Having bad breath is nothing to be ashamed of. What is medically known as halitosis is common, and most of us will have bad breath for various reasons, often when we first wake up in the morning. It isn’t a sign that you have terrible oral hygiene or don’t brush and floss. Usually, it is a simple case of an overactive oral microbiome and not a sign of something more severe. But it’s worth looking into, as bad breath can be a danger sign for something more serious.
Don’t Believe the Hype
Don’t be convinced by a mouthwash television commercial that a 30-second rinse will solve all your bad breath problems. Most mouthwashes do nothing more than mask the underlying foul odor cause and can contain antibiotic chemicals that distort the body’s natural ability to regulate your oral biome. Most gums, breath strips, and mints do the same thing, so be careful not to rely on these too much, as they will not treat an underlying cause of bad breath.
Your “oral microbiome” is the system of organisms that live in your mouth. We have a gut microbiome, skin microbiome, and others; each is a complex system of hundreds of species that work together to maintain proper microbiome health. Different bacteria kick into gear when these systems get unbalanced to return to homeostasis. In the case of bad breath, it could be from lacking oral hygiene habits or something more serious.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Your Dentist About Bad Breath
Your teeth, gums, tongue, and even breath are all important to your dentist. These systems are all interconnected and part of your oral microbiome. If you have bad breath, your dentist needs to address it because halitosis can be a sign of something else happening in the body. It could be acid reflux, kidney disease, viral infection, liver disease, diabetes, or even something as bad as cancer.
Gingivitis and periodontal disease are some of the most common causes of bad breath. Here you’ll want to discuss your daily oral hygiene routine. Are you brushing twice or three times a day at a minimum? Do you floss and use a tong scraper? What mouthwash, if any, are you using? Your dentist may recommend changing toothpaste brands or telling you to drink more water.
Don’t Avoid “Stinky” Foods
Many foods that give us bad breath are actually good for the oral microbiome, despite what you may think. Things like garlic, onion, kombucha, kimchi, or sauerkraut are great for your gut and oral microbiome. And can even be detected in the oral microbiome for up to 3 days. But you don’t want to stop eating garlic or other great-tasting and healthy options that may make your breath smell “bad” for a few hours. Keep your overall health high with a well-balanced diet, and many other bodily systems, including your oral microbiome, fall into place.
With bad breath, like anything else, you won’t solve it overnight, but having a conversation with your dentist is a great start.
Finding the Right Dentist Near Me
If you live in Coney Island, NY, or are near the 11224 zip code in southern Kings County, you probably see dental practices daily. Finding the proper dental practice with the right experience and flexibility to make you feel comfortable talking about anything isn’t easy. At Coney Island Dental, we proudly help over 4,000 of our friends and neighbors achieve great oral health every year. We’re proud to call ourselves the #1 Coney Island Dentist. Give us a call today, and let’s schedule your next visit.