No one wants to experience a situation where someone comments on your bad breath. While bad breath doesn’t seem like a medical emergency, it is a dental issue that is preventable and can clue you in on a deeper issue.
Almost everyone experiences bad breath once in a while. Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is very common for many adults. Bad breath can be made worse by poor oral hygiene, the types of food you eat, or unhealthy lifestyle habits.
What Causes Bad Breath?
There are several reasons why you might experience bad breath. While most causes are harmless, bad breath can sometimes be a sign of something more serious.
The inside of your mouth acts like a natural hothouse, meaning that if you have poor oral hygiene, bacteria can build up in your mouth and cause bad breath. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth daily, food particles can remain in your mouth and a sticky buildup of bacteria, also known as plaque, can form on your teeth. Plaque buildup stems from bacterial growth between your teeth, around your gums, and on your tongue, which will all quickly lead to foul-smelling breath.
Foods and Drinks
It’s no surprise that certain food and drinks can affect the odor of your breath each time you exhale. We’ve all scoured the menu at a restaurant looking for the safest meal for our breath, knowing that what you eat at dinner may likely stay with you for the rest of the evening. The most common culprits of bad breath include garlic, onions, coffee, and alcohol.
After eating foods and spices with strong odors, brushing and flossing simply cover up the odor temporarily. The odor will not go away completely until the food passes through the body. When you eat certain foods—like onions, garlic, some vegetables, and spices—odor-causing food particles enter the bloodstream and are carried to the lungs, where they add pungent odors to your breath.
Coffee and alcohol can also be the cause of bad breath due to the effect it has on saliva production. After drinking coffee or alcohol, saliva production will decline, and less saliva results in an increase in odor-causing bacteria.This happens because, as your body breaks down these drinks, the body removes the water from your blood through urine, creating a dehydration side effect.
If your diet is leaving your breath with lingering foul odors after you eat, we recommend finding better alternatives to meet your cravings that will not only leave you breath without any long-lasting smells but will also boost your oral hygiene and health.
Fun Fact: saliva is your mouth’s around-the-clock cleaner! Saliva helps keep your mouth clean by removing food particles that lead to bad breath. If you are not producing enough saliva, your mouth isn’t getting as clean as it should be. This naturally happens while you sleep, which is why we find that our breath tends to be unpleasant in the morning. However, dry mouth can also be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems, or by simply breathing through your mouth.
Tobacco, whether in the form of cigarettes, chew, or pipe, causes bad breath. Smoking or chewing tobacco-based products also stains your teeth, reduces your ability to taste foods, and irritates your gums. In addition to leaving your mouth smelling like smoke, tobacco damages the gum tissue and can cause gum disease.
Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque in the gums. If you are experiencing a constant bad taste in your mouth or your bad breath won’t go away, this can be a warning sign for gum disease.
Once plaque is substantially developed, it often can’t be easily removed with regular flossing or brushing. A dental cleaning service will be required to thoroughly clean your teeth and gums of any stubborn tartar and begin the healing process.
How to Prevent Bad Breath?
It is easy to reduce bad breath and keep your teeth healthy at the same time. Practice these simple steps to keep your mouth feeling minty fresh.
- Practice good oral hygiene by brushing at least twice a day with toothpaste. Ideally, you should brush your teeth about an hour after every meal. Make sure that you don’t forget to brush your tongue and replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months. Lastly, floss to remove any food particles and rinse with mouthwash twice a day.
- Visit your dentist regularly, ideally at least twice a year. During your appointments, our team will conduct an oral exam, professional teeth cleaning, and will be able to detect any other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odor.
- Avoid smoking tobacco and chewing tobacco-based products.
- If you have dry mouth, make sure to drink a lot of water to help keep your mouth moist. Chewing sugar-free gum also stimulates the production of saliva, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria.
Maintain Dental Health with Park Avenue Dental
If you’re struggling with bad breath and can’t seem to identify the cause or the right solution, contact our office for help finding the best steps to take for fresher breath.
Whether you are looking for a protective, restorative, or cosmetic dental treatment, the Park Avenue Dental team can help you with any dental problem you are experiencing. Call us today to schedule an appointment!