What Causes Bad Breath?
The good news is that you are not alone. Bad breath, also known as halitosis, happens to most people once in a while and could be caused by various things, from not brushing your teeth to certain medical conditions. Halitosis is a very embarrassing condition for both adults and children and often causes anxiety.
Needless to say there is no shortage of chewing gums, mints and mouthwashes but, unfortunately, these are only temporary solutions.
To find the solution to the problem you will need to find out the cause first. The most common causes for bad breath are:
• food and drinks, such as garlic, onions, cheese, orange juice, and soda
• poor oral hygiene
• smoking and other tobacco use
• Poorly fitted dental fixtures
• Yeast infections in the mouth
• Dental cavities
• Post Nasal Drip (when excessive mucus is produced by the nasal mucosa and accumulates in the throat or back of the nose)
If you are concerned about bad breath, it would be worth visiting your dentist for a consultation to determine the cause of the problem. Did you know that the way a person’s breath smells often indicates the potential cause? For example, if someone is suffering from uncontrolled diabetes, his/her breath will smell like nail polish remover (acetone).
If your dentist is unable to determine the root cause, he/she is likely to refer you to a doctor for further investigation as you may suffer from one of the following medical conditions:
• Postnasal drip
• Pneumonia or bronchitis
• Throat or sinus infections
• Chronic acid reflux
• Liver or kidney problems
In most cases poor oral hygiene is normally the culprit since food remnants in your mouth create the perfect environment for bacterial growth between your teeth, around your gums and also on the tongue. In most cases, the problem can be resolved by improving your oral hygiene.
You can prevent bad breath by following the tips below:
• Brush your teeth regularly – two to three times a day. Don’t forget to brush your tongue as well!
• Floss your teeth at least once a day to remove food and plaque build-up from between your teeth
• If you have a bridge or a fixed retainer then use inter-dental brushes instead of floss to clean between your teeth
• Replace you toothbrush every 3 months
• Dentures should be removed at night time and properly cleaned before wearing them the following day
• Visit your dentist regularly – it is recommended to have a check-up at least twice a year
• Drink lots of water to keep your mouth moist and hydrated
• Keep a log of what you eat. This may help identify the problem