You may not know it, but your breath says more about you than where you ate for lunch! Bad breath, or halitosis, can be a sign that you need to see the dentist rather than popping another mint into your mouth.
What Causes Bad Breath? And no, it isn’t garlic!
- Your mouth is home to a host of helpful bacteria. When you eat, bacteria in your mouth aid in digestion by breaking down food particles. Bad breath is a byproduct of that breakdown. Often all that is needed is a toothbrush or floss to remove the food the bacteria are feeding on. While brushing, remember to brush your tongue. The back of the tongue is a haven for stinky bacteria. Don’t forget any dental appliances you have, too!
- Other times, a cold, sinus infection, or allergies can contribute to postnasal drip and produce an unpleasant odor. If the problem persists after the condition is finished, you may want to visit your doctor.
- If you have a dry mouth, you can experience bad breath. Your spit helps rinse your teeth and wash food particles and bacteria away from their surfaces. Dry mouth is the reason for dreaded morning breath, as saliva production drops while you sleep. Mouth breathers also create dry mouth conditions as saliva evaporates and isn’t available to perform its proper function. In addition, smoking causes saliva to evaporate from the inhaling of hot air, and chemicals in tobacco smoke can remain in the mouth for hours. Some medications can cause dry mouth. Popping in a piece of sugar-free gum and keeping hydrated can help to keep the mouth moist and limit any unpleasant symptoms from dry mouth.
When To See The Dentist
This makes it sound like bad breath is nothing more than an inconvenience for those you are talking to! There are other causes of bad breath that are more serious and deserve a trip to the dentist.
- If you have chronic bad breath, gum disease may be the culprit. Gum disease occurs when plaque and tartar build up on the teeth, irritating the gums. In fact, one of the distinguishing symptoms of gum disease is bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth. Gum disease can lead to tooth and bone loss, and if the bacteria spreads through the bloodstream, stimulate a chronic inflammatory response throughout the body.
- Dental abscesses occur when harmful oral bacteria accumulate around the root of a tooth and develop into a pocket of pus. These infections can quickly spread throughout the bloodstream if not treated and can be deadly. See your emergency dentist as soon as possible!
- A few medical conditions such as acid reflux, diabetes, and kidney or liver problems can produce bad breath. Your dentist will help point you in the right direction to get help.
How To Come Out Smelling Like Roses
Good smelling breath begins with good oral care. Brush and floss, drink lots of water, eat healthy, and avoid smoking. Mouthwash can also help. Spearmint gum may temporarily mask the odor of offensive onions, but it is important not to mask what your breath is saying about your health. Get the help you need and call us today for a convenient appointment!
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