Bad Breath – What are the Causes, Systems and Treatment Options?

woman covering her mouth because of bad breath

Having bad breath can be more than just an embarrassment. Bad breath could be caused by the food you eat or more seriously it can be a sign that you’re experiencing other issues with your health.

Eating spicy foods, or onions or garlic, can actually create odors that are carried to your lungs and excreted through your breath.

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot that can be done about garlic breath except for waiting it out.

You can try brushing and using an alcohol-free mouthwash, but you may need to postpone an anticipated date for a couple of days!

Bad Breath Can Be a Sign of More Serious Health Issues

Poor dental hygiene can be another cause of unpleasant breath. Brushing and flossing are the best ways to prevent food particles, bacteria, and plaque from wreaking havoc on your mouth and your breath.

If left unchecked, plaque can build up on your teeth and gums, causing gum disease or periodontitis. The best way to prevent a buildup of plaque on your teeth is to have regular dental cleanings. At these cleanings, your dental hygienist will scrape off any hard plaque that has accumulated on your teeth.

The dental hygienist will also floss between your teeth and polish your teeth. Nothing feels better than running your tongue over clean, freshly polished teeth. Your mouth, your gums, and your friends will thank you for your conscientious dental hygiene.

Dry mouth can also affect your breath. Xerostomia is a decrease in the production of saliva. Saliva contains enzymes that help us chew, break down, and even digest food. The saliva also helps keep the mouth clean and free of food particles. Morning breath is a sign of your mouth drying out while you’re sleeping.

Habitual morning breath could be a sign of chronic dry mouth, problems with your salivary glands, or other diseases. Making sure that you drink plenty of water and staying hydrated is the easiest way to keep healthy mouths from drying out.

There are also oral rinses that can help stimulate hydration of the mouth. Broadcasters, newscasters, and even podcasters know how important it is to be hydrated and not have a dry mouth when speaking into a microphone. Hydration is essential for oral health, physical health, and your ability to speak clearly. 

Tonsil stones can also be a cause of a sulfur odor coming from your mouth. These are little stones of bacteria that form in the back of your tonsils. They are harmless, but can be inconvenient if they cause you to have less than fresh breath. Being healthy and having good oral hygiene can help prevent these from forming, but may not prevent them entirely.

There are quite a few other things that can negatively affect your breath. Smoking and alcohol can create odor and upset the natural balance in your mouth. Medications can have the same effect. Also, mouth odor can be a sign of many other diseases. From coming down with a sore throat to infections and to chronic acid reflux, your breath can be one of the first signs that something isn’t quite right. Another obvious sign is having some type of infection in your mouth.

Your gums need to be healthy, your teeth need to be healthy, and your mouth needs to be disease, inflammation, and cavity-free. Gum disease can even be a marker for potential heart disease. Oral health isn’t just about getting dates or being pleasant to be around. It’s about your overall health.

The best way to keep your mouth healthy is to eat a healthy diet, stay hydrated, move your body, get plenty of sleep, practice good oral hygiene, get regular checkups at the dentist, and get your teeth cleaned by a professional hygienist.

Even if you’re living a healthy lifestyle and staying hydrated, some things can affect your breath. A chipped tooth or crown could be creating a space where food is getting trapped. You may have the beginnings of gum disease or gingivitis. The best way to know if there’s something going wrong in your mouth is to visit your dentist.

Your dental professional can also advise you on the best types of floss, oral rinses, and toothbrushes for your specific needs. There are a lot of choices out there, from sonic toothbrushes to alcohol-free mouthwashes, that can help you take your oral hygiene to the next level.

These common-sense practices won’t only help keep your mouth healthy and your breath fresh, but they can also help stave off other diseases. Good oral hygiene isn’t crucial only for your social life; it’s also vital to your overall physical health.

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