No one wants smelly breath, especially on a regular basis. If you struggle with bad breath, visit your dentist. They will help you determine the cause for your bad breath and some possible treatment options.
Causes Of Bad Breath
Bad breath is also called halitosis and can have several possible causes such as:
- Food: If food debris is not cleaned out regularly, it can start to rot and smell in your mouth. Certain foods—such as garlic, onions, or spices—enter the bloodstream after digestion and are carried to the lungs, creating bad breath even after you clean your mouth.
- Bacteria: Our mouth is full of bacteria that feeds on the foods we eat. This bacteria produces VSC (volatile sulphur compounds) which is what you smell when you have bad breath.
- Dry Mouth: If there isn’t enough saliva in the mouth, it cannot wash away the food particles that feed bacteria. Saliva flow can be affected by medications, problems with the salivary glands, or breathing through the mouth continuously.
- Gum Disease: Bad breath could be a warning sign of periodontal disease. Bacteria and plaque can incubate in periodontal pockets and produce odors.
- Smoking: Tobacco use not only leaves its own smell in the mouth, but it can increase the risk of gum disease and inflame the salivary glands, two additional causes of bad breath.
- Medical Problems: Infections in the mouth, diabetes, sinus or lung infection, and liver or kidney disease can have symptoms associated with bad breath.
Treatments Of Bad Breath
Once your dentist determines the reason you have bad breath, they can suggest the best treatment for it, which may include:
- Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.
- Change in diet (such as avoiding sugary, sticky foods).
- Drinking more water (but not coffee, soda, or alcohol because they can dry out the mouth).
- Using artificial saliva.
- Chewing on sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production.
- Quitting tobacco use.
- Using a mouthwash recommended by your dentist that may contain cetylpyridinium chloride or chlorhexidine (which prevents odor production).
- Using toothpaste with antibacterial agents.
If gum disease or other illnesses are the cause of your bad breath, other treatments will be necessary.