If anything is more embarrassing than walking out of the bathroom with toilet paper stuck to your shoe, it’s bad breath (also known as halitosis). According to Medical News Today, an estimated 25% of people are affected by bad breath, which can cause embarrassment and anxiety in social situations. Luckily, it’s usually easy to remedy with a visit to your general dentist.
If your bad breath persists or you are concerned about your dental health, call Romie Lane Dentist in Salinas, CA, today at (831) 758-0959 to schedule an appointment.
Healthy Dental Habits at Home
Bad breath usually develops when plaque accumulates on teeth due to neglectful or insufficient brushing and flossing. Led by Dr. Mark Washburn, an experienced family and general dentist, our hygiene team teaches patients good oral hygiene practices. Hygienists can also answer questions about the best homecare products for your unique oral health.
To fight bad breath, you must have good oral hygiene, which means:
- Brushing after meals
- Flossing at least once a day
- Scraping plaque from your tongue
- Using antibacterial mouthwash
- Drinking plenty of water
- Replacing your toothbrush every two to three months
- Attending regular dental checkups and cleanings
- Seeking treatment for oral health problems, like cavities and gum disease
These healthy dental care habits go a long way to ward off bad breath. You can also avoid foods with strong odors, like fish, garlic, onions, and curry.
Causes of Bad Breath
As a general dentist, Dr. Washburn prefers that patients seek a professional examination to make sure underlying dental issues that contribute to halitosis are identified. Left untreated, dental problems can lead to tooth loss and overall health risks.
Halitosis can also be a symptom of more serious health concerns, like uncontrolled diabetes. Dr. Washburn will be able to tell you the cause of your halitosis, so can know if health issues are a factor.
Also, if you take medications that cause dry mouth or you naturally have dry mouth, drink alcohol, or smoke, you may develop bad breath as a result. Over-the-counter products can effectively treat dry mouth, in most cases. If you smoke, stopping will help alleviate bad breath and improve your overall health.
Home Remedies for Halitosis
These home remedies are safe (if you are not allergic) and can be temporarily effective, particularly if your bad breath is not related to poor oral health.
- Parsley: The chlorophyll in this herb is believed to have a deodorizing effect. To try it out, chew on fresh leaves after every meal or purchase a parsley dietary supplement.
- Yogurt: Studies have proven that yogurt helps reduce bad breath because it contains probiotics that combat bad bacteria. For fighting halitosis, eat at least one serving of plain, nonfat yogurt a day.
- Fennel or anise seeds: In India, roasted fennel seeds are commonly used as mouth fresheners after dinner. They contain aromatic essential oils that freshen breath. The seeds can be eaten plain or roasted.
- Green tea: Because of its disinfecting and deodorizing properties, green tea works to temporarily freshen breath. Add mint for stronger effects.
- Homemade mouthwash with baking soda: Add 2 teaspoons of baking soda to 1 cup of warm water. Swish it around in your mouth for at least 30 seconds and spit it out.
- Homemade mouthwash with vinegar: To reduce bacteria growth, add 2 tablespoons of white or apple cider vinegar to one cup of water, gargle for at least 30 seconds, and spit out.
It is important to remember that these remedies are a temporary fix. If you continue to have bad breath, a visit to the dentist should be priority.
Contact Your General Dentist Today
The best way to learn more about the cause of your bad breath is by visiting Dr. Washburn, your Salinas dentist, as soon as possible. He will examine your mouth, then he’ll work with you to create a treatment plan to give you fresh breath and good oral health. If you need nothing more than a checkup and professional cleaning, we’ll be happy to schedule that appointment as well. To schedule, visit our dental office website or call (831) 758-0959.