Everyone knows somebody with chronic bad breath. Most people might immediately assume they just don’t brush their teeth regularly, which may be the case, but bad breath can actually come from a variety of issues.
Here is a short video from the ADA on associated issues with bad breath.
While one may assume it may be a simple issue of bad hygiene, it can actually be a symptom of a larger, more serious underlying issue. Some common reasons are as follows:
- Dry mouth – this can be a consequence of certain medications, salivary gland problems or from simply breathing out of your mouth more often than your body can resupply saliva.
- Bacteria – after you eat food, the waste leftover from the food can leave a foul-smelling odor coming from your mouth as your mouth is a ‘hothouse’ that allows for bacteria to grow.
- Gum Disease – a common warning sign of advanced gum disease can be a constant bad taste in your mouth or bad breath can by cavity-causing bacteria, plaque.
- Food – garlic, onions, coffee etc. can simply leave a residual bad smell every time you exhale.
- Smoking and tobacco – if the general health problems associated with smoking and tobacco wasn’t enough, they also stain your teeth, reduces your taste of food, irritates your gums, makes you more likely to have gum disease, and since smoking affects your ability to smell, you might not even be able to smell if your breath does smell bad.
- Medical conditions – if the dentist has ruled out other possibilities, you brush and floss every day, it might be time to speak with your healthcare provider as bad breath can be a result of something such as a sinus condition, gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease.
Good news! There are ways you can treat and keep bad breath at bay!
- Start with brushing and flossing every day to get rid of bacteria.
- Over the counter mouthwash – despite it being a temporary solution, it can help wash away bacteria and works with brushing and flossing daily, but the longer you wait to brush and floss, the longer your bad breath might offend.
- Denture care – if you use dentures, make sure to clean them when you take them out every night to remove any leftover food or bacteria on them.
- Get more saliva – An increase of saliva can come from eating healthy foods that require a lot of chewing, like carrots or apples. You can also try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free candies.
- Quit smoking and tobacco will not only increase the overall health of your body and mouth but will also ultimately improve your quality of life as well.
Visit us regularly – make sure to be vigilant about coming to your regular cleanings so that issues surrounding cavities and plaque can be detected and treated as soon as possible such as gum disease. If you still have issues with bad breath, you may want to speak with your healthcare provider to see your primary care doctor.
Additional information on this topic can be found here.