CHICAGO, Feb. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Love is in the air—but for millions of Americans, so is embarrassing bad breath. Before smooching your valentine, follow the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) tips for halting halitosis.
"In many cases, patients aren't aware that they have a bad breath problem," says AGD Spokesperson Guy Hanson, DDS, MAGD. "The odor, which originates in the gums and tongue, is caused by the bacteria in our mouths. Stress, dieting, age, hormonal changes, and dry mouth can exacerbate the issue."
Dr. Hanson offers the following three tips for maintaining fresh breath.
- Drink Water
Be sure to drink plenty of water, especially after meals, to help increase saliva flow and wash away leftover food particles.
- Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Foods, such as onions and garlic, and beverages, like coffee, may be detected on a person's breath for up to 72 hours after digestion. Unable to avoid indulging in odorous foods and beverages? Then follow up by chewing sugar-free gum to increase saliva flow, which will wash away the odor-causing bacteria.
- Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Regular checkups with your dentist can help get rid of the plaque and bacteria that build up on your teeth. At home, brush for two minutes twice a day, and floss at least once a day. Remember to brush your tongue to remove the bacteria that build up there.
"Bad breath can have a significant impact, both personally and socially, on those who suffer from it," Dr. Hanson says. "If your bad breath persists, your dentist can help you determine the source of the odor and offer helpful solutions."
For more information about oral health, visit KnowYourTeeth.com.
About the Academy of General Dentistry
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is a professional association of 38,000 general dentists dedicated to providing quality dental care and oral health education to the public. AGD members stay up-to-date in their profession through a commitment to continuing education. Founded in 1952, the AGD is the second largest dental association in the United States, and it is the only association that exclusively represents the needs and interests of general dentists. A general dentist is the primary care provider for patients of all ages and is responsible for the diagnosis, treatment, management, and overall coordination of services related to patients' oral health needs. For more information about the AGD, visit www.agd.org. The AGD is a member of the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives, a first-of-its-kind national dental coalition composed of 37 leading dental health organizations. The Partnership's campaign is designed to educate parents and caregivers on how to improve their children's oral health in simple ways. The campaign offers families oral health resources through the website 2min2x.org.
SOURCE Academy of General Dentistry