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This holiday season you may be attending parties with family, friends and co-workers. The last thing you want is to flash your pearly whites under a cloud of halitosis. Bad breath can be embarrassing!

Sometimes bad breath is caused by short term choices like strong food and drink. However there are times when breath odor might be caused by more serious problems that demands your attention:

–The odors from strong food and drink can linger in the mouth and upper throat. Brushing and flossing will usually remove food particles and odors from the mouth. Gargling with antiseptic mouthwash will help clear the upper throat of odors. This may be your treatment of choice when you are celebrating the upcoming festivities.

–Dry mouth is a recognized medical condition with several possible causes. Saliva helps wash away food particles and bacteria. Without adequate saliva production dry mouth can increase odors in the mouth and even lead to tooth decay. Ask your dentist about possible causes of dry mouth if the problem persists, and in the meantime, stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water throughout the day and avoid diuretics.

–Tar and other chemicals from tobacco use can stain your teeth, reduce saliva production and give your breath a pervasive odor that lingers even after you stop using it. Using lozenges and hard candy to mask these odors only adds extra sugar to the mouth, promoting bacterial growth and other oral health issues. Finding a tobacco cessation program is your best long term option. In the meantime try chewing minty sugarless gum to freshen breath and stimulate saliva production.

–There are medical conditions including problems with the liver and kidneys, and mouth infections, that can also be an underlying cause of chronic halitosis. People with uncontrolled blood sugar or undiagnosed diabetes might also have sweet-smelling breath. Getting the proper treatment for these conditions will remedy this situation.

If you suffer from bad breath and need help identifying the cause or treatment, please feel free to call us at (425) 361-0842 to schedule an appointment. Together we can help you flash your healthiest, freshest smile yet!