3 Actionable Steps to FINALLY cure your bad breath
We’ve all been there. Let’s not talk about it. Why would we even talk about it? We’re not talking about it. But here’s the point…
Halitosis (chronic bad breath) is definitely NOT just a you thing.
If you think you’re alone, you’re not. If you think your case is worse than everyone else’s, it’s not.
In fact, in a report published by the American Dental Association, 50 percent of the US population experiences halitosis and of that 50 percent, half of those are suffering from chronic halitosis.
The good news is, you’re likely not stuck this way forever. Once you understand exactly what’s causing your bad breath and have a specific plan to fix it, I bet you nip this in the bud.
And while there’s all kinds of advice out there, it’s hard sometimes to know exactly what to do. Well I’m a person that wants this kind of stuff laid out for me and I figured you might too.
So here we go…
What’s (most likely) the cause of your bad breath: Periodontal Disease
You’re just minding your own business…
trying to go about your day, while a layer of bacteria is quietly settling onto your teeth. That bacteria forms plaque.
If not properly removed…
that bacteria and plaque erodes tooth enamel and attacks your gum line causing very unwanted side effects like cavities and gingivitis.
Plaque hardens into tartar and tartar wreaks havoc on your mouth. Unlike plaque, tartar can attack above and below your gum line, so you start to enter into dangerous territory.
Full on periodontal disease. Periodontal disease happens when that tartar makes its way below your gum line, infecting the actual dental root itself.
Your gums are your teeth’s major defense against exposure from anything wanting to do them harm. Once they’re invaded, your teeth have no protection. At this stage, you’re at MUCH higher risk for things that will require more serious medical intervention like tooth loss, receding gums, and there are even links to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Symptoms of gum disease include: loose teeth, pain when chewing, gums that appear swollen or bleed easily, areas of gum that appear to be receding, and our most obvious and immediate sign….BAD BREATH.
Step 1: The good news…
If you suspect you have periodontal disease there are ALL KINDS of treatment options available thanks to our SUPER smart dentists who we entrust with our dental health!
Side note: Set a dentist appointment fast because gum disease gets progressively worse with time and while our dentists are smart, they haven’t figured out time travel just yet.
Now that we all have our dentist appointments set, what can we do in the meantime to prevent further damage and pave the way to minty fresh breath?
Step 2: Oral care routine – lay it out for me
The 2 things to look for… fluoride and an anti-plaque fighting agent.
1) Fluoride hardens your tooth enamel to make it stronger. Strong enamel will protect your teeth from plaque and tartar.
2) A plaque-fighting agent will help remove that plaque that eventually hardens into tartar.
Virtually every kind of dental floss has been found to work just as effectively as the next, so choose one that will help you stick with it. The kind of floss is much less important than the act of doing it every day.
I like these floss picks.
If your teeth are more sensitive, go for a softer one, intended for sensitive gums.
Just make sure you do it every day. Even when you don’t feel like it. Your breath, and those around you, will thank you!
Here’s the thing about mouthwash… It doesn’t actually do anything to cure bad breath.
While mouthwash can claim all day long that it “kills germs” or “fights plaque,” no amount of liquid is actually able to remove plaque from your teeth. Plaque needs to be brushed away, flossed away, or physically removed by a dentist… period.
So, use mouthwash if you like it to cure bad breath super temporarily, but it’s not doing any of the grunt work that brushing and flossing do.
Putting it into practice
We have a toothbrush. We have our good toothpaste. We have our floss waiting, so let’s make sure we’re doing all of this right.
Dental hygienist and assistant professor at Tufts School of Dental Medicine, Natalie Hagel, tells us to “hold the brush like a make-up brush or a paint brush… roll the brush upwards along the tooth, sweeping away from the gums. You’ll have to hold the brush vertically to really clean the backs of your teeth. The chewing surfaces will need a thorough brushing too. If you’re doing it every day, it shouldn’t take that much pressure to get the plaque off.”
If you’re ultra-perfect at brushing and flossing your teeth, you only really have to do it once a day. It takes 24 hours for plaque to develop.
I’m trying to prevent bad breath here though, and I have yet to be ultra-perfect at much in my life … so I’m going for twice.
Oral hygiene routine… CHECK!
Step 3: Water – how much and how to keep track
When your mouth is dry, it creates the perfect environment for that bacteria to feed on your food particles and create immediate bad breath.
So how much is the right amount to drink to give your mouth a fighting chance?
It’s best to go by the 8×8 rule… 8 ounces of water, 8 times a day.
It sounds annoying and hard to track, and it kind of is… but I’ve found that this water bottle helps me keep track of my intake every day. It’s cheap and simple and perfect.
The Most Important Thing: Refer to Step 1
Make an appointment with your dentist!
Whether you suspect that you may have periodontal disease or you’re just trying to prevent it, no one can help you like your dentist. Your future self will thank you!
And let’s be real, so will your friends you’ve been doing all of that close talking to.
Because if you’re getting hints that you’re that guy, if you’re worried that you’re that guy… honestly, you’re probably that guy.
So, let’s get to work… because you were never meant to be that guy. We’ll completely forget you were ever that guy.
Article originally published at yournewteethnow.com.