Are you making special plans for you and your loved one or hoping to find someone to whisper sweet nothings to on St. Valentine's Day? If so, the American Academy of Periodontology is offering a few tips to ensure your breath doesn't put a hamper on one of the most romantic days of the year.
Nothing can ruin a romantic mood like a yuck mouth. Although candies and mints can mask the smell, getting to the root of the problem is the only answer for a cure.
"The first thing you need to do is frequently check your breath for a foul odor," said Gordon Douglass, DDS, president of the American Academy of Periodontology. "This is easily done by taking a dry cloth and wiping it across the back part of your tongue for about five seconds. Wait about a half minute then smell it."
If your bad breath is consistent, you may have periodontal disease, a chronic infection of the gums, or other medical conditions. A quick visit to your dentist or periodontist will help determine the cause of your bad breath.
In the meantime, Douglass offers the following tips to ensure you don't give the kiss of death this season:
-- Floss and brush your teeth, gums and tongue daily. Don't forget to clean behind the back teeth in each row.
-- Keep your mouth moist by drinking plenty of fluids, chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugarless candy.
-- Be aware of foods that may contribute to bad breath such as onions and garlic.
-- Brush your teeth after consuming milk products, fish and meat.
-- Talk to your dentist or periodontist about oral problems that might be the cause.
For a free brochure on periodontal disease, please visit www.perio.org or call 1-800-Flossem.