Bad Breath: More Serious Than You Thought

7 March 2023
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

Bad breath is annoying and, at times, embarrassing. However, bad breath is not a condition as much as it is a possible symptom of a dental disorder. If you have bad breath, finding out the cause is important. Read more below.

Bad Breath Causes

Bad breath doesn't just appear for no reason. Look at some common causes for bad breath listed below. Chances are, if you can find out what caused your bad breath, you can also make it go away or at least get better.

Lifestyle choices – One of the most common causes of bad breath is smoking. Vaping, cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco — almost all forms of tobacco use will cause bad breath. In addition, those who drink alcohol will find that they have extremely hungover breath the next day. Using tobacco has far more dangerous effects on your health than bad breath, so stopping will improve your overall health along with your breath. As for alcohol, limit your drinks and brush after imbibing.

Foods – The tastiest foods can also be the culprits behind bad breath. Highly flavored foods like garlic, foods with chili powder, onions, and other pungent spices can create odors that linger long after your meal is over. The best way to deal with this issue is to brush after eating as soon as possible. When strongly flavored food particles remain on your teeth, they can quickly turn into bacteria that will harm your teeth and gums. Brush using an electric toothbrush and use a water flosser. That should eliminate the left-behind particles and lead to fresher breath. Some people will also need to complete the job by scraping their tongues and rinsing with mouthwash.

Dry mouth – Dry mouth is common with certain populations. Saliva production can slow down as you age and that can be exacerbated by medications. Ask your doctor about switching to a medicine that won't dry out your mouth, if possible. You can also talk to your dentist about special dry mouth rinses and chewing gum. In some cases, any type of sugar-free mint or chewing gum can help with dry mouth and bad breath as well.

Dentures – It can be more challenging to clean properly when wearing dentures. If your dentures are not properly fitted, food particles can set up shop and create bad breath and worse. In some cases, denture wearers need a reline to achieve a good fit. Anyone with dentures or a bridge need to take extra care when cleaning to avoid bacteria and the odor it creates.

Other common causes of bad breath are lack of dental hygiene, gum infections, and decayed teeth. Find out more by speaking to your dentist about your bad breath problem. For more information, contact a professional like Dr. Jon Douglas Lesan, DDS, RpH, PA.