defense.  Defending against bad breath is a healthy habit…and healthy habits lead to healthy lives.

Dr. Bao Nguyen

Dental Surgeon