Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a routine problem that affects millions of people. Unfortunately, it can also feel quite embarrassing and influence your self-esteem. If your bad breath does not respond to mouthwash, brushing, and flossing, you may be dealing with an underlying dental issue.
There are various causes of halitosis that range in severity. Talking to a dentist about your chronic bad breath is essential to resolving the problem and maintaining optimal oral health.
Causes of Bad Breath
Have you ever thought to yourself, “Why does my breath smell bad?” Or eaten half a jar of mints to get rid of your bad breath quickly? Your halitosis can only be resolved once your dentist understands the root cause of it. Some of the main reasons you may be suffering from bad breath include the following:
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is a common reason someone suffers from bad breath. Food debris can easily get trapped in the pockets around your teeth, which eventually starts to decay and smell. If plaque and debris aren’t properly removed daily during your oral hygiene routine, toxins will accumulate around the gum area.
If you notice that your gums are swollen and red, you may have gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. Schedule an appointment with your Travelers Rest dentist immediately if you are dealing with these symptoms.
2. Cavities and cracked fillings
Another common cause of bad breath is cavities. Cracked fillings and cavities leave an opening in your tooth for bacteria and food debris to get stuck. A buildup of bacteria in your mouth is one of the leading causes of bad breath.
3. Dry mouth
Did you know that saliva is a natural tooth cleaner? Yup, saliva plays an important role in washing your mouth between brushings and flossing. Many medications, salivary gland issues, and other health factors can cause chronic dry mouth. If your body is not producing a sufficient amount of saliva, you are likely to experience bad breath, because oral bacteria will flourish.
4. Eating certain foods
The digestive process begins in the mouth. Some cases of bad breath are simply due to the food we eat. Things like garlic, onion, and tuna give off a strong odor as they break down. Halitosis from your food is temporary and will disappear once passed through the body. If you are suffering from chronic bad breath, however, it probably isn’t because of your food choices.
5. Poorly fitted dentures
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Ill-fitting dentures or dentures that are not properly cleaned provide spaces for food to get trapped. Food debris will eventually decay and emit an odor that causes bad breath. That’s why it’s crucial to visit an experienced practice like Carolina Oaks Dental Care of Travelers Rest for high quality dentures that fit well.
6. Physical illness
If your dentist cannot find the source of your bad breath, it may be due to a physical condition or illness. This includes but is not limited to sinus infections, respiratory infections, liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes, asthma, cystic fibrosis, and chronic acid reflux. A physical illness is a rarer cause of halitosis than a dental issue. So if you suffer from chronic bad breath, you may want to check in with your dentist prior to visiting your doctor.
What are the best bad breath treatments?
Wondering how to get rid of your bad breath permanently? Prevention is always easier than treatment. Making a renewed commitment to oral hygiene is a great starting place to prevent bad breath. Brushing and flossing twice a day and bi-annual dental checkups will help keep halitosis at bay.
If you think dry mouth is the culprit behind your bad breath, stay hydrated and research your current medications to see if they may be impacting your oral health. Sugarless gum is also a great solution as it helps stimulate the flow of saliva.
Before opting for mints and mouthwash for bad breath, ensure no sugar is involved. While these treatment options might temporarily mask the halitosis, sugars will make bacteria multiply and ultimately worsen your bad breath.
When should you see a dentist about your bad breath?
Nobody should have to live with bad breath. If you are experiencing chronic bad breath, book an appointment at Carolina Oaks Dental Care of Travelers Rest today. Your Travelers Rest, SC dentist will discuss the potential reasons behind your bad breath and provide treatment options to help you achieve your healthiest smile.