There’s nothing pleasant about bad breath — but when it comes to stopping it, the answer may not be so clear. First, you need to know the cause. So what is at the root of that foul odor? The answer is, it depends. Bad breath can be brought on by anything from what you’ve had for lunch to problems with your overall health. Keep reading as your dentist in Superior dives into this smelly topic in this week’s blog!
Common Causes of Bad Breath
- Diet: We have all experienced brief bouts of bad breath that can occur after eating something with lots of garlic or another odorous spice or flavoring. Fish, coffee, and alcohol can also influence the way your breath smells throughout the day.
- Gum disease: Perhaps the most common cause of persistent bad breath is gum disease, or periodontitis. This is an infection of the gums that causes bacteria buildup which emits a foul odor. Other warning signs of gum disease include bleeding gums, gum recession, and a bad taste in the mouth.
- Other health problems: Because breath originates in the stomach and travels through the throat, sometimes a persistent foul odor can indicate a respiratory infection, sinus problems, post nasal drip, and other issues.
- Dry mouth: Older age and certain medications can bring on dry mouth, which reduces saliva flow that is important for washing away the bacteria and food particles that cause bad breath.
- Tobacco use: People who smoke or use tobacco are far more likely to experience bad breath due to the tobacco itself as well as the dry mouth and gum disease that usually occur alongside this habit.
Bad Breath Remedies
Visiting your dentist for a checkup and cleaning can help you to identify if the bad breath is caused by your oral health and identify an appropriate solution if so.
Some of the remedies for bad breath can include:
- Gum disease treatment: Gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, can be treated with extra cleanings and improved oral hygiene. As gum disease progresses, scaling and root planing will be the recommended treatment.
- Changing medications: If something you’re taking causes dry mouth, you may want to talk to your doctor about switching to something else. In addition to bad breath, dry mouth can eventually lead to gum disease and tooth loss.
- Improving oral hygiene: Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily is usually enough to combat bad breath. If you are still struggling with a foul odor throughout the day, consider adding a mouthrinse between meals and in the afternoon.
- Drink plenty of water: Keeping your mouth hydrated with clean, fresh H20 will help to rinse away the bacteria that causes bad breath.
- Chew sugar free gum: Between meals and in the afternoon, chewing sugarless gum is great for keeping clean teeth and a fresh mouth.
Those are our tips for fighting bad breath — got some of your own? Don’t hesitate to share them the next time you come in!
Meet the Practice
Hill Avenue Dental offers comprehensive dental care for patients of all ages in Superior, WI. Their doctors work to stay up-to-date with the latest advances in dentistry to provide superior care at every turn. If you are interested in learning more about bad breath or if you need gum disease treatment, get in touch with the office by calling (715) 392-5161.