The most mortifying thing happened the other day. While working as a teacher, one of my young students told me my breath was ‘stinky’ and offered me a mint. I understand their heart was in the right place, but I became very self conscious. I take good care of my teeth (at least I thought I did.) After monitoring my breath for awhile, I realized it wasn’t going away, so I made an appointment with my dentist. She suggested I get a deep cleaning, but it hasn’t been 6 months since my last one. Is a cleaning my best option, or is there something else I can try? I’d rather try a holistic dentist or home remedy to treat my issue if possible.
Talia, from Amherst, Massachusetts
I’m sorry that happened to you – kids can say the darnedest things. Despite their kind gesture, I would suggest avoiding using mints or gum to mask your bad breath, since bad breath (halitosis) is usually caused by bacteria in the mouth. To tackle this buildup, obtain or use a tongue scraper to your oral routine. If you use mouthwash, make sure it does not contain alcohol, as that can be harmful to the good oral bacteria in your mouth. Of course, keep up with brushing and flossing after eating meals as well.
A deep cleaning would be recommended if it had been more than six months to a year after your last one, as this can help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth. Since you’ve kept up with your cleanings, getting a second opinion from a holistic dentist would be best. It was good of your dentist to suggest a deep cleaning, as the best dentists take preventing gum disease very seriously. Gum disease can cause bad breath, among other serious issues. If you are taking care of your teeth and gums, seeing a holistic dentist over a general one may benefit you. A holistic dentist consider your whole health history, so any changes to your lifestyle or diet could be possible cause of your current bad breath issue.
This blog post is brought to you by Colorado Springs dentist, Dr. Joe Rota. Please note that holistic dentistry is not a legally recognized specialization, but dentists can receive additional training in the area.