By Kikelola Oyebola
If the cause of bad breath is tonsillitis, which has to do with infection of the gum, tongue and mouth, it can be treated medically. Sometimes, however, mouth odour occurs from other causes. These include improper brushing of the mouth; infrequent brushing of the mouth; injured gum that has become infected and plaque.
But even when the individual brushes properly and regularly and does not have damaged gum, it is still possible to have mouth odour if he/she does not use dental floss.
“The use of dental floss is as important as brushing the mouth,” says Dr. Sanya Onibudo of The Dental Clinic, Victoria Island. “Even if the individual brushes 10 times a day, it is still necessary that dental floss be used to get to the nooks and crannies of the mouth. Unfortunately, many people don’t remember to floss their teeth or they just cannot be bothered.”
Since it is often the trapped food pieces in the space between the teeth, which if not removed, give the offensive odour, it becomes imperative that a way be found to rid the mouth of decayed substances.
Of course, it is not as if it is also not necessary to brush properly and as frequently as possible, it is just that the use of dental floss be added to the routine.
It has been recommended that the mouth be brushed at least twice daily (in the morning and at night.) Brushing after each meal is even to be more desired. The morning brushing comes after breakfast, provided the mouth was brushed the previous night after dinner.
The up and down movement of the brush is also essential if the teeth are to be well cleaned. In addition, plaque is prevented from forming with the right brushing of the mouth. The formation of plaque is a gradual thing and can be removed, however, by the dentist even after it has been formed.
“The plaque not only discolours the teeth, it also gives off offensive odour. So, to prevent its formation, one should brush properly and regularly too. And of course, a visit to the dentist at least once in six months is recommended, to ensure that all is well with the teeth and mouth generally,” Onibudo explains.
For those desirous of clean mouth and fresh breath, the use of a good mouthwash is a must, in addition to all else. Certain foods leave the mouth with undesirable odour. This can be dealt with by eating sweets immediately after taking such foods.
If the nature of the individual’s job entails keeping quiet most of the time, chewing mint gum gives freshness to the breath.
Children should, however, not be encouraged to eat too many sweets, sugary foods and milky ones, especially close to bedtime. Parents need to ensure that children brush their mouths last thing before going to bed, especially after consuming sugary or milky food items, as these tend to cause tooth decay.