Do you know one in every four people suffers from bad breath? Yes. Moreover, almost everyone gets bad breath at some point, especially in the morning. Now, most of the bad breath cases are mild and disappear when you brush your teeth and gums. However, some people may suffer from chronic bad breath or halitosis.
Several factors can lead to bad breath and they include:
You see, when we go to sleep, the saliva production decreases and gives room for bacteria to break down food particles stuck in the teeth and gum. As a result, there will be a production of foul smell and chemicals, which explains why most people have awful morning breath.
Cavities are caused by bacteria buildup which attacks the tooth surface. If left untreated, the bacteria will continue to multiply, invade the inner soft tissue and eventually cause gum disease and decay. As a treatment, the dentist may perform a root canal procedure to remove the decay and preserve your natural tooth.
Bacteria is ever-present in the mouth and failure to brush your teeth and gums effectively will lead to plaque buildup. Plaque causes bad breath as well as gum disease and tooth decay.
Xerostomia or dry mouth is one of the primary causes of bad breath. Saliva cleanses the mouth, clears the food particles and eliminates bacteria. When saliva production decreases, it provides a breeding environment for bacteria. Therefore, people who have dry mouth have a higher risk of developing bad breath.
Xerostomia is caused by certain conditions like snoring, nerve damage, dehydration, smoking, tobacco, and side effects of medications.
Certain foods such as garlic, cheese, alcohol, onion, or spices can cause bad breath. Brushing is crucial, but for long term results, limiting the consumption of these foods is recommended.
If you have defective crowns, bridges or veneers, you may develop bad breath especially when food gets trapped in between. When you fracture your orthodontic restorations, you need to get emergency treatment immediately.
When stomach content flows back to the esophagus, it can cause bad breath, tooth erosion, and a burning sensation in the throat that allows bacteria to grow.
Chronic bad breath or sour taste could indicate that you have gum disease. Periodontal disease is caused when plaques buildup, causes the gums to detach from the teeth and creates pockets that harbor food and causes bacteria to multiply.
Periodontal disease is treated with professional teeth cleaning, scaling and root planning to get rid of plaques.
Halitosis could also be caused by underlying conditions such as sinus infections, chronic lung infection, liver, diabetes, and kidney disease.
Treating any underlying condition is the first step to getting rid of bad breath. Additionally, you can try:
Bacteria and plaques are culprits for bad breath, so try to brush as often as possible—at least twice a day and after meals to get rid of food particles. Don’t forget to clean your tongue every day. Plus, you should rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouth wash to keep it fresh.
Onion and garlic can affect your breath and brushing won’t help as they are already absorbed in your bloodstream. So, either avoid them or eat them in moderation.
Smoking not only affects your breath but will stain your teeth. Moreover, smoking is the primary cause of oral cancer.
A regular deep teeth cleaning can help keep your gums clean and treat periodontal disease.
Don’t take mints after dinner and limit your sugar intake in general as bacteria feed off sugar.
If you suffer from dry mouth, you can use a humidifier, drinking more water and chewing sugarless gum to moisten your mouth.
Although mild bad breath is normal, halitosis can be a sign of a more serious condition. Call us to schedule an appointment for a dental assessment.