No one wants to deal with bad breath. Knowing your breath smells unpleasant can hurt your confidence but can also be a sign of underlying issues. If you’re dealing with chronic bad breath, it’s crucial to determine what’s causing it so you can address the problem and improve the scent.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Bad breath, or halitosis, is a widespread issue, with nearly 32 percent of people around the world dealing with it on a chronic basis. But why does it happen? The most common cause of bad breath is simply poor oral hygiene. Oral hygiene refers to brushing, flossing, and routine dental cleanings. Without following the recommended hygiene routines, your mouth will have harmful bacteria growing. This bacteria growth leads to cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.
While poor oral hygiene is the leading cause of bad breath, some less common reasons can be related to medical conditions. If you have concerns over chronic bad breath, it’s essential to see your dentist and physician to rule out the following causes:
- Dry mouth
- Oral cancers
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Tonsil stones
- Gum disease
- Infections in the nose, throat, or lungs
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Sjögren’s syndrome
How to Treat Bad Breath
The treatment of bad breath depends on the cause. If the reasonfor your bad breath is poor oral hygiene, it’s important to improve your brushing and flossing at home and have regular dental cleanings. Sometimes, your dentist may prescribe special mouth rinses that work to combat specific bacteria that lead to bad breath.
If an underlying health condition causes your bad breath, your dentist or physician will be able to help you with the treatment. If halitosis is a side effect of something else, treating the health condition is essential for more permanent results.
How to Prevent Bad Breath
While knowing how to treat bad breath is good, it’s better to prevent it before it becomes an issue. To maintain healthy, minty-fresh breath, follow these tips:
- Brush your teeth twice daily, for at least two minutes each time. Floss your teeth once a day. Don’t forget to clean your tongue with either your toothbrush or most effectively, a tongue scraper.
- Use an alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash twice a day.
- See your dentist at least every six months for routine dental cleanings. If your dentist suggests more frequent visits due to your oral health, follow their guidance.
- Drink water to prevent dry mouth.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco products. These products can cause dry mouth, leading to bad breath.
- Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free mints to increase your saliva production.
Let Foutz Family Dentistry Help
Whether you’re battling bad breath or simply want to prevent it, make regular visits to Foutz Family Dentistry part of your routine. Contact us today to schedule your six-month cleaning. If you have concerns over your breath, we can perform an exam to see the cause. We’re here to help you maintain your minty-fresh breath.