Bad breath happens to all of us sooner or later. In fact, studies show that 50 percent of adults (and those are just the people being honest) have had bad breath — halitosis in scientific terms — at some point in their lives.
What Causes Bad Breath?
There are various reasons you may be afflicted with bad breath. Most of these causes are harmless, but some of them can be a warning of serious issues with your health. Dr. Alla Brown and Dr. Amanda Newberry of Lanier Family & Cosmetic dentistry would like to educate you on the common causes of halitosis to help you fight bad breath.
Countless bacteria, most of them harmless live in our mouths since it is basically the perfect environment for them to flourish: warm, wet and dark. These bacteria feed on the residue and particles of food that are left behind in your mouth. Their digestive process leaves foul-smelling waste that is a common cause of bad breath.
Your mouth may not be producing enough saliva which is important because it constantly rinses the bacteria and leftover food particles out of your mouth. If you have a dry mouth that means that your mouth and teeth aren’t being cleaned as much as they should. Dry mouth can be a side effect of certain medications, untreated salivary gland issues or by breathing through your mouth due to sinus issues. Keeping properly hydrated is vital to preventing dry mouth. Doctors recommend drinking at least 2 liters of water (eight 8 ounce bottle) per day to stay hydrated.
Persistent bad breath that won’t go away or a constant bad taste in your mouth can be a sign of advanced gum disease. Gum disease occurs when sticky plaque adheres to your teeth and gums are fed upon by bacteria. This causes your gums to become irritated, inflamed, and eventually infected. Gum tissue and even jaw bone tissue can be lost if gum disease is allowed to progress unchecked.
Most people know that gum disease and other mouth infections can cause bad breath. However, it is less widely known that some other medical conditions can also cause it. If your Lanier Cosmetic and Family Dentistry dentist has ruled out other dental or oral health issues and you brush and floss every day, your bad breath could stem from another problem. Problems as varied as a sinus condition, gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease can all cause bad breath as a side effect. If you suspect you have any of these ailments, see your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
How Can I Prevent Bad Breath?
Brush and Floss
Brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing at least once a day will help you eliminate the bacteria in your mouth that can cause bad breath.
Take Care of Your Tongue
Don’t forget to brush off your tongue while you’re brushing your teeth. You may have noticed a white or brown coating at the back of your tongue. This is where most of the bacteria that cause bad breath can be found. You can use your toothbrush or a tongue scraper to clean them off your tongue.
Over-the-counter mouthwashes can kill some of the bacteria or neutralize and this will mask bad breath. However, this solution is only temporary and the bad breath will soon return. Mouthwash is not a substitute for regular brushing and flossing.
Keep Saliva In Your Mouth
Eat healthy foods that require a lot of chewing which produces saliva. You can also chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candies to help with this issue. Drinking plenty of water (doctors recommend 2 liters a day) to prevent dehydration is also recommended. Your dentist may also prescribe artificial saliva if the above fixes do not help.
Schedule Regular Appointments With Your Dentist
If you’re in the Buford, GA area and you’re concerned about what might be causing your bad breath, schedule an appointment to see Dr. Alla Brown or Dr. Amanda Newberry at Lanier Family & Cosmetic Dentistry. Regular check-ups will help your dentist to spot any impending problems such as gum disease or dry mouth and stop them before they become more serious.
If your dentist finds that your mouth is otherwise healthy, you may be referred to your primary care doctor. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Brown or Dr. Newberry at Lanier Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today, call (678) 359-4707 or make an appointment online.