October 2, 2018
So, you’re at a work meeting, and you open your mouth to talk. That’s when you smell it—your breath stinks. It’s embarrassing and causes you to lose your focus and therefore confidence during your meeting. Or, maybe you’re on a first date, and your potential love interest smells your less than satisfactory breath. Does this sound all too familiar? Keep reading to learn the causes of bad breath, what you can do to treat it, and ways to prevent it from your local dentist.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Bad breath is typically caused by poor dental hygiene, unhealthy lifestyle habits, and it can get worse based on the types of foods you eat. If you consistently eat garlic or onions, brushing and flossing just covers up the smell. The odor from these pungent foods won’t truly go away until it fully passes through your body.
A lack of brushing and flossing is a leading cause of bad breath because it allows food particles to stay in your mouth. This promotes bacterial growth around your gums, between your teeth, and even on your tongue. Bacteria causes bad breath, and if you have dentures, bacteria and food particles will also cause your prosthesis to smell if not cleaned properly.
Additionally, poor lifestyle habits like tobacco use or smoking can cause bad breath and even stain your teeth, reduce your ability to taste foods, and irritate your gums. Your breath may also smell in the morning from dry mouth caused by lack of saliva production, and heavy coffee drinkers may experience bad breath based on their habit.
How Can I Prevent Bad Breath?
Check out some of the most common ways to prevent bad breath:
- Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing every day. Replace your toothbrush every 2 or 3 months to make sure bacteria isn’t growing on your bristles, and be sure to always brush your tongue!
- Use antibacterial mouthwash twice a day. Rinsing will keep your mouth clean and your breath fresh. Be sure to use alcohol-free mouthwash because ones with alcohol cause dry mouth.
- Drink more water than normal. Water keeps your mouth moist, which helps with odor. You can also chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva flow.
- Pay attention to the foods you eat. If you notice certain foods are causing you bad breath, cut those out of your diet.
How Can I Fix My Bad Breath?
For most cases, your dentist will be able to treat your bad breath. If your more odorous breath is caused by gum disease from lack of oral healthcare, your dentist can treat the problem to relieve you of bad breath and get your gums healthy again.
To treat your bad breath at home, you can chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva. This will keep your mouth moist and wash away bacteria and acids. As mentioned above, you can also use mouthwash, especially in the mornings, to help your breath smell fresh and clear out food debris.
There are many factors that can play a role in bad breath, so the best step you can take to preventing it is to see your local dentist. They will be able to recommend the best treatment plan for your specific situation. However, using our tips and keeping in mind the common causes of bad breath will have your mouth feeling fresher already!
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Bita Kamali is a Texas native who loves serving her Plano community. She believes in patient education, which is why she gives tips and information on how to help with bad breath. She currently practices at Parkway Vista Dental, and she can be contacted through her website or by phone at (972) 818-1300 for any questions.