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Bad Breath and Oral Health

26 April 2022

How Do I Know If I Have Bad Breath?

If you’ve already been living that mask-free life, you may have already noticed some subtle cues. People stepping away from you when you start talking, turning their cheek farther than needed when you kiss them goodbye. Although, that may just be the pandemic talking.

You can ask the brutally honest one in your friend group or your significant other.

Or you can run a simple test by licking your wrist and taking a whiff. If the place you licked smells bad, your breath probably smells bad too. Just don’t lick your wrist in public unless you want some strange looks coming your way.

If you haven’t been sticking to your oral hygiene basics (like brushing), then it’s highly likely that you have bad breath unless you’ve been using mints or gum.

But Wait—I Brush Twice a Day! Why Do I Have Bad Breath?

Yes, bad breath can be embarrassing, but the truth is that everyone gets bad breath once in a while. But if your bad breath is persistent, it may indicate that you’re either not brushing well enough or not using the right kind of toothpaste. 

Chronic bad breath sometimes comes from gases released by bacteria that coat your teeth, gums, and tongue. So when you brush, you need to be brushing each side of your teeth, then gently clean your gums and tongue as well.

If you do have chronic bad breath, it’s best to set up an appointment with your dentist. When your bad breath persists, it’s sometimes a sign of gum disease or tooth decay. Getting everything checked out can prevent something from getting worse and set you on the right path to fresher-smelling breath.

In some cases, your dentist may say that you have “dry mouth,” which means your mouth doesn’t produce as much saliva as it should. Saliva helps wash away the bacteria in your mouth, and without enough saliva, the bacteria can lead to bad breath. Your dentist may recommend an artificial saliva product or another treatment that helps you produce saliva naturally.

But if you go to the dentist and they determine your mouth is healthy, it could be a sign of another underlying health issue. Throat, nose, or lung infections, sinusitis, bronchitis, diabetes, liver issues, or kidney problems can all be traced to bad breath. 

t’s also important to note that tobacco use may be the culprit of bad breath. If you don’t smoke or chew tobacco, you can go on ahead to the next section. But if you do use tobacco, we understand that a blog article from a mouthguard company might not be the best people to convince you that it’s time to quit smoking for good. You already know the laundry list of reasons why you shouldn’t have a pack of cigarettes or a can of dip, so we don’t need to tell you. But we will say that tobacco causes bad breath, teeth staining, gum irritation, and a decrease in taste. There, we said our piece. If this did give you the push you needed, we encourage you to talk to a professional health adviser about steps you can take to quit.

How Can I Prevent Bad Breath?

The best thing you can do to prevent bad breath is to maintain your oral hygiene routine. That includes brushing and flossing thoroughly and maybe using a minty mouthwash to give your mouth that fresh feeling. As we said before, when you brush, you want to make sure you’re also getting your tongue and gum line, but you should be using a fluoride toothpaste for the most effective clean.

You can also use interdental brushes to clean those hard-to-reach gaps in between your teeth where plaque might build up and linger. 

If you don’t want to give up garlic, you can always carry a travel-size bacteria-fighting mouthwash to rinse with after a meal. And when possible, avoid sugary foods and drinks. 

Don’t skip out on those visits to the dentist. Your hygienist will be able to give you a deep cleaning and check for any signs of gum disease. This will help you keep your breath smelling great year-round.

Will Mouthwash or Gum Cure My Bad Breath?

While temporary fixes like mouthwash, mints, or gum may mask your bad breath for a while, they don’t necessarily solve the root issue. And they can only last for so long. 

There’s nothing wrong with a mint or stick of gum in a pinch, but that’s not an excuse to leave your oral hygiene routine behind. And mouthwash should be used as a supplement to brushing, not an alternative. Before you buy a mouthwash, check its ingredients and follow the instructions on the label.

What If I Have Bad Morning Breath?

It’s natural for us to wake up with bad breath in the morning. Sometimes, all it means is that you need to brush your teeth. But if you use a retainer to keep your teeth straight or a mouthguard to prevent teeth grinding, your appliances may be the cause of bad breath bacteria.

If you use a nighttime mouth appliance, you need to clean it regularly. If you don’t, bacteria can fester on it throughout the day before you put it back in your mouth. *gag.* 

We encourage you to brush your retainer or mouthguard often, if not every day. While this may not get rid of your morning breath entirely, it can make it a little less potent.

If you don’t have a mouthguard and you’re looking for a way to stop grinding your teeth in your sleep, we’ve got you covered. At Cheeky, we offer custom nightguards at a fraction of the cost. With our replacement plan, you’ll get a replacement guard shipped straight to your door every three months for better oral hygiene. Get Cheeky today.

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