What causes bad breath and how to avoid it

February 17, 2020, Langley Dental Practice

It’s usually not difficult to notice that you have bad breath. You might see it on the faces of people you get close to, and you’ll probably smell something is a little off yourself. The smell of bad breath can cause embarrassment, worry and anxiety as it negatively affects your self-confidence, especially in social setting. Luckily, bad breath, or halitosis is a very common condition that affects one in four people globally and there are a variety of treatment options at your disposal.


What causes bad breath?
There are many causes of bad breath, with the most common including:

Improper oral hygiene:  Not brushing and flossing your teeth can lead to bad breath as food particles are left over to rot, while plaque and tartar build up on your teeth.

Not drinking enough:  Saliva is a natural cleanser for your mouth, so not drinking enough can cause temporary bad breath.

Dry mouth condition:  Aside from not drinking enough, sometimes a patient’s mouth is unnaturally dry due to specific diseases (such as xerostomia) or certain medications.

Tobacco use and smoking:  Pretty self explanatory, that if you smoke, your breath may suffer.

Mouth, nose and throat conditions:  If there is bacteria present in your nose, in your throat (tonsils) or other areas, this can lead to difficult to fight halitosis.

What you can do at home to fight bad breath

Sometimes bad breath is temporary and can be alleviated with some simple at home treatments.

Proper oral hygiene and care routine:  Make sure to brush twice daily and floss at least once to ensure there are no food particles left over to cause odour.

Denture care:  A common cause of bad breath are dentures, so if you wear them make sure you are cleaning them properly using a good cleaning agent on a daily basis to prevent bacterial buildup.

Brush your tongue:  To fight bad breath, use your toothbrush (or a specifically designed tongue scraper) to brush your tongue daily.  Food particles or dead cells can build up on your tongue and cause a bad odour.

Avoid dry mouth:  This means drinking plenty of water during the day to keep hydrated.  You can also suck on a lozenge or chew gum to keep your salivary glands activated and lubricating your mouth.

Change your diet:  It’s not secret that certain foods like garlicy and spicy dishes can have an adverse affect on how your mouth smells.  Also, sugars have been linked to bad breath, as well as coffee or alcohol consumption.

Professional bad breath treatments
To help combat bad breath, your dentist may recommend a thorough cleaning of your teeth and tongue.  Medicated anti-bacterial mouth rinses and toothpastes are also available for stubborn cases.  Any dental diseases such as cavities or periodontal issues must be taken care of to avoid bad breath. 

Bad breath isn’t something anyone wants to suffer with, so speak with your dentist about treatment solutions if you feel your breath is stinky.  At our Martindale Dental Hamilton office we can help treat the cause of your bad breath so you can regain the confidence to get up close and personal.


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