Bad Breath – 6 Causes (7 Solutions)
We have all had bad breath at some point. It’s just one of those disgusting phenomena that happen sometimes. In fact, studies show that about 50% of adults have had chronic bad breath, or halitosis, at some point in their adult lives.
What Causes Bad Breath?
There are a variety of things that may be the suspect of putrid breath. Some of these are harmless causes, and others can be more serious, but here are the main reasons people have breath that smells terrible:
- Bacteria: Considering how many hundreds of kinds of bacteria live in your mouth it’s no wonder that an imbalance of certain ones can cause your breath to smell terrible. The bacteria in your mouth is fed by the food you eat, which can produce foul smelling odors left in your mouth.
- Dry Mouth: If your mouth is not producing enough saliva this can also result in terrible-smelling breath. Dry mouth can be caused by some medications, and sometimes it can also be a result of your salivary glands not working properly, or even can result from breathing through your mouth too often.
- Gum Disease: Bad breath that won’t go away or breath that won’t smell better no matter how many mints you have or how many times you brush your teeth may mean that the problem is deeper in your mouth than just on your teeth. It may be a problem that is lurking underneath the surfaces of the mouth such as in your gums. Usually this will be from plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth, and at this point the gum disease will be pretty advanced.
- Foods/Drinks: Certain foods and drinks can make your breath temporarily less than pleasant to smell. Some of the worst offenders include onions and garlic as well a coffee. Others will notice the effects when you exhale!
- Smoking & Tobacco: Over time, smoking will stain your teeth, which will give you wretched breath and put you at risk for a host of other oral health problems including irritated gums and the inability to taste food well as you would be able to if you didn’t use tobacco products.
- Medical Conditions: Mouth infections can cause bad breath. However, sometimes if your dentist has ruled out other causes and you are brushing and flossing on a committed basis every single day you may look for other underlying conditions. Some of these conditions include things like sinus conditions, gastric reflux, diabetes, or liver/kidney diseases. In this case you will need to seek your healthcare provider’s intervention to help treat the problem.
How Can I Keep Bad Breath Away?
Here are 7 ways:
- Brush & Floss Regularly: Probably the easiest and most effective way to keep bad breath at bay is to commit to a regular schedule of brushing/flossing daily. This includes brushing at least 2-3x per day and flossing at least 1x per day. Keeping the food and bacteria particles from building up in your mouth can help avoid the nasty odors and stenches that come with it.
- Take Care of Your Tongue: When you are cleaning your mouth don’t forget about that floppy thing called your tongue. If you see a white or brownish coating on your tongue that is a good clue that it has been neglected in the past, and needs some extra TLC. That film can be bacteria or even fungi that have grown in the mouth because it has been left without being cleaned for too long. Ensure you are cleaning your tongue on a regular basis along with the rest of your mouth.
- Mouth Washes: There are many over-the-counter mouthwashes available that can help keep your teeth squeaky clean. These washes neutralize bacteria and also can temporarily make breath smell a lot better. It’s a temporary solution, but be sure to brush and floss on a regular basis as well.
- Clean Your Dentures: If you happen to have dentures be sure you are taking them out at night and that you are soaking them in the appropriate solutions to keep them sanitary and brush them with a soft bristle brush and water or toothpaste as instructed by your dentist.
- Keep That Saliva Flowing: Make sure you are getting that saliva flowing throughout the day. Promote saliva creation by eating a variety of foods that require your mouth to produce more saliva throughout the day. You can also try chewing sugar-free gums and sucking on extra sugar-free candies to help promote extra saliva production.
- Quit Smoking: Tobacco will make your breath smell even worse than it would otherwise, and it promotes tooth decay and rotting so kick the tobacco habits ASAP! This can also help improve breathing and lower chances of cancers. It improves your life in many ways past oral health!
- Visit Your Dentist Regularly: If you are concerned about chronic bad breath visit the dentist regularly to ensure you are not having any gum disease such as gingivitis or even periodontitis, and make sure your teeth are free from tartars and plaques that can cause odors. Ensure you are not experiencing tooth decay or rot as well.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about us visit us here or call us 909-465-1016.
The Ramona Dentistry Team
“Where Family Comes First”