Bad breath, also called halitosis, is pretty common in both kids and adults. It’s completely normal to have bad breath from time to time, especially first thing in the morning or after eating odorous foods like onions and garlic. Mints and mouthwashes can sometimes mask the issue, but to truly defeat it, you’ll need to treat the underlying cause.
Causes of Bad Breath
If you routinely deal with morning breath or struggle with persistent bad breath throughout the day, it could be a symptom of something else. Here are the most common reasons why you might have bad breath.
Food and Drink
Your food and drink choices can have a big impact on your breath. Food particles that get stuck in hard-to-reach areas will naturally give off an odor as they decompose. Foods comprised of sulfur compounds, such as garlic or onions, can leave a lingering odor to your breath as they are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream. Coffee and alcohol can dry out your mouth and promote the growth of oral bacteria. Smoking is also linked to halitosis, leaving a stale stench on your breath from the smoke particles you inhale.
Cavities and Poor Hygiene
When you don’t regularly brush and floss properly, food particles get stuck between your teeth and bacteria begin to grow. The bacteria cause plaque to build up and that leads to cavities and tooth decay that smells bad.
Dry Mouth and Mouth Breathing
When you breathe through your mouth, whether when sleeping or because of a stuffy nose, it prevents you from generating saliva. Saliva is important to rinse and wash bacteria away.
Infections, Illness, and Mouth Sores
Certain illnesses, especially upper respiratory, sinus or throat infections, may lead to bad breath because of nasal congestion and mouth breathing. Bacteria also feed on the mucus produced by the body. Bad breath usually resolves once the infection, illness or sores clear up.
Certain medications can leave an unusual smell in your mouth, especially if the medicine causes dry mouth.
Other Health Conditions
Acid reflux, bronchitis, pneumonia, diabetes, and certain liver and kidney problems are just a few conditions associated with halitosis. Sleeping disorders that contribute to dry mouth can also inhibit saliva production essential for a healthy breath.
Overcoming Bad Breath
In most cases, bad breath is treatable. So, what’s the best way to go about this?
One of the first things you should do is make sure you are brushing and flossing properly. Be sure to brush for at least two minutes, twice a day (don’t forget your tongue), and floss at least once every day. You might also want to add an antibacterial mouth rinse to your daily routine.
Quit smoking and the use of other tobacco products. Quitting can help your health in more ways than just freshening your breath. It can reduce your risk for heart disease and several types of cancer.
Make sure to stay hydrated. Water helps increase saliva production to wash away the bacteria that cause bad breath. Try to avoid sugary and carbonated drinks. The excess sugar will only feed the naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth and add to the bad breath.
Keep your dentures or dental appliances clean. If you wear a bridge or a denture, clean it thoroughly at least once a day or as directed by your dentist. If you use a dental retainer or mouth guard, clean it each time you put it in your mouth.
Steer clear of certain foods and drinks you know cause you to have bad breath. If you do decide to eat the odor-causing problem foods, make sure you brush your teeth right after eating.
Jr Dental Can Help With Bad Breath
The most important step you can take to combat bad breath is to visit your dentist regularly. When we see you regularly, it allows us to identify and monitor potential problems, like plaque, tartar, cavities and tooth sensitivity, before they get out of control.
If you have any concerns about your bad breath, please let us know. Halitosis is usually a symptom of something else and we at JR Dental are here to help! Call us at (904) 786-5850 or schedule an appointment today.