How to Keep Your Breath The Best!
It isn’t only your mouth that influences the smell of your breath: your nose and stomach do, too. Let’s look at each area in order of importance:
1. Not Flossing Every Day
Failure to floss is maybe THE most common cause of breath odor. Always floss (and brush) before going to bed. Never fail to do this. Food particles lie dormant for 8 hours, providing odor- and acid-forming bacteria the perfect conditions to do their worst. This causes inflammation of the gum tissue, making it permeable to bacteria and their waste products. It is then hard to get those compounds and microorganisms out of the gum tissue, eliminate the inflammation and have it become an odor-free, odor barrier again. The Sonicare toothbrush is the best at stimulating blood flow in the surface capillaries, correcting all this. All electric toothbrushes do a better job than manual brushes.
When someone has periodontal disease, their breath has a characteristic odor. Flossing prevents breath odor caused by the build-up of gum tissue-destroying bacteria. Massage your gum tissue with your toothbrush, to keep blood flow stimulated and vigorous. This helps the most to alleviate breath odor. Doing that also removes plaque, preventing periodontal disease and cavities.
2. Eating Spicy, Strong Foods
The most common, it is temporary and easy to fix. Oral odor sources are from food particles which digest in the mouth to form VSC’s: volatile sulphur compounds. Other compounds also cause breath odor: spicy foods, onions, garlic, curry, etc. Avoid those well-known foods; frequent use of a masking agent (mouthwash or breath mints) helps. Some mouthwashes claim to neutralize VSC’s. Oxyfresh is one which contains chlorine dioxide, others contain zinc compounds. Their effectiveness is not universally accepted.
3. Dry mouth.
Medications and mouth breathing cause dry mouth. Drink water to keep hydrated and improve breath fragrance. I frequently recommend Biotene moisturizing breath spray. It has a pleasant minty fragrance as well as moisturizing the mouth. It is sugar-free. ALWAYS use sugar-free mints or candies, NEVER anything with sugar because those will destroy teeth and feed bacteria in the mouth. I had a nice tasting moisturizing spray containing fluoride from Omnii, but that manufacturer stopped making it. I’m still looking for something with fluoride. That is especially good for people getting cavities.
GERD (reflux), ulcers, digestive disruptions and medications definitely throw off normal healthy complete digestion. Specific systemic conditions can also cause breath odor. One has to take symptom-focused medications for systemic ailments. Decreasing symptoms improves breath freshness, but the side-effect of some medications is dry mouth. Drinking more water decreases symptoms from this.
Regular exercise helps digestion. Exercise 30-45 minutes 5 times per week, minimum.
NOSE and THROAT CAUSES
1. Post nasal drip, sinusitis, allergy, colds and flu.
Things which decrease post nasal drip and other cold symptoms help improve breath quality. Avoiding allergic reactive conditions like dust or animal dander, as well as symptom-focused medications help a LOT. Milk and milk products form the base constituents of catarrh, mucous. I avoid dairy products, mostly. When I am good with that, I don’t have allergic symptoms or a runny nose. It just doesn’t happen. I’m sure I’m still exposed to the dust and pollen I am allergic to, but no symptoms occur. It might help you. It’s worth a test trial period to see if avoiding dairy products helps prevent nasal symptoms.
Use these tips to get and keep a fresh, clean breath – they work! Make them work for you!
W Bryon Satterfield, DDS, MAGD General dentist in The Woodlands with excellent care, skill and judgment from decades of experience in precision practice and teaching. Things work!
Phone: 281-363-1571. Visit his website: docsatterfield.com