Defeating Bad Breath
We’ve all been there — sitting in the middle of a job interview or a first date and realizing that our breath is far from minty fresh. Even when everything else is going well, bad breath can be enough to ruin your confidence and sour a good experience. So why do we get bad breath, and what can we do to stop it?
Oral Bacteria & The Food We Eat
In order to effectively fight bad breath, it’s important to figure out the root cause (no pun intended). The simplest and most common cause of bad breath is leftover food particles that get stuck between teeth after a meal. The naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths break down these particles and the end result is not pleasant smelling. The good news is that oral bacteria can be combated with a good daily hygiene routine. This includes daily flossing, twice-daily brushing, using a tongue scraper, and chewing sugar-free gum between meals.
Causes of Chronic Bad Breath
Chronic bad breath, also called halitosis, may not be solved by good oral hygiene practices alone. Halitosis can be caused by:
- Chronic conditions including diabetes, liver or kidney disease, and acid reflux.
- Medications can cause dry mouth. Without saliva to wash away food particles & neutralize acid, bad breath can occur.
- Mouth-breathing tends to dry out the mouth which can lead to the same problems described above.
- Mouth, nose, & throat infections. Bad breath can be the result of increased mucous from a cold or a sinus infection.
- Pregnancy. Morning sickness and nausea can cause bad breath due to extra acid in the mouth. This can also be a problem for people struggling with bulimia.
- Tobacco in any form leaves smelly chemicals in the mouth and can also dry it out. In addition, it increases the risk of oral cancer and gum disease, which negatively impact breath as well.
- Tooth decay and gum disease. Poor oral health often goes hand-in-hand with chronic bad breath. In fact, cavities and periodontitis are caused by the same bacteria that produces bad breath.
Keeping Your Breath Fresh
Even if a regimented oral hygiene routine isn’t enough to keep bad breath completely at bay, it will certainly help to manage it. And working with your dentist to treat the underlying cause you may be able to eliminate chronic bad breath all together. For example, quitting smoking (in case you needed another reason to quit) will eliminate a major cause of bad breath. If dry mouth is a problem, chewing sugar-free gum and sucking on mints can help to stimulate saliva production.
Smileboston Can Help
We want all our patients to feel confident about their breath. Discovering the cause of bad breath is a crucial step in fighting back and the professionals at Smileboston Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry are your best allies. Call us at 617-277-4100 to schedule an appointment and find the answers you need to Smile Always!
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