Knowing if your own breath smells bad can be a bit challenging. Your nose is connected to your mouth through an opening in the soft palate, and it tends to ignore the background odors that emanate from your mouth through this connection. However, others reactions can often tell you that your breath may not be as fresh as you wish. In most cases, chronic bad breath (halitosis) is caused by an excessive buildup of oral bacteria, some of which release volatile sulfur compounds and other foul-smelling gases as waste products. In heavy concentrations, these gases can significantly taint your breath for the worse. In case brushing and flossing your teeth when you wake up doesn’t eradicate your morning breath, your Ames dentist, Dr. Ryan Hussong, explains bacterial odors and offers these tips to better fight bad breath.
Origins of Bad Breath
Oral bacteria are anaerobic, meaning they function best without oxygen. When enough of them accumulate, they form sticky dental plaque to protect themselves from oxygen as they grow and multiply. When you sleep, your saliva flow is significantly reduced, allowing bacteria to flourish at an increased rate and contributing to the common phenomenon of morning breath. If your dental hygiene is inadequate, then simply brushing and flossing your teeth may not be sufficient to fight bad breath-causing bacteria.
Keep Bad Breath at Bay
- Saliva is comprised of over 99% water, and is your mouth’s natural defense against oral bacteria. Eating breakfast before brushing your teeth in the morning can help kick-start your saliva production, increasing the effectiveness of your morning oral hygiene routine.
- Certain habits, like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, can damage your salivary glands and create a hospitable environment in your mouth for harmful bacteria, not to mention place your oral and overall health at serious risk for fatal diseases like oral cancer.
- Since saliva is your mouth’s natural defense, give it a boost as often as possible. Drinking plenty of water keeps your mouth and body hydrated and facilitates healthy saliva production. Drinking or swishing water around in your mouth can also help rid your mouth of bacteria when you can’t brush your teeth, such as immediately after a meal away from home.
Defeat Bad Breath with Help from Your Ames Dentist
To learn more about beating bad breath, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ryan Hussong by calling your Ames dentist’s office at (515) 984-6001. Located in the 50226 area, Cornerstone Dental proudly welcomes families from Des Moines, Polk City, Ames, Ankeny, Alleman, Bondurant, Grimes, Johnston, and the surrounding communities.