Everyone’s had bad breath at one time or another. But there are reasons for its occurrence, and ways to prevent it, too.
What Causes Bad Breath?
There are a number of reasons bad breath, also known as halitosis, can occur. These include:
Coffee, raw onions and garlic, and other foods with a strong taste can all affect your breath - but brushing carefully after consuming these foods or beverages can go a long way to preventing bad breath, as can mouth freshening xylitol gum.
Smoking causes bad breath both from the smell of cigarettes themselves, and by causing gum disease, which is a major reason for mouth odor.
Gum disease can be exacerbated or even caused by smoking. The overall cause however is related to hygiene, when dental plaque isn’t removed from teeth by a combination of routine at-home care and regular visits to your dentist for professional cleaning, it turns into tartar, a sticky residue that can’t be removed by brushing alone.
Tartar contains bacteria, and causes gum pockets where tartar, plaque, food particles, and bacteria can also collect.
Another common reason for bad breath is that your mouth is dry, and you do not have enough saliva to effectively dilute and rinse away bacteria and food particles causing them to become concentrated and cause an odor.
Sinus and Throat Issues
From allergies to chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, and respiratory infections, each of these conditions can cause bad breath. So too can other health issues, such as gastroesophageal reflux disorder, kidney or liver disease, and diabetes.
Four Ways to Prevent Bad Breath
So, barring an ongoing allergy or medical concern, here are some simple ways to protect against having bad breath.
Number One: Prevent Dry Mouth
Stay hydrated, drink water instead of soda, juice, or coffee. Limit your intake of alcohol, and use an alcohol-free mouthwash. Using sugar-free gum can also help.
Number Two: Brush and Floss Twice a Day
Brush twice a day for two full minutes, twice a day. And one to two times a day, be sure to floss.
One way to be sure you are brushing for the proper length of time is to divide your mouth in four areas, spending thirty seconds on each one, and carefully but thoroughly, using a soft toothbrush, brush fronts, backs, and all the chewing surfaces and biting areas of your teeth.
Floss gently, but thoroughly, again carefully working your way up to the gumline. A tongue scraper is another additional option to freshen breath, if recommended by your dental team.
And, if you wear Invisalign straightening trays, dentures, or a retainer, be sure to clean them every day, too using a soft toothbrush or specialized soak.
Number Three: Quit Smoking
From causing bad breath to lung diseases and cander, quitting smoking is a terrific thing to do for your health overall. And because the smoke itself causes odor, encourages gum disease, and dry mouth, when you quit, you’ll prevent bad breath, too.
Number Four: Schedule Routine Dental Exams
Make and keep those dental appointments, every six months or as recommended by your dental team in order to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, two big causes of bad breath and overall poor dental and bodily health. Professional cleaning and exams help to eliminate and prevent problems before they start, including problems with bad breath.
Ready to Schedule an Appointment?
Whether you’re ready to schedule an appointment and discuss bad breath issues, or to simply schedule a regular dental cleaning and exam, reach out to us today. We’re here to help you with all your dental needs and find a solution for bad breath.