Bad breath may be caused by systemic, non-oral conditions. These include sinusitis, tonsilloliths (small calcified matter in the tonsils), kidney failure, liver disease etc. In this cases, it is time to consult an internist.
The tiny crevices in between teeth and gums,faulty dental work, the teeth themselves, abscesses (pus-filled, inflamed areas around the teeth) and unclean dentures also harbor halitosis-causing bacteria, although to a much lesser degree than the tongue.
Salivation is salvation How does drinking plenty of water throughout the day help to control bad breath, one way the body counters dehydration is by reducing saliva production. Saliva has a cleansing and diluting effect on the bacteria and bacterial waste products that cause halitosis. "Every times your mouth dries up, there's a good chance your breath will go bad. That's why drinking water helps." You can also rinse with water regularly to help prevent bad breath. Rinsing dilutes and partially removes bacterial waste products that cause breath odors. Chewing sugarless gum, breath mints, or lozenges (sugar promotes bacterial growth) can stimulates saliva production to help reduce bad breath. Keep in mind that commercial breath-freshening mouthwashes, only mask mouth odors for a few minutes.
Drinking water or rinsing is particularly important for chronically dry mouths, which is a condition known as xerostomia. Xerostomia can be side effect allergy and cold medications or certain drugs for high blood pressure among others.
Here are some tips to prevent bad breath:
- Aside from good oral hygiene and regular water intake.
- After brushing and flossing, rinse and gargle with antibacterial mouthwashes containing zinc gluconate, or chlorine dioxide.
- Avoid alcohol-containing mouthwashes because alcohol is a drying agent that may worsen halitosis
- Gently clean the tongue surface twice daily with a tongue brush, tongue scraper, tongue cleaner or an inverted teaspoon. Avoid scraping the V-shaped row of taste buds found at the extreme back of the tongue.
- If you were dentures, follow your dentist's instructions in cleaning them. Thoroughly scrub your dentures with a toothbrush or specialized denture brush, both inside and out. Then place them in the antiseptic denture.