Do You Worry About Bad Breath?
Bad breath happens. If you’ve ever had that not-so-fresh feeling on a date, at a job interview or just talking with friends, you’re not alone. Studies show that most adults have had bad breath, or halitosis, at some point in their lives. We have all smelled it, that putrid breath you can smell from five feet away. Up close you don’t even want to have a conversation with this person because their breath will be directed at you. No one wants to be around it or to kiss it, and yet would you feel comfortable telling someone they have it? If you have bad breath, would anyone tell you? It’s a very taboo subject!
In many cases, the actual cause of the smell is bacteria that metabolize the dead cells and food found in the crevices on the tongue and around the teeth and produce a gas containing sulfur, the same element that gives rotten eggs their wonderful smell. There are a number of reasons you might have dragon breath. While many causes are harmless, bad breath can sometimes be a sign of something more serious. Here’s a list of some different types of bad breath and treatments for each kind.
Bad Breath from Poor Oral Hygiene
The most common source of bad breath is simply poor oral hygiene. Bad breath can happen anytime thanks to the many types of bad breath-causing bacteria that naturally live in your mouth. Your mouth also acts like a natural hothouse that allows these bacteria to grow. Food rotting between the teeth releases gases that no one wants to smell. When you eat, bacteria feed on the food left in your mouth and leave a foul-smelling waste product behind. Thorough brushing and cleaning between your teeth isn’t just to prevent decay, it’s also to help prevent this kind of bad breath. Several ingredients found in many types of toothpaste and mouthwash have been shown to reduce the overall number of bacteria in your mouth. People with gum disease may have a bad taste in their mouth, swollen gums and unhealthy pockets around their teeth which provide perfect places for food and bacteria to hide in. Improved oral hygiene and regular professional cleanings are the most effective way to prevent this type of bad breath. To reduce odors be sure to clean every crevice and disrupt the bacteria every day.
Bad Breath from Food
If you don’t like the smell of onions or garlic on your breath, don’t eat onions or garlic. Eating garlic or onions may have some great health benefits, but you are going to have temporary garlic or onion breath. Some nutritional supplements create a smell that lingers. Some people who have been taking fish oil supplements have fishy-smelling breath. Try drinking green tea which contains plant chemicals that can help to neutralize the sulphur compounds released by onions and garlic…and coffee! Wait it out, mask with mouthwash and chewing gum can help. Good oral hygiene can help to get rid of the offensive food particles from around and between the teeth.
Bad Breath from Disease and Illness
While many causes are harmless, bad breath can sometimes be a sign of something more serious. A mouth infection may be the source of bad breath. Approximately ten percent of bad breath is caused by systemic or metabolic diseases. Some of these smells are distinctively fishy or fruity. If you have ruled out other causes and your bad breath lingers or worsens you might want to see your doctor. Your bad breath could be the result of another problem, such as a sinus condition, gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease.
Bad Breath from Tonsils
Tonsillar bad breath is created when calcified deposits get caught in the tonsillar folds at the back of your throat. You might not be able to see them as they may be hidden in the skin folds. They are usually discovered when you cough or hack up white deposits that look like curds and have a putrid smell. They may be related to post nasal drip. Treating the postnasal drip and gargling with warm salt water rinses to flush the tonsils can help to treat this source of bad breath.
Bad Breath from the Tongue
This is a chronic and common source of bad breath. The good news is that this type of bad breath is treatable if you simply clean your tongue. Disrupt the bacteria and remove the dead cells and food by gently cleaning the surface of the tongue with a tongue scraper or a toothbrush. Stick your tongue out…if it is coated, you have a higher chance of having bad breath.
Bad Breath from Dry Mouth
Ever wake up feeling parched? When your mouth is dry bacteria thrive. When the bacteria thrive, they produce lots of those volatile sulfur compounds which smell bad. Saliva works to wash out your mouth and help purge food debris from between the teeth. Less saliva is produced overnight. Since alcohol is dehydrating this type of bad breath may happen after a night out on the town or simply from sleeping with your mouth open. The amount of saliva we produce reduces as we age. Dry mouth bad breath can also be created by some autoimmune diseases. Many medications used to treat high blood pressure, pain, and anxiety also dry out the mouth. Drinking water is helpful to combat dry mouth. Eating healthy foods that require a lot of chewing, like carrots or apples. Chewing gum can help to stimulate salivary flow. Chew gum sweetened with xylitol to inactivate some bacteria which cause decay, a significant problem for those with reduced saliva. Special mouthwashes and xylitol lozenges are available.
Bad Breath from Smoking and Tobacco
Smoking stains your teeth, gives you bad breath and puts you at risk for a host of health problems. Tobacco reduces your ability to taste foods and irritates gum tissues. Tobacco users are more likely to suffer from gum disease. Since smoking also affects your sense of smell, smokers may not be aware of how their breath smells.
How to Get Rid of Bad Breath
Blue Horizon Dental Hygiene is here to help. Call today 705 446-9996. Have your teeth cleaned and gum health assessed. Learn how to improve your oral hygiene to help get rid of bad breath. In most cases bad breath is preventable and treatable. By working together as a team to teach and provide you with the tools to help achieve and maintain good oral health, we can stop bad breath, prevent dental problems and improve your overall health. Please be a good friend. Tell those you know and love if they are suffering from bad breath. They will be glad that you did! Learn about oral health, and become a healthier you.
- Brush around and clean between your teeth with floss or interdental brushes twice daily especially before going to bed.
- Take care of your tongue
- Use mouthwash
- Clean your dentures
- Keep that saliva flowing. Stay hydrated!
- Quit smoking
- Visit your dental hygienist regularly
Book your appointment today, call 705 446-9996