Bad Breath is the ‘Kill-Joy’ of Social Interaction
Imagine sitting in the middle of a date, an interview, or a party with friends and realizing your breath is far from minty-fresh. We’ve all been there. Everything seems to be going along just fine and all a sudden our confidence is defeated and the event turns as sour as our breath. But why do we get bad breath and what can we do to prevent it?
It Could be All About Bacteria and the Food We Eat
To fight bad breath, it’s important to figure out the cause. The first and most common cause is food particles left between the teeth after eating. As the bacteria in the mouth breaks down these particles, it leaves a bad smell. This reason for bad breath is easily corrected with good oral hygiene. Floss at least once a day, brush regularly, use an oral scraper on the tongue, and chew sugar-free gum.
Other Causes of Bad Breath
Bad breath that does not go away with good oral hygiene alone is considered chronic bad breath, also called halitosis.
Halitosis may be caused by one or more of the following:
* Chronic health conditions. Bad breath may be linked to physical conditions you might think are totally unrelated to the way your breath smells. Acid reflux, Diabetes, and liver or kidney disease are a few of these culprits.
* Medications may be a contributing factor. One common side effect of many medications is dry mouth. Saliva plays an important roll is washing away food particles and neutralizing acid. Without sufficient saliva the mouth is vulnerable to problems like bad breath.
* Tobacco use. Tobacco in any form leaves an unattractive smell is the mouth. It also can cause the oral cavity to dry out (much is the same way as medications). Additionally, use of this product can increase the risk of oral cancer and gum disease, both of which negatively impact the odor of the breath.
* Bulimia. Due to frequent vomiting, people who suffer from bulimia have difficulty maintaining fresh breath.
* Pregnancy. Physical reactions to pregnancy, such as morning sickness and vomiting, can cause bad breath due to the increase in food particles and acid in the mouth.
* Upper respiratory infections. Bad breath can sometimes be the result of increased mucous from a cold or sinus infection.
* Mouth-breathing. Whether due to nasal blockage, or another reason, mouth-breathing tends to dry out the mouth, creating the absence of saliva necessary to washing away food particles and neutralizing acid.
* Gum disease and tooth decay. Cavities and periodontitis are caused by the same bacteria that breaks down food. Poor dental health often goes hand in hand with bad breath.
Keep Your Breath Fresh
Strict oral hygiene will help manage bad breath, even if it cannot stop it entirely. Oral hygiene in combination with finding and correcting the underlying cause will eliminate bad breath by hitting it at its source.
If you are a smoker, do everything you can to quit. (We know it’s hard.) If you breathe through your mouth, try to inhale more through your nose. If you have problems with dry mouth, chew sugar-free gum or pop a mint in your mouth to stimulate the production of saliva. Sipping water is also a great help.
Visit Your Dentist
The first and most important step to preventing bad breath is discovering the underlying cause. In this, your best ally is our dentist. Call and schedule an appointment to talk about preventive care and get the answers your need.
We want all our patients to feel confident and secure about their breath.