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Bad Breath: Causes and Fixes

Saturday, January 30th, 2021

It is something we all feel self-conscious about. From the “morning breath” we have when we wake up, to the food we eat containing pungent ingredients, as well as the increased use of face masks right now, bad breath (aka halitosis) is something that affects millions of people. While we can feel conscious in a public setting that our breath smells pretty bad, the fact is we’re not alone. Bad breath doesn’t just impact your self-consciousness but can have a direct impact on your social life and your confidence. But there are simple reasons why you may have bad breath, but there are also simple methods to solve them.

Poor Oral Hygiene

This is culprit number one when it comes to bad breath. Poor oral hygiene causes plaque buildup, which, if left untreated, can calcify, resulting in calculus, commonly known as tartar. This leaves you at risk for periodontal disease or gingivitis. The solution to fixing this is to brush your teeth properly for the recommended 2 minutes. Doing this twice a day, as well as flossing and brushing your tongue, will ensure that you are doing your utmost.

Your Diet Is High in Sugar

When you eat too much sugar, you are giving the bacteria in your mouth the opportunity to thrive. As bacteria feeds off sugar, the excess bacteria in the mouth can lead to bad breath. If you cannot completely kick the sweet treats, switch to diet soda and sugar-free candy. In addition, if you consume any sugary treats, either rinse your mouth out with water or brush your teeth to reduce the sugar concentration on the teeth and in the mouth.

Old Dental Work

You may have fillings, but leaving them when they need updated treatment is unwise. Old fillings can gradually wear out, which allows bacteria to seep into the tooth and may result in infection. Whether you’ve had restoration surgery, such as cavities or crowns, they can crack or oxidize, which is the breakdown due to the bacteria and acids in your mouth, resulting in bad breath. To fix this, contact Dr. I. Stephen Brown to check if any crowns or fillings need replacing and ensure that the latest high-quality materials and techniques are used.

A Highly Acidic Diet

If you are prone to acidic foods in your diet, this can cause acid reflux, which results in bad breath. Common symptoms of acid reflux include burping, heartburn, and a bitter taste in the mouth. If you notice bad breath and have acid reflux, you may want to keep a food log to identify acidic foods and make changes to your diet. You may also want to enquire about antacid medicines to reduce acid reflux symptoms.

Dry Mouth

Also known as Xerostomia, this decreases the production of saliva. If you have low saliva flow, bacteria can flourish, which can result in bad breath, as well as periodontal disease and gingivitis. To prevent dry mouth, drinking lots of water is a simple method, as well as products that contain Xylitol. You can purchase over-the-counter medication to stimulate saliva flow.

You Follow the Ketogenic Diet

A very popular diet trend is the ketogenic diet, where individuals consume high amounts of fat, while greatly limiting the consumption of carbohydrates. Individuals can find themselves suffering from “keto breath,” which is caused by the high level of acetone in the body. The process of ketosis burns fatty acids rather than carbohydrates, and as fatty acids are converted into ketones, a by-product of this process is metallic-tasting “keto breath.” If you’ve just started a ketogenic diet, it can subside within days or a week of this diet. But you can also minimize your keto breath by increasing your water intake, choosing sugar-free mints and gum, as well as practicing good oral hygiene.

Cavities or an Infection

As these are caused by bacteria overgrowth in the mouth, the bacteria secrete sulfur, which can cause malodor, which is another term for an offensive odor. The best way to combat this is to see your dentist for regular check-ups. Cavities do not disappear by themselves. It is important that you visit your dentist at least twice a year to make sure your cavities are kept at bay. But practicing good oral hygiene will also be a fantastic preventative measure.

Underlying Health Issues

Many underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease, or sinus infections, can cause bad breath. If you believe you are experiencing an underlying health condition, especially if you’re not able to get rid of your bad breath, you should schedule an appointment with a doctor to rule this out. Any build-up of bacteria can result in bad breath.

You Do Not Floss

Nearly a third of Americans do not floss their teeth. This is a very simple way to reduce bacteria in your mouth. Brushing your teeth does not reduce bacteria alone. When you remove the plaque in the gum pocket and in between the teeth, you are getting rid of bacteria that can fester. Flossing before you go to sleep should be a key part of your nighttime routine.

Poor Dental Practices

When was the last time you made a dental appointment? One of the best things you can do to prevent halitosis is to visit the dentist on a regular basis. Regular dental care can make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy without any signs of periodontal disease. Dr. Brown can provide you with a proper cleaning every 3 or 6 months to guarantee that you are keeping your mouth as healthy as possible.

If you have not scheduled an appointment recently, now is the time to see Dr. Brown to address any issues with dental care. We provide a personal, professional, and ultimately caring service. Halitosis is more common than you think, and by giving you some tips and tricks to manage bad breath while also maintaining your oral hygiene, you can feel confident and assured that your bad breath is at bay. Contact us to schedule an appointment for bad breath treatment today!