Bad breath can happen to anyone. In fact, research shows that 50 percent of adults (and those are just the people being honest) have had bad breath — halitosis in scientific terms — at some point in their lives.
What Causes Bad Breath
There are various reasons you may find yourself with bad breath. Most of the causes are harmless, but some can warn you of serious problems with your health. Dr. Byron C. Desbordes, a respected dentist in Baltimore, MD would like to educate you on the common causes of halitosis to help you fight bad breath.
Our mouths are an ideal home for bacteria. These bacteria naturally thrive in your mouth since it’s like a hothouse that allows them to flourish. Whenever you eat, bacteria feed on the particles of food left in your mouth. This process leaves a foul-smelling waste product behind that causes bad breath.
Your mouth may not be making enough saliva which is important because saliva constantly washes the bacteria and leftover food particles out of your mouth. If you have a dry mouth that means that your mouth and teeth aren’t being cleaned as much as they should be. Dry mouth is often a side effect of certain medications, untreated salivary gland issues or due to breathing through your mouth due to sinus issues. Keeping properly hydrated is an important step to take to preventing dry mouth. Doctors recommend drinking at least 2 liters of water (eight 8 ounce bottle) per day to stay hydrated.
Persistent bad breath that won’t go away or a constant bad taste in your mouth can be a warning of advanced gum disease. Gum disease is when sticky, cavity-causing plaque cause your gums to become irritated, infected and inflamed.
Most people know that gum disease and other mouth infections can cause bad breath. However, it is less widely known that some other medical conditions can also cause it. If Dr. Desbordes has ruled out other dental or oral health issues and you brush and floss every day, your bad breath could stem from another problem. Problems as varied as a sinus condition, gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease can all cause bad breath as a side effect. If you suspect you have any of these ailments, see your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
How Can I Prevent Bad Breath?
Brush and Floss
Brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing at least once a day will help you eliminate the bacteria in your mouth that can cause bad breath.
Take Care of Your Tongue
Don’t forget to brush your tongue while you’re brushing your teeth. If you have noticed a white or brown coating at the back of your tongue, you need to brush there. This is where most of the bacterial waste that causes bad breath can be found. You can use your toothbrush or a tongue scraper to clean them off your tongue.
Over-the-counter mouthwashes can kill some of the bacteria or neutralize and temporarily mask bad breath. However, this solution is only temporary. The longer you wait between brushing and flossing, the more likely your breath will be offensive.
Keep Saliva In Your Mouth
Eating healthy foods that require a lot of chewing, like carrots or apples, and staying hydrated will generate saliva to keep your mouth moist. You can also chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candies to help with dry mouth. Your dentist may even prescribe artificial saliva if these quick fixes do not help.
Schedule Regular Appointments With Your Dentist
If you’re in the Baltimore, MD area and you’re concerned about what might be causing your bad breath, schedule an appointment to see Dr. Desbordes. Regular check-ups will help Dr. Desbordes to spot any impending problems such as gum disease or dry mouth and stop them before they become more serious. If your mouth is otherwise healthy, you may be referred to your primary care doctor to investigate the issue further. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Desbordes, call (410) 216-4023 or make an appointment online.