Western Dental offers tips to prevent bad breath

Western Dental & Orthodontics has some advice for those who strive to maintain fresh breath.

We all dread having bad breath (halitosis), yet it can happen to anyone, according to Dr. John Luther, Chief Dental Officer at Western Dental.

Bad breath results from the presence of a foul-smelling odor that is expelled from the mouth. It can be a sign of periodontal disease, tooth decay or poor overall oral hygiene.

Part of the problem is knowing that you have bad breath, because it's typically challenging to pick up on one's own scent. And family members, close friends and colleagues may feel uncomfortable telling you.

Dr. Luther suggests these tips on how one can determine if you have bad breath:

  • Try the "cotton test." Wipe the top surface of your tongue with a piece of cotton gauze and smell it. If there's a foul smell and a yellowish stain on the cotton, it's likely that you have an elevated sulphide production level and bad breath.
  • Lick the back of your hand, let it dry for 5-10 seconds, then smell it or run a piece of dental floss between your back teeth and smell the floss.
  • Stand in front of the mirror and stick your tongue out as far as possible. If the very back of the tongue is whitish, it may be a sign that you have bad breath.

However, the best way to truly identify the source of chronic bad breath is visit a dentist for a professional diagnosis. A dentist can check for gum disease, which can lead to bad breath.

Most people can reduce or eliminate bad breath by committing to the basics of good dental hygiene. Visit a dentist at least twice a year but understand that most of the work must be done at home.

Dr. Luther offers these tips below to prevent bad breath:

  • Brush twice a day at a 45-degree angle to your gums
  • Brush or scrape your tongue
  • Floss regularly, at least once a day
  • There are certain foods that trigger bad breath (onions, fish, garlic). Consider avoiding or reduce your intake of these foods

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