Bad breath, also known as halitosis, isn’t only an embarrassing social issue. This condition can signify a problem with your oral health, so it’s important to know what factors can cause bad breath and when you may need to follow up with your dentist for further evaluation.
Food is often the culprit behind bad breath, as anyone who’s made the mistake of eating garlic bread on a first date could testify. If you’re struggling with bad breath, your dentist likely will ask about your eating habits and may recommend eliminating certain foods from your diet to see if the condition improves.
Inadequate oral hygiene also can contribute to bad breath. Oral bacteria produce an odor, so if you’re not brushing and flossing enough to reduce their presence, your breath’s aroma may be a tell-tale sign that you’re slacking at the sink. If you feel like you do maintain a good dental hygiene regimen, you may want to consider adding an anti-bacterial mouthwash to see if that helps eliminate the problem.
Inadequate oral hygiene also can contribute to bad breath.
More serious dental problems are also associated with bad breath. Conditions like gum disease, abscesses and infections in the mouth may create a bad odor in the breath. If you’ve noticed that you’ve developed a problem with bad breath, tell your dentist, who can examine you to determine if any serious oral health issues are involved.
Smoking also influences how your breath smells, so if you want improvements in that area, consider giving up cigarettes. You’ll get a number of other health benefits, as well.
Dry mouth also may factor into halitosis, as there is insufficient saliva to wash away the oral bacteria, which then begin to stink as they build-up. This problem can be addressed by using an artificial saliva product or merely by drinking more water. Get your dentist’s advice on what strategy will be most effective for you.
Bad breath often can be addressed if you bring it to your dentist’s attention. Schedule an appointment to meet with a member of our team who can evaluate your case and make recommendations for techniques to keep bad breath at bay.