Do You Know What Is Causing Your Bad Breath?
July 18, 2017
Categories: Dentistry FAQs
Bad breath can leave you feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable. But since the causes of persistent bad breath, or halitosis, can be different from person to person, solving the issue isn’t always easy.
Understanding the potential causes of bad breath is the first step toward finding a solution. And if everything else is ruled out, a trip to the dentist for a professional opinion is your best bet. Here are a few potential causes of bad breath, and what you can do about them.
Poor Dental Hygiene
Not sticking to a regular hygiene regimen is rough on our dental health, but it is also a primary cause of halitosis. Unless the food particles that build up throughout the day are quickly brushed and rinsed away, the bacteria they foster is what causes bad odors.
If this is the cause of your halitosis, brushing and flossing regularly can get the problem in check quickly. Make sure to brush your tongue, as its surface is where a lot of mouth bacteria tends to collect. A small amount of mouthwash might also help get rid of those unwanted odors.
Saliva is the mouth’s natural cleanser, washing away many food particles before they have a chance to settle in. But if your mouth is regularly dry, you might not be producing enough saliva to get the job done.
A number of things can cause persistent dry mouth, or xerostomia – smoking and other tobacco use, alcohol, certain medications, or even sleep apnea (your mouth can dry out if you snore regularly).
If none of these common causes seem to be the source of your problem, your dentist can help you identify the root cause.
Even if you brush and floss after each meal, some foods and beverages just have a way of hanging around. Garlic and onions may seem obvious, but the reason isn’t – these foods produce odors while digesting that will come back up, souring your breath even after a thorough brushing.
Low-carb diets can cause a similar issue, through something known as ketosis. With fewer carbs, your body burns more fat, releasing foul-smelling chemicals called ketones through your breath. If this is the case, adjustments to your diet may be in order.
Periodontal Disease and Bad Breath
In many cases, bad breath can be a warning sign of issues more serious than lax hygiene or a change in diet.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, occurs as small spaces between your teeth and gums become infected and inflamed. Halitosis is an early indicator of periodontal disease, but as the condition worsens, a sufferer can experience receding gums, lost teeth, and bone loss.
Gum disease is serious, but it’s not the only underlying medical issue that can cause bad breath. Other culprits include diabetes, sinus inflammation, chronic reflux, some auto-immune disorders and cancers, or even liver failure.
Visit Your Dentist
If you’ve made the adjustments discussed above and are still being challenged by bad breath, scheduling your next dental appointment is the best option.
Our professionals at Merion Village Dental will be happy to help you eliminate halitosis. Through the creation of a custom treatment plan, deep cleanings and non-surgical periodontal therapy, we regularly help patients overcome their bad breath. To schedule your first appointment, visit us online or call 614-443-4400.
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