Bad breath is also known as halitosis and is a very unpleasant and embarrassing condition that lowers your confidence and self-esteem, thereby hindering you in life. The fact is that 80 percent of people aren’t even aware that they have bad breath, but this doesn’t meant that you have to live in constant fear that your breath is smelly. In this article I will explain exactly what causes bad breath, how to prevent it and how to treat it.
In general, bad breath is caused by the bacteria that live in your mouth, primarily between your teeth, on your tongue and on your gums. It can also be caused by—
- Poor hygiene — Whenever we eat something, bits of whatever we ate generally remain in our mouth but we don’t see this because it generally gets stuck in between our teeth. If we don’t brush our teeth and/or floss regularly, this food starts to decay, thereby causing bad breath and leading to cavities.
- Cavities — Cavities are caused by plaque, which is caused by poor oral hygiene (those bits of food stuck between your teeth). The acid in the plaque destroys tooth enamel thereby causing cavities and when we eat again those bits of food get stuck into the cavities and cause bad breath.
It’s like a never ending cycle. Eventually, you might need dentures and it all could have been prevented if you just flossed and brushed!
Bad Breath and Dentures
Just like how bacteria builds up on your normal teeth, it also builds up on dentures. Your dentures are more susceptible to bacteria buildup than your normal teeth. This is caused by the bits of food stuck between your dentures and your gum. If you don’t remove your dentures and clean them, the food begins decay, thereby causing bad breath.
Loose or ill fitting dentures also cause bad breath due to the fact that large dentures can cause mouth ulcers. If you have a mouth ulcer, especially on the tongue, it’s too painful to brush properly due to the swelling. Your mouth and teeth become a plaque and bacteria safe zone where they will thrive, thereby causing bad breath.
Xerostomia, also known as dry mouth, is predominantly found in older denture patients, due to the amount of medication they take. When you have this condition, your salivary glands don’t function properly. Our saliva constantly cleans our tongue and defends our mouth against the bacteria that live in our mouth. When our mouth is dry (no saliva) this bacteria thrives in these conditions, thereby causing bad breath.
Ways to Prevent and Treat Bad Breath
- Clean your dentures as often as possible. If you are suffering from a severe case of bad breath then it’s suggested that you clean your dentures after every meal. It doesn’t have to be a thorough cleaning like you would do at night, just a rinse out would be fine.
- Don’t sleep with your dentures, remove them at night, brush them thoroughly and soak them in denture cleaner.
- Use a denture adhesive to secure your dentures down, thereby eliminating any gaps between your teeth and gums for bits of food to sneak into.
- Use an ultrasonic denture cleaning unit. This unit uses vibratory motion to thoroughly clean your dentures, though there is nothing wrong with the effervescent tablets that are sold.
- Drink a lot of fluids (preferably water) to keep your mouth moist.
- Try the age old remedy of “oil pulling”. Oil pulling not only eliminates bad breath but also helps with dry mouth.
- Suck on a lemon as the acid from the lemon will not only moisten, but also cleanse your mouth.
- If you suffer from a dry mouth, refrain from drinking alcoholic and caffeinated drinks. Stay away from mouthwashes that contain alcohol.
- The cheapest remedies are always the best. Use a warm salt water solution to gurgle in your mouth as often as you can. Salt water not only cleans but also disinfects. Bacteria hate salt water.
- It’s also very important that you soak your dentures at night as this removes 99.9 percent of the bacteria and germ buildup.
Hopefully you learned a little more about bad breath and ways to treat this problem!
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