Hi. I'm Katrina Szish for Howdini. Today, we're going to talk about how to deal with bad breath. To do that, I'm joined by cosmetic dentist, Doctor Brian Kantor. Nice to see you.
Nice to see you.
Now, it's not a pretty topic. But it's something that we all have to deal with. Are we stuck with our bad breath, or is there a cure?
Unfortunately, there's not a so-called cure for bad breath. But with good oral hygiene and some of these great over the counter products that are out there, we can limit the effects of bad breath.
We know we have it in the morning or when we eat garlic. But what actually causes bad breath?
Well, there are a lot of culprits for bad breath. Morning breath is when you have bacteria that accumulates through the night. That bacteria gives off a bad odor, and that's morning breath.
And it's very different from garlic breath. What garlic breath is is when you eat garlic, there is a chemical composition within the garlic. As your body metabolizes the garlic, it actually goes into the bloodstream, gets into your lungs. And as you breath out, you're breathing out that composition of garlic.
So you can use over the counter products, such as mouthwash, which will mask its effect. But until you totally release that garlic from your body, you will have that bad breath.
Wow. Vampire killer breath, right?
There's other types of bad breath as well. If you have any dental infections, or if you have cavities, or root canals that have gone bad, that will also give your bad breath. Inflammation of the gums, periodontitis. Any time you accumulate bacteria in the mouth, that can be a culprit for bad breath. So you always want to see your dentist if you're getting chronic bad breath.
A lot of us know that we should use mouthwash, that that can help. But what else can we do?
Good oral hygiene is the way you can kill bad breath. That is brushing twice a day, flossing, and using a mouth rinse.
Now, you mentioned flossing. How does that help?
Flossing, it does a few things. It's very tough to get all the food particles out of your mouth from brushing alone. And the food that's left in between teeth, bacteria's going to accumulate around the food, and that causes bad breath. So, flossing actually gets hard to reach places.
Now, it seems like when we're sick-- maybe when we have the flu or are not feeling well-- our breath is worse. Why is that?
Yes. Having an infection in the mouth causes bad breath. So you should see your dentist, and if a dentist rules out all oral cavity, and there's no infection in the mouth-- being that the gums are healthy, the teeth are healthy, there's no cavities, there's no root canal failing-- that could be a sign that there's something else in your body that's going on.
So bad breath can be caused by a systemic infection in the rest of your body. Having an infection of the tonsils, having throat cancer, having respiratory tract infections, having kidney or lung problems. Those can also cause bad breath.
So if you have chronic bad breath, really see your dentist. Have a check up. And if he doesn't see anything wrong in your mouth, you should see a doctor for a further evaluation.
Now, are there any foods that we should avoid to get rid of bad breath, or at least abate it a little bit?
Yes. Garlic, we talked about. Raw onions. Alcohol can also cause bad breath. What alcohol does is it dries out the mouth and decreases your saliva. And saliva is a friend to us in that it washes away food particles. And it also neutralizes the acids produced by the plaque.
So you don't want to dry out your mouth. You want to actually keep your mouth moist and drink a lot of. Water another thing you can do is eat a lot of crunchy fruits and vegetables. Crunchy fruits and vegetables, will actually-- the mechanical wear and tear to actually break up the crunchy fruits and vegetables actually stimulates saliva and can moisten the mouth as well.
What if there's someone out there who feels like they've tried everything and they just can't kick the bad breath?
You want to increase your saliva, as I just said. Keep your mouth moist. Drink a lot of water, crunchy fruits and vegetables, sugarless gum. Anything to keep your mouth chewing will increase the saliva flow, which will help eliminate food particles and neutralize the acids caused by plaque, and help decrease bad breath. But most important thing is good oral hygiene and seeing your dentist twice a year regularly for check ups.
OK. Well, there you have it. The best ways to banish bad breath. Now, let's recap. Bacteria is the real culprit of bad breath. We need to do what we can to keep our mouths free from it. This includes a regular thorough oral care routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing at least twice today.
Stop smoking if you do and avoid foods and alcohol intake when you're in a situation that you need your breath to be fresh and clean.
On behalf of Scope, I'm Katrina Szish for Howdini. For more information, check out the website.