There are several reasons why a dental bridge may cause an odor in your mouth. Food can get stuck between the bridge and your gums, or bacteria can build up in tiny gaps between your teeth and the crown as the cement holding your crown slowly wears away. However, foul odor is not something that you should have to deal with and is often a sign that either your bridge needs to be adjusted or you need to change your oral care routine. There are several ways that you and your dentist can combat foul odors associated with your dental bridge to keep your mouth smelling and tasting fresh.
Regularly Consume Xylitol
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that can help combat bacteria, plaque and tooth decay. It works by encouraging the natural production of saliva in your mouth, which can wash away food and bacteria. Chewing gum with xylitol or sucking on a breath mint with xylitol after you eat or when you experience dry mouth can help regulate the bacteria in your mouth between cleanings, keeping bad breath to a minimum.
Brush and Floss Regularly
Skipping regular brushing and flossing can result in bad breath for anyone. However, after you have a dental bridge placed, it is important that you discuss proper cleaning techniques with your dental hygienist. Many patients are concerned that they will knock their bridge loose if they floss around it too deeply or brush around it too much. Having your dental hygienist show you exactly how to brush and floss around your bridge can give you the confidence to clean it properly.
Explore Mouthwash Options
There are several different types of mouthwash available. You may find that after you have a bridge placed you need to change your mouthwash to help inhibit bacterial growth. You may need to switch to an alcohol-free mouthwash to prevent dry mouth that can lead to greater bacterial growth and your dentist may prescribe a stronger antibacterial mouthwash if odors persist.
Purchase a High-powered Toothbrush or a Water Pick
Over time, your gum below the crown may recede, leaving a tiny gap between your gums and the bridge that can fill with food particles and bacteria, causing mouth odor. You may find that you need more powerful tools than a manual toothbrush to reach this spot and keep your breath fresh. Some high-powered toothbrushes may be able to force water between the gaps around your bridge and clean the area. Alternatively, a home water pick can help clean the area thoroughly.
If you are not comfortable using these tools at home, you may want to schedule regular cleanings with your dentist more often.
Schedule an Appointment With Your Dentist
Figuring out the cause of bad breath and treating it can be difficult to do on your own, especially if the cause is a barely visible misfit of your bridge or weakening cement. Your dentist will be able to detect these problems and refit your crown to create a better seal and reduce your odor issues. Your dentist will also be able to prescribe more powerful mouthwashes and toothbrushes that can help fight odor causing bacteria and help you adjust your cleaning routine.
Oral healthcare is an ongoing relationship between you and your dentist. After having a dental bridge placed, it is important that you follow your dentist's advice and make the necessary adjustments in your home care routine. However, it is also important that you communicate any problems that you experience, such as bad breath that may be associated with your bridge, with a dentist from a clinic like Rose City Dental Care as soon as possible. This way, you can solve your problem quickly and efficiently.