Have you ever been asked “would you like a mint?” and worried there was more to the gesture than someone simply being polite?
Recent data shows that over 30% of people cite bad breath as the least attractive trait of co-workers. This can definitely give us a reason to think again about what we bring for lunch or how close we sit to others in the company meeting.
The fact is for many of us it is difficult to smell our own breath and to know if we fall in that 30%. Contrary to popular belief, breathing into your own hand is not a very reliable test.
The best way to fight the bad breath beast is to avoid it on the front end. This may mean starting with a consultation with your dentist. The key is to identify the source and make the necessary behavior or medical changes to eliminate it.
Following is a look at the top causes of bad breath.
Poor Oral Hygiene Routine
A dedicated oral hygiene routine including brushing for two minutes two times a day and flossing daily is the best prevention to bad breath. Straggling food particles not removed through brushing and flossing will decompose and can be the main culprit for foul breath. Creating a solid foundation of oral health is a first big step toward co-worker friendly breath.
Constantly feeling you have bad breath or having a bad taste in the mouth can be an indication of gum disease. Caused by plaque, gum disease must be treated and monitored. It cannot be covered up by a mint, so be sure to speak with your dentist if you feel this may be the situation in your mouth.
What goes in can come out. What you put into your body can affect the breath you exhale out of your body. This is why onions, garlic, eggs, etc. get such a bad rap. Brushing and flossing can help remove these food particles from your mouth so they do not linger, collect bacteria, and leave you alone at the end of the conference room table. Drinking water and rinsing your mouth while eating pungent foods can go a long way.
We all know the health risks with smoking cigarettes and using tobacco products. From an oral health perspective, using these products can stain your teeth and also contribute to bad breath. Tobacco use can irritate the gums and has higher rates of gum disease and oral cancers. There are many reasons not to smoke. Bad breath is one of them.
Live the Minty Life
Whatever the source, few of us want to be in a situation where our breath becomes an issue. Regular dental care goes a long way to combat this fight yet it is also important to note there are certain illnesses and medical conditions that include bad breath in their list of symptoms. Diabetes, sinus or lung infections, and some liver and kidney diseases will present with bad breath. It is very important to talk with your dentist about any concerns you may have.
A fresh mouth is a healthy mouth. May your days be minty and bright.
The Art of Beautiful Smiles
Duane P. Delaune, D.D.S. earned his dental degree at Louisiana State University School of Dentistry, where he graduated fifth in the class. Delaune Dental began in 1990 with the passion of providing great customer service and exceptional dental care. Dr. Delaune loves the wilderness and often hikes or goes backpacking.