As cosmetic and prosthodontic specialists, we at Elite Dental Arts in Midtown have provided lots of patients with assistance cleaning their removable oral appliances. Keeping dentures clean is good for your health as well as your breath, and advances in denture retention have allowed more people to get by without the odor-causing denture gel that led people to avoid prosthetic teeth in past decades. But there are other sources of bad breath that patients should know about, too.
Halitosis is caused by the odor of decay-causing bacteria. These bacteria not only live between the teeth and in the gum pockets, but also on the tongue and in the spaces between the gums and removable dentures. As they metabolize sugar, they secrete acid, imperiling natural and artificial oral structures alike. Bacteria on the tongue can be controlled with daily use of a tongue scraper, as well as by brushing the tongue and using mouthwash. Gums also require brushing before dentures are put in, and the undersides of dentures need to be brushed as well as the toothy parts.
Dry mouth puts patients at higher risk for oral infections, and therefore at higher risk for halitosis. Drinking plenty of water, as opposed to sugary, caffeinated, or alcoholic beverages can mitigate this risk. Garlic and onions can cause bad breath because the gases they carry are transmitted to the lungs, but they can also trigger acid reflux, which would leave the odor of stomach acid on the tongue. Chewing gum is a strategy for combatting dietary risks, as long as the gum is sugar-free.
Nick M. Mobilia, DDS
ELITE DENTAL ARTS
9 East 45th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10017