Stoneham Dentist Shares Tips to Prevent Bad Breath
According to statistics, between 14 and 25 percent of Americans report having bad breath, also
known as halitosis. It’s such an embarrassing problem that billions of dollars are spent each year
on products meant to eliminate or at least control bad breath. You may even have some of them
in your home already: gum, mouthwash, breath freshener strips, liquid mint drops and a long list
of others. Unfortunately, these items only cover up the problem rather than fight it. Here are
some tips on how to prevent bad breath.
Avoid Refined Carbohydrates- Over-consumption of refined carbohydrates, such as corn syrup,
table sugar, brown sugar and white flour, may easily be the number one cause of foul breath. The
mouth is loaded with bacteria ranging from beneficial to benign to potentially harmful. Most of
them have two things in common: they love sugar and they produce offensive odors as a by-
product. When you consume a lot of refined carbs, you’re essentially serving these
microorganisms a feast. As they metabolize the sugars and their numbers grow, smelly breath is
the result. A diet high in these foods is also strongly linked to diabetes, a common effect of which
is bad breath. So, if you’re not trying to scare away everyone you come in contact with you
might want to reduce the intake of food high in refined carbohydrates.
Brush and Floss- A surprising number of people don’t brush and floss their teeth regularly.
Therefore, the bacteria that cause plaque and tartar are allowed to build up to the point where
your breath becomes unpleasant. A major key to keeping bad breath under control is to brush and
floss at least once every day, particularly after consuming starchy or sugary foods. Be sure that
you floss your back teeth, too, since they provide a prime location for food accumulation and as
we all know food left anywhere too long will start to smell. Flossing also reduces the risks for
other oral conditions such as gingivitis and periodontitis.
Avoid Dry Mouth- Part of your mouth’s defenses against tooth damage is to stay moist. Saliva
contains substances that buffer acidity, prevent bacterial overgrowth and break down sugars, all
of which are important for preventing bad breath. When you get dry mouth, you no longer have
this essential protection. Having dry mouth for short periods on occasion shouldn’t cause a
problem, but when it’s prolonged, the resulting halitosis, bad breath, and tooth damage can be
severe. Dry mouth can be caused by medications, smoking, drinking alcohol, allergies and
general dehydration. If your medications are causing dry mouth, ask your Stoneham dentist if
there’s an alternative. If you smoke or drink, consider quitting these lifestyle habits. For allergies
and dehydration, both can be helped by boosting your intake of water to at least eight glasses per
Steer Clear of Pungent Foods- A number of foods, such as garlic, onions, eggs and some
vegetables in the cabbage family, are known for causing bad breath. Once eaten, the odor of
these foods can linger for hours or even days, causing lasting embarrassment to the owner. The
leftover aromas can be incredibly stubborn to get rid of or minimize. Therefore, it’s often a better
idea to avoid these foods outright rather than struggle to cover them up later.