If you suspect that you suffer from bad breath, you’re not alone. Everyone has less-than-fresh breath at one time or another. It’s part of being human! Of course, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying to improve. Bad breath can really affect your confidence in both professional and personal situations. That’s no way to go through life. As a dentist who has helped countless patients achieve fresh breath, we decided to write a blog about the causes and solutions of this potentially embarrassing problem. Keep reading to learn more!
What Causes Bad Breath?
Here are some of the causes of this common problem:
- Dry Mouth – Saliva washes away plaque and odor-causing bacteria. Without it, they remain in the mouth and contribute to bad breath. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many medications. It also happens to most people while they’re sleeping, which can lead to morning breath.
- Periodontal Disease – Also known as gum disease, this condition can cause deep “pockets” to form around each tooth. These pockets collect plaque and bacteria that can’t be reached with a toothbrush and floss. Since it’s not being adequately removed, even with brushing, the gums can become infected and give off an odor.
- Diet – This is a fairly obvious one! Garlic, onions and coffee are just a few of the things that can cause (temporary) bad breath.
- Poor Hygiene – If brushing and flossing aren’t adequate, the mouth will harbor a lot of bacteria that will lead to odor. Brushing only cleans about 2/3 of the surface area of the teeth, so if someone does well with brushing but neglects to floss, they’re missing a full 1/3 of the odor-causing bacteria in their mouth.
- Medical Conditions – Acid reflux, sinus problems, diabetes and liver or kidney disease can all cause bad breath.
What Can You Do About It?
- The first step to take is scheduling a visit with a dentist for a checkup and cleaning. They can remove the tartar deposits that you can’t remove at home and if you have gum disease they can recommend appropriate treatments.
- Brush and floss regularly. An electric toothbrush does a better job and a waterpik can help clean under the gumline, especially if you have gum disease. Don’t forget to brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper!
- You don’t necessarily have to give up certain foods forever, but be mindful of your diet before important events.
- For dry mouth, stay well hydrated, chew sugar-free gum and try one of the product lines in stores made especially for this condition. Since dry mouth also puts you at a higher risk for cavities, do extra well with brushing and flossing!
- See your doctor to rule out any potential medical conditions.
Bad breath can be embarrassing, but with these tips and tricks you’ll be on your way to fresh breath and the confidence that goes with it in no time!
About the Author
All of the dentists at Dental Partners of Newburyport are committed to professional excellence. Combining their years of experience with a caring chairside manner, they’re able to help their patients achieve excellent oral health, including fresh breath. If you have any questions, they can be reached via their website or at (978) 465-5358.