Many of us may have woken up in the morning with a foul smell coming from our mouths. That is nothing but bad breath. Now don’t panic! Bad breath happens to everyone but only once in a while. Studies suggest that 50% of adults have had bad breath at some point in their lives. However if you have been experiencing bad breath persistently then it is time to visit a dentist, because it could be a sign of poor dental hygiene and or other health problems.
Now you may be wondering what causes bad breath and how does one get rid of it? Well this is what this blog is all about. So let us understand what the causes of bad breath are before we move to how to get rid of it, because once you know the cause the solution is clear.
What causes bad breath?
Bad breath is caused by bacteria in the mouth. Bad breath is also known medically as halitosis and is caused by the following –
- Poor dental care – When we do not brush or floss our teeth regularly or properly what happens is food particles are left behind in the mouth which is food for bacteria already present in our mouth. The bacteria break down this leftover food debris and in the chemical reaction that ensues sulfur compounds are released causing the foul odor.
- Smoking and chewing tobacco – Smoking and chewing tobacco are extremely bad for teeth. They not only make your breath smell bad but irritate your gums, stain your teeth and affect your taste as well. Smoking has been identified as one of the major reasons of bad breath.
- Dry mouth – Some people have a medical condition called xerostomia which is called dry mouth in layman’s language. Dry mouth occurs due to our body’s inability to produce enough saliva required by the mouth. Saliva is critical to not just moisten our mouth but it also neutralizes acids produced by bacteria. It helps wash away food debris and dead cells from the tongue, gums and cheeks. In case of less production of saliva the food debris and dead cells are left behind which decay and produce the bad breath.
- Breathing through the mouth – Some people tend to breathe through their mouths rather than nostrils especially while sleeping. Such people also have more chances of bad breath than those who breathe through the nostrils, the reason being breathing through the mouth can dry it leading to faster decay of food debris in the mouth.
- Gum disease – Bad breath can be a consequence of advanced gum disease. This is generally accompanied by constant bad taste in the mouth. It is important to consult your dentist right away if you observe these symptoms.
- Food items – There are some infamous food items like onion, garlic, cheese, pastrami and coffee which are well known for giving one a bad breath. Eating these foods which have strong odors leave a lingering bad smell in the mouth.
- Medical conditions – Other than gum disease there are other medical conditions for which bad breath is a symptom. These include-
- Acid Reflux
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Liver or Kidney issues.
Now that we know what are the causes of bad breath it is easy to get rid of it.
Solutions to bad breath
Here are some of the things all of us can do to ensure we never suffer from bad breath.
- First and foremost we must take care of our oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day, flossing and rinsing our mouth with water after every meal is a must. One can also use mouthwashes (for more about mouthwashes read our blog – Advantages and Disadvantages of Mouthwashes). However please note that the use of mouthwash covers only a symptom and may not be a long lasting solution for the underlying disease which is causing bad breath (unless a medicated one has been prescribed by the doctor).
- Use a fluoride toothpaste and brush and floss in the correct manner. Discard your brush every 3 to 4 months or earlier if its bristles get frayed. Make sure to use a tongue scraper which can help get rid of bacteria on the tongue.
- If using dentures, remove them at night, clean them thoroughly. Same goes for people with braces and retainers.
- Quit smoking and don’t consume tobacco.
- Keep hydrating your mouth. You can eat a sugar free gum for this purpose to keep the saliva flowing.
- Eat a healthy diet. Eat more veggies than meat. Also eat fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, celery etc which have a hard exterior because when you bite into them, their hard exterior helps remove plaque from your teeth. Avoid eating strong odor food items like onion, garlic and coffee.
- Practice breathing through the nostrils if you tend to breathe through your mouth. Be aware when you breathe and avoid breathing through your mouth.
- Last but definitely not the least visit your dentist regularly. You must visit your dentist at least twice a year. Regular checkups help identify diseases early on before they become a bigger problem. You will save a ton of time, money and suffering by visiting your dentist regularly. If you however notice persistent bad breath visit your dentist immediately and not wait for your regular check up as only an expert can help identify the underlying cause.
Hope you enjoyed reading this blog and it will come in handy for you to get rid of that bad breath. Take care of your teeth and if you liked this blog do share it with your family and friends. Follow us on instagram @ensuredentalcaresaginawtx for offers, deals and more fun stuff like this.
Call Ensure Dental Care (the family dentist near you) on 940-274-3229 for more information or to schedule an appointment. Ensure Dental Care is the one of the best family dental clinics at Saginaw Texas. We accept all major insurance providers.