How do you plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day (V-Day) on February 14th? Hotels, restaurants, florists and chocolate specialty shops have decorated their outlets pink or red. They have also displayed their attractively packaged gifts for you to choose for your loved ones. Have you decided on one?
Among other preparations for V-Day, one thing that may have slipped your mind is to prepare yourself with a bright white smile and fresh breath. You don’t want to spoil the romantic moment and scare off your partner or partner-to-be with bad breath, do you?
Based on the Oral-B Healthier Teeth, Healthier Singapore survey carried out by The Nielsen Company in 2011, 66% of Singaporeans indicated that they would never go on a date with a person with bad breath and 58% agreed that they would never go on a date with someone with visible dental problems such as tooth decay or swollen gums. Thus, dental problems may be the kiss of death for your romance. What can you do about it?
Understanding the causes of your dental problem is the first step in solving the problem. There are several possible causes of bad breath or halitosis. While bad breath is commonly caused by localized dental problems, such as infection, ill-fitting dental fillings or dentures, other factors that cause bad breath include;
- Periodontal or gum disease;
- Consumption of certainfoods, e.g., garlic, certain spices, etc
- Poor oral hygiene – caused by food particles between the teeth, on the tongue and around the gums which collect bacteria;
- Dry mouth condition (xerostomia) which can occur due to hormonal changes (e.g., menopause) or due to other medications;
- Other medical conditions, such as digestive system problems, diabetes, ear or nose infections, or some forms of cancer
Consider seeing a dentist
Depending on the root cause of the problem, the issue should be addressed accordingly. If the cause is traced to food particles that are trapped in misaligned or crowded teeth, the dentist may recommend seeking orthodontic treatment to straighten the teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth that do not have enough room to erupt can also be food traps and one may want to consider wisdom teeth surgery as a preventive measure.
The simplest solution is to practice good oral hygiene such as brushing your teeth at least twice a day, making sure the gum and tongue areas are cleaned, as well as flossing your teeth. Using non-alcohol based mouthwash may also be helpful.
If the bad breath is due to certain medical conditions, your dentist will refer you to the appropriate medical specialist. With a proper examination, investigation and diagnosis, your dentist should be able to pin point the causes of bad breath and carry out treatment accordingly.