You chew gum, you suck on mints, you swish mouthwash…but it’s still there.It’s bad breath and it’s embarrassing.
Entire aisles at the drugstore are dedicated to products designed to battle bad breath.There are countless mouthwashes, mints, chewing gums and toothpastes.Bad breath can not only be embarrassing, but can also be a sign of more serious dental or medical problems.
Bad breath, or halitosis, can usually only be temporarily controlled with the various items available on drugstore shelves.This is because there are varying causes of bad breath and products such as mints may only mask the odor but not cure the underlying cause.Certain dental problems or medical conditions can be the cause of uncontrollable bad breath.
Being aware of your dental health by brushing and flossing regularly is usually enough to improve bad breath.However, if you notice persistent bad breath, you should visit your dentist to be sure you have no underlying health problems.Your dentist will be able to identify the cause of your bad breath if it is dental related, or refer you to a medical doctor if necessary.
According to the MayoClinic.com, most bad breath starts in your mouth and is caused by one of the following:
FOOD- The breakdown of food on and around your teeth can cause bad breath, especially if the food contains volatile oils.Examples of foods containing volatile oils are onions and garlic.
DENTAL PROBLEMS- Not taking proper care of your teeth can be a cause of bad breath.Failing to brush and floss regularly causes plaque, a sticky film, to form on your teeth.If not removed, plaque can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
Ill-fitting dentures or dentures that aren’t cleaned regularly can also cause bad breath.
DRY MOUTH- Your saliva helps moisten and clean your mouth.A dry mouth can be a source of bad breath.Some medications, smoking, or problems with your salivary glands can cause dry mouth.
DISEASES- Illnesses such as chronic lung infections, some cancers, certain metabolic disorders, kidney or liver failure, and uncontrolled diabetes can cause bad breath.Chronic reflux of stomach acids has also been linked to bad breath.
MOUTH, NOSE AND THROAT CONDITIONS- Sinus infections can cause bad breath because of the nasal discharge running into the back of your throat and into your mouth.Other throat infections, bronchitis and upper respiratory infections can cause bad breath.
SMOKING- Smoking can cause dry mouth which can cause bad breath.Also, smokers are more likely to have gum disease which is another source of bad breath.
If you’ve noticed that your breath smells unpleasant, or if a loved one has told you so, your first step should be to improve your oral health.Having regular cleanings and checkups by your dentist is so important.Your dentist will be able to tell you if your bad breath is caused by a dental problem, such as gum disease.
The MayoClinic.com recommends the following steps to improve and prevent bad breath:
·Brush your teeth after you eat.
·Floss at least once a day.
·Brush your tongue.
·Clean your dentures well.
·Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist.
·Use a new toothbrush every three to four months.
·Schedule regular dental checkups.
·Chew fresh parsley or suck on a sugar-free mint.
Bright Side Dental is a dental group with locations in Sterling Heights, Livonia, Canton, and Royal Oak,