If you are serious about learning what is causing your bad breath, consider scheduling an appointment with your dental professional. Given your full medical and dental history along with an oral examination, your dentist should be able to identify the culprit. The causes of bad breath are numerous and include certain foods, alcohol or cigarettes, poor oral hygiene, periodontal disease, diabetes, dry mouth, sinus or throat infections, lung infections or abscesses, kidney or liver failure, gastrointestinal issues and severe dieting.
Treatment of bad breath
It is important to conduct thorough oral hygiene at home twice daily utilising tooth brushing with fluoride antibacterial toothpaste and flossing to remove food debris and plaque on teeth, bridgework and implants, and brushing the tongue to remove odour-causing bacteria. A published study reported that tongue and tooth brushing in combination with dental flossing significantly decreased bleeding of the gum tissue over a two week period of time as well as reduced bad breath1. Another clinical study conducted confirmed that brushing twice a day with antibacterial toothpaste and using a toothbrush with a tongue cleaner can eliminate bad breath2.
Tongue cleaning is the key to fresher, cleaner breath
Cleaning your tongue is very important. You can purchase a toothbrush with the tongue cleaner on the back of the toothbrush for cleaning both your teeth and tongue. After tooth brushing your upper and lower teeth with antibacterial toothpaste, turn the toothbrush over to the tongue cleaner and place the tongue cleaner in the posterior region of the tongue, then move it forward to the anterior section of the tongue. After you have scraped that portion of the tongue, rinse the tongue brush off with warm water to remove any odour causing bacteria. Then replace the tongue brush in the next posterior section again and repeat, as described above.
Consult your dentist or dental hygienist when choosing oral hygiene aids to help you eliminate plaque and odour causing bacteria and review the techniques that should be used at home. Also, ask your dental professional which oral hygiene care products they would advise you to use to help eliminate bad breath: antibacterial toothpaste, antiseptic mouth rinse, tongue brushes or scrapers and interproximal cleaning devices.
The key to a clean, fresh mouth is optimal oral hygiene conducted at home on a regular basis and professional recommendations discussed with you by your dental professional.
1 Biesbrock, A, et al. (2006). Assessment of Treatment Responses to Dental Flossing in Twins. In J Periodontal, 77. 1386-1391.
2 University of Buffalo (Peter Moses, Betsey Clark, Violet Maraszthy, Joseph Zambon, (University of Buffalo), P.K. Sreenivasan (Colgate), Abstract presented at 2008 AADR Meeting.