Today's Date -- 23 May 2001
Do you worry about bad breath?
If you think that you have bad breath, what can you do? Everybody is aware of the affect of garlic and smoking as examples of causes of bad breath, but a persistent problem is often due to the pungent gases released by bacteria that coat teeth, gums and the tongue, as well as food trapped around the teeth.
Hence the importance of good oral hygiene. Regular dental check-ups allow your dentist to assess where food packing and plaque build-up occurs, often in relation to rough fillings or cavities due to dental decay . You should also be given advice on the most effective cleaning method as an individual, because you may cope better with an electric toothbrush compared with a manual toothbrush, or to use a small interdental brush as opposed to floss or tape.
If you wear dentures, it is important to take these out at night to give your gums a rest, and to clean the dentures using warm soapy water and a soft brush.
Mouthwashes may temporarily alleviate the symptoms of bad breath but are normally a source of topical fluoride or an aid to toothbrushing. Your dentist may recommend an antibacterial mouthwash if you suffer from gum inflammation, but should only be used in the short term as prolonged use can cause staining of the tooth surfaces.
Finally, bad breath may be associated with medication or due to a medical condition. Infections of the throat and sinuses, diabetes and bronchitis will all affect the breath. People who suffer from a dry mouth and mouth-breathers will also be aware of this problem due to a reduced flow of saliva to all areas of the mouth, which, in normal circumstances, naturally aids the cleaning of our teeth.
If you are concerned about bad breath, you are not alone, but mention this to your dentist because we may be able to help.
Article written by Nicola Merson BDS. LDS. RCS.
High Street Dental Practice, Pangbourne.
Telephone : 0118 9843636
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