Bad breath is just bad and there is a reason why it is so. It’s also the most common. We should learn about the normal to know the abnormal. This helps us set the baseline which is used here as a reference. Bacteria is ever present in our bodies from birth to death. And we have a whole lot of them in our Oral cavity, both good and the bad ones. In good times when the mouth is kept very clean of plaque (the soft ones) and calculus (the calcified ones), the body responds accordingly by giving it a clean bill of health. When things get neglected and our immunity goes south, so does the response of these bacteria to our well being. We are the host here and we are providing these bacteria a home to live in. They provide us with some benefits and we are providing the same for them. But when our immune system is compromised they take the upper hand and we get sick as a result. Our body needs to be in balance at all times to fight infections and diseases.
People use gums, fresh mints, mouthwashes and what not to freshen their breath. But we are not tackling the root of the problem, We are in fact spending money on these products in order to mask the symptoms. It’s like putting make up on an ulcer to cover it up for purposes of looking good for the moment. But the underlying problem still exists. What are we going to do about it?
In reality it takes more than a week to get anyone into the state of normal Oral health after months or even years of constant neglect. But we need to start somewhere. As the title says: Get rid of bad breath in one week. In many cases it’s impossible to accomplish that within that short time span. But if a patients gums are mildly inflamed, the gums may be nursed back to health within a week. This is what the title means. I would like to clarify this upfront. Patients should not be expecting their Dentist’s to create miracles. They are Humans too. You are good in what you do and they they are good in theirs. Both patients and Dentist’s need to work as a team to get their gums back to health. We cannot replicate nature but we can work together to work with nature. Dentist’s are trained in all aspects of Dentistry. This is all what they do all day everyday. They are THE doctors of your mouth. So partner up with them to have a healthy teeth and gums. Ask questions and get answers from them. They are there for you.
Bacteria do produce many gases such as sulfur, methane etc which in turn contribute to the bad breath we are all aware of. Most of us brush once a day, may never floss and almost always never rinse our mouth with plain water after each meal. So what happens to the food debris. It stays there to rot. So what happens here. The bacteria start working on these to feed themselves thus producing by products such as gas and other toxins. These toxins produce inflammation in the gums, and also have the ability to eat away supporting bone. So In the long run, these teeth start getting loose as a result of its lack of supporting bone. Now they start getting more mobile and ultimately fall out. This entire sequel could have been prevented in the first place just by going to the Dentist for preventive maintenance every 3 months. I recommend every 3 months for a reason. Our mouth is filled with spaces in between each and every teeth. Our teeth is not a sold block from the front to the back. When there are so many spaces, it is a perfect house for bacteria, food debris, plaque and calculus. It’s warm, cozy and moist year round. Who would not love to live there? The longer they are our tenants, its nearly impossible to get rid of them. Also the damage becomes chronic in nature.
So what are the causes of bad breath?
- Very poor oral hygiene.
- Not flossing.
- ENT, lungs and GI issues.
- Gum disease.
- Abscesses and other Oral or even systemic diseases.
- Oral ulceration.
The one week Solution: This is to be used as a reference only. Gum situation differs from person to person, so it will need to be customized based on your individual needs.
- See your Dentist immediately.
- Formulate a treatment plan.
- Get treated according to your situation.
- Educate yourself on gum disease.
- Brush twice daily.
- Floss at least once a day. But use physical floss.
- Swish and rinse your mouth with plain water after each meal. You may use salt water or mouthwash if you choose to.
- Periodic dental checkup every 3 months thereafter. This may vary from person to person depending on severity of the disease.
- Ask questions and get answers from your Dentist.
Steps to be followed: Treatment may be done in different steps based on its complexity and based on your customized needs.
- Initial Consultation.
- Individual Assessment.
- Treatment plan.
- Raising questions to the Dentist and getting answers.
- Informed consent.
- Treatment getting performed according to mutually agreed plan.
- Follow up evaluation.
- Periodic Maintenance.
- Continued observation.
Gum disease is completely preventable in the first place when it’s diagnosed early enough. When it goes into the moderate and severe stages, regular periodic and preventive maintenance following possible surgery would be advocated. Prevention is the key as in most diseases. Once the disease is in place, appropriate and timely treatment need to come in to play with the use of scaling techniques, irrigation, microbial treatment, possible bone contouring etc, in combination with other surgical methods.
Once the Diagnosis is made, treatment is planned, procedures completed and follow up done, it’s time for periodic maintenance of your gums. If this is not carried out as per a set time schedule based on your individual situation, you will be starting the same thing all over again back to square one. The difference between the first time and the second would be that you have not learned a thing from your bad breath and it seems that you are mentally prepared to go over smelling the same bad breath all over again. This time you may even share that stench.