Bad breath – 7 things you should knowGrandview Dental | May 15, 2018
THERE’S NOTHING WORSE than being in the middle of a social situation and suddenly realizing you have bad breath. Whether it’s a job interview or a first date, having bad breath can steal away a person’s confidence and ruin a wonderful moment. But why does bad breath happen?
How Bad Breath Works
Sometimes bad breath is the temporary result of eating a particularly pungent meal. Why? Bacteria in our mouths break down leftover food particles, resulting in unpleasant smells. Dental hygiene practices like daily flossing, twice-daily brushing, tongue-cleaning, and chewing sugar-free gum are a simple solution to minimize the bad breath effect of food.
But some people struggle with a more chronic form of bad breath, also called halitosis. Halitosis can be caused by a variety of factors and isn’t always easy to get rid of:
- Tooth decay and gum disease. Cavities and gum disease are both caused by the bacteria that produce nasty-smelling chemicals, so poor dental health and halitosis often go hand-in-hand.
- Medications. Many medications can cause dry mouth, and dry mouth leads to other oral health problems including halitosis because there isn’t enough saliva to wash away food and neutralize acids.
- Mouth, nose, and throat infections. Infections that cause an increase in mucous can also raise the amount of oral bacteria and contribute to bad breath.
- Tobacco products. No matter what form it comes in, tobacco leaves smelly chemicals in the mouth and can cause dry mouth. Tobacco also increase the risk of gum disease or oral cancer, which are other causes of bad breath.
- Pregnancy. Pregnancy symptoms such as nausea and morning sickness can cause bad breath, as can eating disorders like bulimia.
- Mouth-breathing. Breathing through the mouth dries out saliva and leads to all the usual problems of dry mouth, including bad breath.
- Chronic conditions. In some cases, bad breath can be linked to conditions that have little to do with your oral hygiene, such as acid reflux, diabetes, or liver or kidney disease.
How To Keep your mouth Minty Fresh
The first defense against halitosis is your regular oral hygiene habits. Brushing, flossing, and cleaning the tongue all help get rid of smelly plaque and bacteria lingering in the crevices between and around teeth. Sugar-free gum and mints are great solutions for when you’re on the go (but they aren’t substitutes for brushing and flossing). Quitting smoking will also eliminate a major source of bad breath.
See a dentist
If you’re still struggling with halitosis even when maintaining an impeccable dental hygiene regimen, there’s no reason to suffer in silence. Schedule an appointment with our Columbus dentist office so that we can discover the cause. We want to help you stay healthy and confident!
Thank you for being part of the Grandview Dental Care family.
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The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.