What’s Your Bad Breath Telling You?

fight bad breathNobody wakes up with their mouth smelling like roses, but for some, bad breath (or halitosis) persists even after brushing. Bad breath is a particularly embarrassing oral health problem that many people face.

Common Causes of Halitosis

From a meal with too many onions to improper brushing technique, there are plenty of explanations for smelly breath:

Poor Oral Hygiene

Subpar oral care habits are the most typical culprit of bad breath. If you don’t brush and floss properly, leftover food particles create bacteria and produce unwanted smells when they break down in your mouth. As a result, daily brushing and flossing is the most effective way to fight stinky breath. Keeping your teeth, gums, and tongue clean will reduce any unwanted odors due to leftover food particles.

Medication

Some drugs decrease your mouth’s production of saliva, resulting in dry mouth. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, saliva keeps the soft tissues of your mouth moist and hydrated and washes food particles and bacteria away from the surfaces of your teeth. When mouth dryness occurs, bacteria begins to build up in your mouth, which can lead to an unpleasant odor. If you experience dry mouth as a side effect of one of your medications, be sure to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.

Diet

Certain foods with intense smells, like onions and garlic, will remain on your breath well after you eat. If your meals are to blame for your halitosis problems, try brushing and using a minty mouthwash after eating smelly foods to remove any lingering particles and freshen up your breath.

Tobacco Use

Whether you’re smoking or using dip, tobacco has a strong odor that lingers long after your last nicotine fix. Certain kinds of tobacco products such as cigarettes will also dry out your mouth, another cause of halitosis. While quitting altogether is ideal, if you absolutely must keep up the habit, nicotine gum is a good option for a product that doesn’t produce much odor.

Health Conditions

In some cases, halitosis is a symptom of another disease such as bronchiectasis or diabetes. If you suffer from chronic bad breath with no explanation for it, be sure to check with your doctor to see if a more significant health problem may be to blame.

Ways to Banish Bad Breath

Whenever you experience halitosis from time to time, you can follow these steps to solve your breath problems immediately:

  1. Fight Dry Mouth
    Drinking plenty of water will help rinse your mouth of bad odors. You can also chew gum and snack on specific foods to help stimulate saliva production.
  2. Keep a Kit On You
    Carry an oral health kit with floss and a toothbrush in it to clean your teeth after meals or whenever lousy breath strikes.
  3. Use Breath Fresheners
    Gum, breath mints, and oral rinses will instantly make your breath minty fresh!

If you suffer from chronic halitosis, your best bet is to assess the actual reason for your smelly smile so you can treat the root problem instead of just managing symptoms.

Your dentist can perform a series of tests that decipher the source of your bad breath. Once you know the cause, you can treat the underlying problem and rid yourself of halitosis once and for all. To find out more, call Dentistry at East Piedmont today!

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| October 15, 2018 |

Dental Tips

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About the Author: Dr. Patel

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