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Everything You Need To Know About Halitosis

For people who suffer from halitosis, every face-to-face interaction can be anxiety-inducing and stressful. Here is some information about what causes halitosis, and more importantly, what you can do to reduce its severity.

What Is Halitosis?

Halitosis is a condition that causes a chronic bad odour in the mouth, or as it’s more commonly known, bad breath.

There are many factors that can cause bad breath. These include:

  • Eating certain foods like onions and garlic – brushing after you eat may not help with this one, as foods enter your bloodstream once they’re ingested, and their effects won’t subside until they completely leave your body.
  • Not brushing or flossing regularly – without regular brushing or flossing, food is left on the teeth and gums. This food will eventually rot. Proper oral hygiene is an easy way to keep your mouth clean and healthy, removing many of the surface bacteria that can lead to bad breath.
  • Avoiding regular visits to your dentist– seeing your dentist regularly allows them to spot early signs and symptoms of problems, such as gum disease, before they develop into more serious problems, such as periodontitis, which can cause halitosis.
  • Not cleaning your dentures properly – the results of this are similar to not brushing or flossing regularly. Food is left to decay in the mouth, which will naturally cause odour.
  • Dry mouth -  this prevents the mouth from cleaning itself naturally
  • A buildup of bacteria on the tongue.

Bacteria on the tongue is extremely common, yet easy to treat. The surface of the tongue is rough, uneven, and covered in small bumps and hairs, leaving many opportunities for bacteria to hide, grow, and multiply. This bacteria can be very odorous, resulting in bad breath. Many say that brushing the tongue, sides, and roof of the mouth is an effective way to remove bacteria and prevent bad breath. If you choose this method, brush the tongue gently from back to front, and not from side to side. It’s important to expel the material that comes off your tongue rather than swallow it. Remember, it's bacteria!

To take tongue cleaning one step further, many people turn to tongue scrapers, which are believed to be more effective at removing the bacteria that’s hiding in those tiny hairs and bumps. Tongue scrapers are made of plastic, stainless steel or copper and can be purchased at almost any pharmacy for only a few dollars.

If you suffer from halitosis or bad breath, it’s important to see your dentist to determine what’s causing the problem. Contact our team at Dentistry On Sheppard to schedule an appointment today. We’ll assess your current situation and work together to determine the best treatment plan for you.

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