Bad Breath Blues – What Causes Bad Breath and How to Combat It?
Are you constantly reaching for gum and or mints? Are you frequently embarrassed about your breath? Bad breath, commonly known as “halitosis”, can affect people of all ages. Masking your bad breath may work for a short time, but unless the root cause is fixed may return. For many of us, Bad breath is a common condition that is, luckily, treatable.
Let’s discuss the main causes of halitosis.
Causes of Bad Breath
- Food and Drink – As we discussed last month, your diet has a big impact on your oral health
- Intensely flavored ingredients, like onions and garlic, enter your bloodstream when digested and release odors that present themselves every time you exhale. These foods may also get stuck in hard to reach areas such as under the gums, and or in cavities- and cause bad breath as well.
- Coffee and alcohol can affect your breath because they cause decreased saliva production, resulting in a drier mouth – the ideal home for odor-causing bacteria.
- Overall unbalanced diets that are high in sugar or high in protein can have negative effects on your breath. Sugars feed bacteria in our mouths and in the process produce smells. Protein is harder to digest and its’ breakdown can release odors.
- Dry Mouth – One of the purposes of saliva is to remove food in your mouth that might be causing bad breath. In some cases, dry mouth can be resolved by simply drinking water to hydrate the mouth. In others, dry mouth is a condition that can be caused by stress or as a side effect of medication.
- Medication – When medication is broken down in our body, it releases chemical compounds into our bloodstreams that can present themselves as odors in our breath in every exhale.
- Poor Oral Health – When we eat, tiny food particles get stuck all around our mouths. If they are not removed, they can lead to the build-up of bacteria that ultimately produce the odors that cause bad breath. Poor oral health can also lead to cavities, gum disease and other conditions which are also associated with bad breath. Gum disease (periodontitis) makes it difficult for the manual removal of food and bacteria- therefore will increase plaque and halitosis.
Now how do we get Minty, Fresh Breath?
Staying hydrated and maintaining health is always a good idea! This will help you not only feel good but look good and smell good! We encourage an at-home regimen that includes brushing (2x/day!) for 2 minutes, flossing, and mouthwash to combat halitosis. In addition, incorporating tongue brushing (yes the tongue!) will also help remove a lot of the stinky bacteria- especially in the back of the mouth. A professional cleaning (2x/year) and exam will help you maintain a sparkly, healthy, fresh smile. Come visit us today for your fresh breath!