Bad breath, or halitosis, can be socially awkward occurrence and cause some embarrassing situations. It is primarily a result poor dental hygiene or caused by the food you eat. In rare circumstances, bad breath can be a sign of other health problems. Regardless of the cause, it’s an embarrassing problem to have and can often be corrected very easily.

Poor Dental Habits and Bad Breath

Whenever we eat, food particles remain packed around our teeth and gums unless we brush and floss them away. When left behind, food fuels bacterial growth between the teeth, on the tongue, and around the gums. The bacteria and broken down food can emit an odor that is considered unpleasant. This excess bacteria in the mouth can be kept under control with proper dental care both at home and in our office. Brushing and flossing regularly are important and antibacterial mouth rinses help reduce bacteria levels. Regular visits to the office for cleanings can help to remove more difficult deposits that have adhered to teeth over time.

Food and Bad Breath

During the normal process of breaking down food after eating, certain odors can be expelled from the mouth. The most common offensive foods are garlic and onion. As foods are absorbed into the bloodstream, they can produce some gasses that get expelled through many avenues including our breath. While brushing and flossing cover up the smell temporarily, the odor will not go away until it has passed through your body. Baking soda containing toothpastes are more effective than those that don’t contain it.

Other Health Problems Associated with Bad Breath

A symptom of gum disease is a persistent bad breath or bad taste in your mouth. Dry mouth, or xerostomia, can also be a contributing factor of bad breath. Saliva is needed to wash away bacteria and neutralize the acid. Sinus infections, postnasal drip, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, bronchitis, pneumonia, and other illnesses may also cause bad breath.

Prevent Bad Breath

As with most dental conditions, daily brushing and flossing are critical to maintaining good oral health. It is also important to see a dentist at least twice a year for cleanings. If you are a smoker: stop. Drink a lot of water because it keeps your mouth moist. Try sugarless gum and candy as well. Pay attention to the foods you eat. If you think they may be causing your bad breath, speak with our office staff the next time you come in for a checkup.