Is your bad breath giving you trouble? This is the last problem you want to have on Valentine’s Day (or any other day for that matter!). Today we will go over what causes bad breath, how you can prevent or even cure it, and what it may mean in relation to your overall health.
[Related: Is Flossing Really That Important?]
Bad breath can be caused by multiple factors. What you eat, whether or not you smoke or use other tobacco products, if you have poor dental hygiene, dry mouth, which medications you’re taking, if you have any oral infections — these are all potential causes of bad breath.
Food particles left in your mouth increase bacteria that can also cause foul odor. Certain foods like onions and garlic can also contribute to bad breath, since as they digest, they enter into your bloodstream which circulates to your lungs. Until these foods are completely out of your system, no amount of brushing will halt that garlic breath!
For other food related halitosis, routine brushing and flossing will dislodge food particles left behind. Once there are no food particles left, then plaque-causing bacteria has less of an environment to grow in. Don’t forget to brush your tongue as well, since it can also trap odor-causing bacteria.
Smoking, and the use of other tobacco products, come with their own unique smell which lingers in the mouth. It also doesn’t help that tobacco products contribute to things like gum disease, which is another cause of halitosis.
Dry mouth is a lack of saliva, and saliva helps to clean your mouth. Saliva removes particles that contribute to bad odors. We all have “morning breath,” which is essentially dry mouth that occurs while you sleep. This can be worse if you are someone who sleeps with your mouth open!
Infection, localized or because of periodontal disease, is another reason for bad odor in your mouth.
Some medications and diseases can also contribute to bad breath. These should be addressed with your doctor.
To help reduce bad breath, the obvious answer is to practice good oral hygiene. Brush and floss twice a day! Mouthwash is another aid you can use to solve your bad breath issues.
If it persists after a better oral hygiene routine, however, you may want to discuss this with your dentist. It may be that you have periodontitis or clinical dry mouth, which may be helped by dental treatment.
Prescription mouthwashes exist that aid in killing bacteria or helping with dry mouth as well that you may want to try. It may also be that you simply need to come in for more cleanings[ to aid in keeping bacteria levels in check.
If your bad breath is caused by your diet, you may want to think about altering it for a bit to allow some of those spices, garlic, or onion to leave your system and see if that is the culprit. Lastly — don’t forget to drink plenty of water.
Contact Cascadia Dental Specialists today to schedule an appointment and start your journey toward dental health!