Bad breath happens to the best of us. Even if you brush and floss exactly how your dentist tells you to, a garlicky meal or acid reflux can make your breath less than kissable. So, what do you do? How do you know when it’s just a job for some mouthwash and gum, or if you need to see your dentist? Let’s look at why people get bad breath, how to treat it, and when it may indicate a more serious dental issue.
Where Does Bad Breath Come From
Having bad breath can be embarrassing and may cause people to avoid social situations. With aisles and aisles of products promising to cure, blast, and freshen up bad breath how do you know where to even start? It’s important to figure out what is causing your bad breath, to make sure you choose the best remedy, or seek professional care if needed. Let’s look at a few causes of bad breath.
We’ve all experienced this one. After a strongly seasoned meal, we may taste (and breathe out) garlic or onions for days. Food particles can get trapped and decompose, causing a bad odor
Smoking can also cause less-than-lovely breath. Not only does the smoke itself smell bad, smokers and tobacco users are at higher risk for gum disease. Gum disease or periodontal disease can also be a source of bad breath as we will see in number 4.
- Nose or throat conditions
If you experience post-nasal drip, throat infection, or other bacterial infections; those bacteria can also have an unpleasant odor.
Gum disease is caused by bacteria growing beneath the gumline, causing gum tissue degeneration and eventual tooth loss. The process of decomposition can create a foul smell on the breath. Professional deep cleaning and product use are necessary for proper treatment of the disease.
- Medication use and dry mouth
Certain medications can impact your breath by drying out your mouth. When you don’t produce enough saliva, bacteria can thrive and cause odor and damage to the teeth.
- Poor home dental care
Let’s get real. If food particles get stuck between teeth and gums and aren’t properly brushed or flossed away, they decompose—yuck! If you don’t want breath that smells like hot garbage, make sure you are brushing twice a day for at least 2 minutes and flossing daily. Removing the food from cracks and crevices will make a world of difference for your breath
When to seek help for your bad breath
If your bad breath is chronic, and won’t go away no matter what you try, you may have a more serious underlying issue. You could have an infection, the beginning stages of gum disease, or dry mouth. If you can’t manage your bad breath, make an appointment with Walker and Barr DMD today and we will help figure out what is causing it and how to best get your breath smelling fresh and clean!
The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.