A common question we get is, “What causes bad breath?”
Many times, this complaint actually comes from a long-suffering spouse or family member rather than the actual offender. Bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by a variety of things, some of which are serious and others that are not. The good news is, you no longer have to hold your breath and live with it—diagnosing and treating bad breath is something our doctors can do quite easily!
Below is a list of things that can cause bad breath:
Sore throats, coughs, colds, and sinus infections all cause foul-smelling mucus to get trapped in your mouth, throat, and nose, resulting in bad breath until the illness is taken care of. Luckily, if you are suffering from one of these highly contagious illnesses you’re probably keeping your distance from people anyway! If your symptoms don’t clear up after a week at most, you should probably see your physician make sure the illness isn’t more serious than you realized.
Foods Containing Pungent Oils
Yes—garlic and onions are healthy and very tasty, but they contain oils that may cause those around you to flee. These odors come from deep in the lungs, can last up to 72 hours, and are pretty tough to cover up. Mouthwashes, mints, and gum are your best bet, or just make sure everyone around you has had the same yummy food as well so you can suffer together!
Having a dry mouth causes dead cells to accumulate on your tongue, gums, and cheeks. Though morning breath is a normal phenomenon due to lowered salivary activity at night, it definitely shouldn’t last all day. Those who take certain medications, snore, or are middle-aged are more prone to dry mouth.
Smoking dries out your mouth—and as we mentioned above, dry mouths stink.
Chronic Diseases or Conditions
Many serious diseases such as kidney failure, lung infections, diabetes, GERD, cancer, bulimia, and anorexia can cause very specific types of halitosis. Fortunately, these are on the rare side, but if you think you might suffer from any of these diseases, make a visit to the appropriate practitioner.
Poor Dental Hygiene and Gum Disease
Ahhh…this topic is our favorite! Not because we want people to have poor dental hygiene and gum disease, but because these are the most common causes of bad breath and we can treat them quite easily. However, don’t wait too long before you pay us a visit! Gum disease, which usually starts with poor brushing and flossing habits and a lack of routine dental visits, can do much more harm than simply making your mouth stinky.
Bad breath isn’t something you should have to deal with! Visiting our practice on a regular basis is your best bet for making sure your smile stays bright, your teeth and gums stay healthy, and your breath stays clean and fresh!
Here’s a short video about the topic from the American Dental Association:
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We look forward to seeing you again soon!