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The Causes Of Bad Breath And Why Flossing Is Key

Your toothbrush can only do so much.

Everyone has bad morning breath, but the idea of stinky odours coming from your mouth all day is something else.

Brushing after each meal can certainly help the smelly situation, but as any dentist or dental hygienist will tell you, flossing is essential to good oral health.

"Flossing allows you to go up to two millimetres under the gum tissue to reach where bacteria is colonizing," dental hygienist and owner of Krystal Clean Smile Clinic, Krystal Hurteau tells the Huffington Post Canada. "The reason the floss smells [after you use it] is because that area is hard to reach and the bacteria is aged."

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, there are more than 700 different types of bacteria hiding in the human mouth. Fortunately, not all of this bacteria is bad and some of it is easy to spot — like sticky plaque that covers your teeth.

Dental plaque is a biofilm of bacteria that forms on teeth. (Photo: Gettystock)

While plaque seems harmless, this mass of bacteria can actually lead to a lot of damage. After a long period of time, plaque hardens and turns into tartar. To make matters worse, Hurteau says the tartar actually attracts more bacteria due to its rough texture.

And more bacteria means more cavities. "Once the bacteria has settled under the gum, it will continue to multiply until your next hygiene appointment," Hurteau says.

Even if you have good oral hygiene, bacteria you can't reach continues to stay beneath the gum line and can erode the bones beneath your teeth. According to Hurteau, this can ultimately result in tooth loss and can happen at any age.

And it's not just your teeth that harbour bad bacteria, the tongue is covered in it too. However, in the video above by Buzzfeed, the site explains how forceful brushing can result in receding gum lines while flossing incorrectly can cause bleeding and swelling.

Of course, even if you brush, use mouthwash and floss, you still may end up with bad breath. According to Colgate, this is caused by many factors including your diet, medical conditions and medications.

Watch the video above and yes, go brush your teeth.

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