We have all experienced a case of bad breath or “halitosis” in our lives. Some of us notice it occasionally, like first thing in the morning or after a flavorful meal, but for others, it is a chronic problem. Here is what you need to know about what causes bad breath, how to prevent it, and when it is a sign that you need to see a dentist.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Most commonly, bad breath is caused by bacteria that occur naturally in the mouth. These bacteria feed on the food and debris that are left on your teeth and tongue after a meal.
When your body doesn’t make enough saliva to continually rinse your mouth throughout the day, the result is often bad breath. Dry mouth can be caused by dehydration, certain medications or mouth breathing.
There are many foods that can cause bad breath such as garlic, coffee, and dairy, to name a few.
Gum disease is an infection in the gums caused by plaque. Persistent bad breath can be a sign of gum disease.
Smoking harms your body in countless ways. Bad breath is just one of the many negatives of tobacco use.
Other Health Conditions
In some cases, chronic bad breath can be caused by health problems such as diabetes, sinus conditions, or gastric reflux.
How To Prevent Bad Breath
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
The number one thing you can do to prevent bad breath is to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day to get rid of halitosis-causing bacteria. Using an over-the-counter mouthwash can also help to wash away that bacteria and give your breath a fresh smell. If you wear dentures, be sure to clean them thoroughly every day.
Combat Dry Mouth
To prevent bad breath caused by dry mouth, be sure to drink plenty of water. You can also try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugar-free candies, or using an alcohol-free mouthwash.
When you quit smoking, your health will improve, your body will thank you and your breath will be fresher!
See Your Dentist Regularly
Regular visits to the dentist prevent plaque from building up on teeth, and can keep bad breath causing conditions like gum disease from developing in the first place.
When Is Bad Breath A Sign That I Need To See A Dentist?
When you start to notice bad breath, make sure that you are following a good oral hygiene routine by brushing and flossing twice a day, drinking plenty of water, and eating a healthy diet. If the problem still persists, it is a good idea to make an appointment with a dentist so that they can help you find and treat the cause of your bad breath, or refer you to someone who can.
Bad breath is a common problem that can often be remedied by small changes in your diet or oral hygiene habits. Regular visits to your dentist are the best way to prevent and treat bad breath. To schedule an exam contact the professionals at Aesthetic Dental and Specialty Center today.