Kate Brayman DDS

How to Get Rid of Bad Breath Permanently

If you’re trying to figure out how to get rid of bad breath and seeking a lasting solution, understanding the cause is the first step toward fresh breath.  A variety of factors can be the cause which are detailed below Effective treatments include professional dental care,  improving oral hygiene, quitting smoking, and addressing any underlying health conditions. Preventing bad breath requires a commitment to oral care and regular dental check-ups with your Long Island provider. Seeing a dentist like Dr. Kate Brayman, DDS, can help identify and treat the root cause, ensuring long-term oral health.

Causes of Bad Breath

Causes of bad breath

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be caused by the following factors.  

1. Dental factors

Gum disease, cavities, and trapped food particles in irregular areas of the mouth can contribute to bad breath.  If the bad breath is from gum disease,  you need to get cleanings every 3 months instead of every 6 months. Learn more about gum disease treatment on Long Island.

Poor oral hygiene including not brushing or flossing regularly allows food particles to remain in the mouth, promoting bacterial growth around the teeth, gums, and tongue, which can cause bad breath.

2. Dry mouth

Saliva helps cleanse the mouth but some conditions reduce it which changes the oral environment and can increase the risk of bad breath. Saliva plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health by neutralizing acids produced by bacteria, washing away food particles, and providing disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth. A reduction in saliva not only facilitates bacterial growth but also allows food particles to linger, both of which contribute significantly to bad breath. Addressing the underlying causes of dry mouth and promoting adequate saliva production are key steps in managing and preventing associated bad breath.

Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, can be caused by the following conditions, 

  • Medications: Many prescription and over-the-counter medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, diuretics, and antidepressants, can cause dry mouth as a side effect.
  • Medical Conditions: Diseases such as Sjögren’s syndrome, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and rheumatoid arthritis are known to decrease saliva production. Radiation therapy to the head and neck areas for cancer treatment can also damage salivary glands, reducing saliva output.
  • Dehydration: Insufficient fluid intake leads to overall dehydration, affecting saliva production and leading to dry mouth.
  • Lifestyle Choices: Smoking or chewing tobacco can reduce saliva flow, as can breathing with an open mouth, often exacerbated during sleep or by snoring.
  • Nerve Damage: Injury to the head or neck can damage nerves that signal salivary glands to produce saliva.

3. Smoking

Smoking causes bad breath in several ways. Smoking or chewing tobacco products can cause a distinct oral odor. Smoking dries out the mouth, reducing saliva production. Saliva is crucial for cleaning the mouth and removing particles that can cause bad odors. The lack of saliva allows bacteria to thrive, further contributing to bad breath. Smoking can lead to gum disease, another major source of halitosis, by affecting the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. Over time, the cumulative effect of these factors worsens oral hygiene and makes the mouth a more conducive environment for the development of persistent bad breath.

4. Less common causes

 There are other less common causes of bad breath. They can include: Consuming foods with strong odors, such as garlic, onions, and some spices, may affect your breath.  Infections or inflammations in the nose, throat, or sinuses can lead to postnasal drip, and contribute to bad breath. Some systemic diseases like diabetes, liver or kidney disease, and gastrointestinal issues can manifest as bad breath. Certain medications can cause dry mouth or release chemicals that can be smelled on the breath.

Treatments for bad breath

Treatments for bad breath focus on addressing its underlying causes and improving oral hygiene. While many treatments can significantly reduce or temporarily eliminate bad breath, whether they provide a permanent solution depends on the specific cause and your commitment to ongoing oral care and lifestyle adjustments. Here are common treatments:

  • Improved Oral Hygiene: Regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and cleaning the tongue can remove food debris and dental plaque, reducing bad breath. Using an antibacterial mouthwash can also help.
  • Professional Dental Care: Regular dental checkups and cleanings are essential to treat gum disease, cavities, and other dental issues that may contribute to bad breath.
  • Quitting Smoking and Tobacco Use: This eliminates a major source of bad breath and improves overall oral health.
  • Hydration and Saliva Stimulants: Drinking plenty of water and using saliva substitutes or stimulants can help alleviate dry mouth, a common cause of bad breath.
  • Dietary Changes: Avoiding foods known to cause bad breath, like onions and garlic,  and reducing coffee and alcohol intake can help.
  • Medical Treatment: If an underlying medical condition is causing dry mouth or bad breath, treating that condition can improve symptoms. For example, adjusting medications that cause dry mouth, managing diabetes, or treating acid reflux can help.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Reducing stress and improving sleeping habits can impact production of saliva and, consequently, oral health.

Prevention for bad breath

While treatment can significantly improve bad breath,  if you’re wondering how to get rid of bad breath permanently,  it requires an ongoing commitment to good oral hygiene practices, healthy lifestyle choices, and regular dental and medical care to address any underlying issues. In many cases, bad breath can be managed effectively, but vigilance is key to preventing its recurrence. If your bad breath becomes chronic, despite good oral hygiene,  contact us at the Long Island dental practice of Dr. Kate Brayman to explore underlying causes.

How to Prevent Bad Breath

When is it time to see my dentist for bad breath?

It’s time to see Dr. Brayman for bad breath if self-care measures, such as improving your oral hygiene, don’t lead to improvement, or if bad breath is persistent and noticeable even after brushing and flossing. If you experience symptoms like painful chewing, gum bleeding, dry mouth, or signs of infection (like swelling, pus, or fever), it’s important to seek professional advice. Dr. Brayman can identify any underlying dental issues contributing to bad breath, like gum disease, cavities, or oral infections, and provide appropriate treatment.

To get rid of bad breath fast, start by ensuring you brush and floss thoroughly to remove any trapped food particles and plaque. Using an antibacterial mouthwash can help eliminate bacteria that cause bad odors. Drinking water frequently can also help by washing away food particles and bacteria and promoting saliva production, which naturally cleanses the mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum can stimulate saliva flow and quickly freshen your breath. However, these quick fixes are most effective when they complement consistent oral hygiene practices. For a lasting solution, contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Brayman to address the root cause of your bad breath. We are happy to help you achieve fresh breath and maintain your oral health. 

Kate Brayman DDS

Dr. Kate Brayman

Long Island Dentist at Kate Brayman, DDS

Dr. Kate Brayman is a leading cosmetic dentist serving Long Island and Woodbury NY 11797. A graduate from the New York University College of Dentistry, Dr. Kate Brayman brings passion and artistry into dentistry. She is certified by the American Board of Dental Public Health. Her professional memberships include the American Dental Association, the New York State Dental Association and the New York County Dental Society.

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