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What To Do About Bad Breath (Halitosis)

What Causes Bad Breath?

Bad breath can be an embarrassing problem and it can be caused by many different things.  Studies show that 80% of bad breath comes from oral issues!  Keep reading to learn not only what can cause bad breath, but what you can do about it.

Not Brushing After Eating Meals Causes Bad Breath

When a person does not brush or floss their teeth thoroughly after eating, food particles remain in the mouth which start to rot and cause bacteria growth.  Not only do rotting food particles and bacteria cause tooth decay and gum disease, but also will emit a very foul odor.

Cavities and Gum Disease Cause Bad Breath

We already learned that food particles cause bacteria growth.  If not taken care of in time, this turns into tooth decay and ultimately will cause cavities.  Bacteria that cause the cavities emit a sulfur compound and the higher the amount of sulfur compounds released in your mouth, the worse your breath will be.

Bacteria not dealt with in your mouth also causes gum diseases, such as gingivitis and periodontal disease.  These bacteria also emit the same foul-smelling sulfur compounds into your mouth, thus making your breath smell bad.

Some Diet Choices Can Cause Bad Breath

Research shows that low-carb diets burn fat at the energy source which causes ketones.  These cause a fruity acetone-like odor on the breath when exhaled.

Many Food Choices Can Cause Bad Breath

Foods with strong odors such as onions, garlic, curry and other exotic spices, cheeses, some fish and coffees affect the air a person exhales too.  These foods may also cause gastrointestinal upset andbelching, which can contribute to bad breath.

Other Medical Issues Can Cause Bad Breath

There are many medical conditions that make your breath go downhill fast.  The most common ones include acid reflux, diabetes, liver disease, respiratory tract infections, and chronic bronchitis.  Here at Affiliated Dentists we see many patients with halitosis who don’t have gum disease or any cavities.  Then it takes a little more research of the patient’s health history to find out the underlying cause.

How Can Bad Breath Be Treated?

First and foremost, keep your regularly scheduled dental cleanings and checkups.  So many people feel they don’t need to go to the dentist unless they are having an issue like tooth pain or bad breath.  However, these are serious health conditions that can be prevented entirely with just a quick visit to your dentist once every six months.  Two times a year isn’t that bad at all if it prevents cavities and gum diseases!  Schedule yours today!

Other ways to help are:

  • Brush and floss your teeth after every meal

  • Use an electric toothbrush over a manual one

  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and regular meals

  • Avoid smelly foods and drinks

  • Stay hydrated

  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco products

  • Cut back on alcohol

  • Chew sugarless gum

  • Be careful with breath mints (sugar free ones are OK to mask odors, but avoid sugary mints like those they hand out at restaurants as the sugar will sit on your teeth and end up doing more bad than good)

As always, don’t hesitate to call our office with any questions or to schedule an appointment!

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