January 26, 2018

The Oral Hygiene – Bad Breath Connection

Marketing messages have drilled the oral hygiene – bad breath connection into our brains for decades. So much so that the idea is almost a cliché for marketing fear tactics in general. Corny lines like, “Romance Blows a Fuse When Bad Breath Muscles In,” have helped toothpaste companies to rake in millions.

It is certainly true that the oral hygiene – bad breath connection is real. Up to a point, at least. Bad breath can come about in a number of ways. Some of these sit squarely in the oral hygiene camp. Others, not so much.

The Oral Hygiene – Bad Breath Connection in Action

the oral hygiene - bad breath connection

Oral hygiene products help keep your breath fresh, but could they mask deeper health issues?

The marketing mavens behind major oral hygiene products have made a strong case for the link between using their products and keeping breath fresh. Today, most people know that halitosis – another name for bad breath – can indeed arise from decaying food particles and stagnant saliva.

Bad breath can also be due to lingering aromas related to the foods we eat. Garlic and onions come immediately to mind. No one would argue that you ignore these symptoms. Regular brushing, flossing and rinsing remain the go-to hygiene practices for addressing these concerns.

However, bad breath may also be a sign of a problem that has little if anything to do with oral hygiene. When that’s the case, turning to oral hygiene products alone may not get to the root of the issue.

Where the Oral Hygiene – Bad Breath Connection Breaks Down

The truth is, bad breath is sometimes a symptom of something other than poor oral hygiene. When that’s the case, turning to these products may do nothing to address the true cause.

At times, bad breath may be related to gum disease. When that’s the case, you need more than over the counter products to get back on the track to oral health. You need the help of your dentist.

Regular dental exams are important to help your dentist detect gum disease early. Seeing your dentist two times a year is the best way to avoid the dangers of gum disease.

Moreover, bad breath can be an early sign of other health conditions. For example, liver disease, kidney disease, and diabetes can all produce bad breath. In such cases, no amount of rinsing, brushing, or flossing is going to help solve the real problem.

How Dental Insurance Can Help Keep Your Whole Body Healthy

Seeing your dentist on a regular basis can help ensure these potential causes of bad breath aren’t simply masked by the use of oral hygiene products. Regular professional cleanings help remove plaque, calculus and biofilm. This can dramatically decrease your risk of developing oral health issues.

Dental insurance usually includes two checkups a year.

Dental insurance usually includes two checkups a year.

However, there is another benefit to regular dental check-ups. Dentists perform many types of exams that help them assess the whole health of their patients. So, seeing your dentist twice a year means they are able to catch problems your primary care physician will want to know about.

Few people see their primary care physicians as frequently as people with dental insurance see their dentists. For the price of just pennies a day, dental insurance usually includes two checkups a year. However, the benefits – in many cases – go far beyond keeping your teeth healthy and your breath fresh.

Read next: Healthy Teeth, Healthy Body

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