No one is totally immune to having bad breath, especially when you first wake up in the morning or just ate some particularly garlicky food, but if you find your spouse won’t kiss you and your friends are always passing you a breath mint, you may have bigger issues. Halitosis, which is just the fancy medical term for chronic bad breath, is one of the most common concerns that patients have when they visit the dentist. Here are a few of the top culprits of bad breath—and the solutions to helping you fight it.
1. Poor Dental Health
By far the most common cause of bad breath is poor dental hygiene. After you eat, food particles remain on and in between the teeth. If you are not brushing and flossing every day, these leftover food particles will create odor-causing bacteria, which will then cause bad breath. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each session and flossing every night before you go to bed will rid your mouth of unwanted bacteria and keep your mouth healthy and clean. It’s also important to visit your dentist twice a year for a routine teeth cleaning.
2. Pungent Foods
Certain foods, such as garlic and onions, can be a cause of bad breath. Garlic and onions come from the same family of plants that have a high sulfuric compound, causing an unpleasant smell even after digestion. Unfortunately, even after brushing and flossing you may have bad breath for a couple of days after eating these foods. In addition to brushing and flossing, consider swishing some mouthwash a couple of times a day and eventually the odor will go away.
3. Dry Mouth
Before you even brush or floss, your saliva has been helping to clean your mouth by rinsing off dead cells that can accumulate on the teeth, tongue, and gums. If you aren’t producing enough saliva, your mouth won’t get the rinse it needs, thus leaving odor-producing bacteria in your mouth and causing bad breath. Dry mouth can be the result of many things, such as certain medications and some illnesses. To read more on dry mouth, check out our blog post Fun Facts About Spit.
4. Other Serious Diseases
Although uncommon, sometimes chronic bad breath can be an indicator of a more serious problem, such as gum disease, acid reflux, and even liver or kidney problems. If you are concerned you have bad breath that won’t go away, please make an appointment with us at Cornerstone Family Dentistry and we will be happy to help you figure out the problem and find the solution that is right for you.