What You Need to Know About Bad Breath

September 30, 2021

Bad breath can affect any of us at any time. Forget to brush? Ate some garlic fries? Maybe your problem goes deeper than just eating intense food or misplacing your toothbrush for a night. Regardless of the reason, bad breath not only makes us self-conscious, but it can be the first thing someone remembers when we make a first impression.

If you suffer from chronic bad breath (halitosis) or perhaps are starting to notice it coming on stronger than before, don’t worry, there are plenty of ways you can counteract this issue. Let’s first learn about the causes of bad breath and then we will go over how to combat it so you will have no problem leaning in and getting closer during conversations from the boardroom to your next blind date.

Bad Breath Vs. Halitosis

Bad breath is a temporary problem and stems from inadequate brushing, morning breath, or food debris left on your teeth or in your mouth. Halitosis is a chronic condition caused by tooth decay and debris on the tongue and gums. While bad breath can be fixed by simply brushing, flossing, and rinsing thoroughly, unfortunately halitosis cannot be resolved with a simple brushing or flossing.

Causes of Halitosis

Dry mouth

Having a dry mouth is known to be the perfect environment for anaerobic bacteria to live and grow. These bacteria can release a heinous sulfuric compound that contributes to the foul smell already brewing. The primary cause of this dryness is  reduced saliva production which itself can be caused by smoking, consuming too much caffeine, alcohol, sugar, or even talking too much over an extended period of time. If you find you are getting dry mouth from any of these, try your best to quit or limit it to curb bad breath.

Gum Disease

One of the main symptoms of gum disease is bad breath accompanied by an unpleasant taste in the mouth. This condition needs immediate care by an oral health professional as gum disease can be very bad for your oral and physical health if left untreated. Bad breath that just won’t go away or a constant bad taste in your mouth can be a warning sign of advanced gum disease (called periodontal disease), which is caused by sticky, cavity-causing bacteria called plaque.

Tobacco Use

Not only does smoking stain your teeth and give you bad breath, but on a more serious note, it can cause cancer and a myriad of other harmful health issues. Tobacco use reduces your ability to taste foods and it also irritates your gum tissue. Tobacco users are more likely to suffer from gum disease. Smoking can affect your sense of smell as well, so you may not even be aware of your bad breath until it’s too late and someone else informs you. 

Medical Conditions

Medical conditions such as sinus infections, acid reflux, diabetes, and liver or kidney disease can cause bad breath. It is important to always see your doctor if you think your bad breath is being caused by a more serious health condition. 

Poor Oral Hygiene

It is common knowledge that if you don’t practice regular brushing and flossing, food can remain in the mouth, making it a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. Brushing and flossing is always your first weapon in the battle to fight bad breath and other oral hygiene issues.

Treating Halitosis

Despite all the ads and commercials you see for breath strips and mouthwash, they only mask bad breath, they do not cure it. There are ways to treat your chronic bad breath, such as:

  • Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Brushing your tongue, cheeks, and the roof of your mouth. Most bad breath bacteria live on the tongue, brushing or scraping the tongue can make a huge difference in treating bad breath.
  • If you have dentures, make sure to take them out at night and clean them completely before putting them back in your mouth. 
  • Try to quit smoking. See your doctor for ways to help you quit.
  • Eat healthy foods that stimulate your salivary glands and keep your mouth from being chronically dry. 
  • See your dentist for regular check-ups at least every 6 months.

Get a Healthy, Fresh Looking Smile

At Carrie Muzny D.D.S., we offer high quality, professional and caring dental services for our patients in The Woodlands and surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable dentists are not only exceptionally trained in modern preventative techniques, but also have attained academic honors and continue to refine their craft year after year in preventative dentistry, restorative dentistry, surgical procedures, and cosmetic dentistry. 

If you are ready to let us help you get the smile of your dreams, contact us today! We even offer virtual consultations for your convenience!

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