When it comes to bad breath (or technically halitosis), it can be an embarrassing topic to discuss. If you’re the one with bad breath, you don’t want to bring it up. If you’re around someone with bad breath, it can be awkward to bring it up.
Sometimes people don’t even realise that a dentist can help take care of this issue.
An estimated 80% of bad breath cases can be taken care of through a dentist because most are oral issues. However, the remaining 20% of bad breath cases could mean other health problems that can seem completely unrelated, but are in fact the cause.
So here are seven possible causes for your bad breath and how you can fix it…
1 – Oral hygiene.
If you’re not brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day, you should reconsider – because bad breath is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to problems created by poor dental hygiene. When you don’t brush after eating, food particles in your mouth lead to bacterial growth, causing you to develop bad breath and eventually all sorts of other mouth-related nastiness, like gum disease.
But brushing doesn’t get everything, and when you skip your nightly flossing, you’re missing those food particles that get stuck between your teeth and gums. Left unattended, they can cause not only bacterial growth and bad breath, but also gum problems.
2 – Food choices.
We all know that eating onions, fish, garlic and other pungent foods will lead to instant bad breath. And sadly, a thorough brushing won’t always undo the smelly breath that these foods cause. What you may not realise is that when you eat foods with strong odours, you’re probably going to be stuck with the bad breath they cause until they’ve passed through your system!
Digestion begins when food starts to break down in your mouth, and foods like garlic can cause bad breath and off-putting bodily scents until they’re completely digested. So unless you’re okay with swearing off odorous foods for good, be prepared to deal with the stubborn smells they cause.
3- Dry mouth.
Most people aren’t aware that a dry mouth can lead to bad breath. This occurs when you’re not making enough saliva to combat the acids caused by plaque, and it also allows the dead cells that naturally collect on your tongue, cheeks, and gums to build up. When your saliva doesn’t wash this build-up away, all those cells start to decompose, causing your breath to smell.
Talk to your doctor so you can rule out any medications as the culprit. And if your meds aren’t to blame, a dry mouth can also be caused by salivary gland issues and breathing through your mouth. Also, while this isn’t a long-term solution to a dry mouth, sugar-free gums and mints can help boost saliva production.
4 – Gum disease.
Chronic bad breath could be a sign of gum disease. This develops when the bacteria that forms in your mouth as a result of plaque build-up on your teeth results in toxins that aggravate your gums. If you think gum disease could be what’s behind your bad breath, talk to your dentist ASAP. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to serious damage of your gums and even jawbone.
5 – Illness/sinus problems.
If you’re sick, or you have regular sinus problems, don’t be surprised if your breath is a little bit off. Acid reflux, bronchitis, and sinus infections are just a few of the illnesses that could be causing your bad breath. Once you’re back to normal, your breath should be too.
6 – Tobacco products.
Obviously, if you smoke cigarettes or cigars on a regular basis, you’re going to have bad breath on a regular basis too. There’s really no way around it. On top of that, smoking also stains your teeth and irritates your gums. At the end of the day, no amount of mouthwash and toothpaste can fix tobacco breath.
7 – Water consumption.
This is just one more reason for you to drink more water. Not only is it good for your body, it’s good for your breath. Keeping your mouth moisturised prevents all that bacteria we were talking about above from collecting on the surfaces of your mouth and stinking up your breath.
So bad breath is kind of embarrassing, but it’s something we’ve all dealt with at some point in our lives, and it ties directly to your oral health. Take care of your teeth and gums, go to your dental appointments, stay hydrated, and you should see positive results.
However, if nothing seems to fix your bad breath, then it could be a side effect of a non-oral condition. If you think this might be the case, make an appointment to talk to your doctor about it. You don’t want to ignore what your body might be trying to tell you.
And if you’re interested in booking yourself in for an appointment, or you’re just looking for more general oral hygiene advice, then give us a call on 020 8088 2079.