Taking care of your teeth and gums is important, especially if you want fresh and pleasant breath. Bad breath, also called halitosis, is embarrassing and may even lead to mental health conditions like depression and social anxiety. There’s no doubt that mouthwashes, toothpastes, gum, and mints fill the shelves at your local drugstore — just a few items intended to fight bad breath. Unfortunately, these products only mask the taste and smell of the issue. For the sake of your smile, it’s important that you address the causes of the problem and seek help from a dental professional.
Causes of Bad Breath
For orally healthy people, the most common cause of halitosis is microbial deposits on the tongue. For this reason, it’s important to consistently brush the back of your tongue and/or use antibacterial mouthwashes.
Reasons for the growth of these deposits include:
- Morning time: Saliva is meant to cleanse the inside of the mouth, but movement nearly stops during sleep. Stagnant saliva, then, encourages bacteria growth, which causes bad breath in the morning.
- Periodontal disease: When bacteria and food debris gets stuck under irritated and bleeding gums, it can lead to periodontal (gum) disease, which causes halitosis.
- Cavities: Bacteria grows in dental cavities, leading to bad breath.
- Tobacco products: Smoking dries out the mouth and causes halitosis. Smokers are also more likely to have gum disease, another common cause of this issue.
- Foods: Certain foods, such as garlic, onions, and spices, contain odor-causing ingredients that enter your bloodstream, are carried to your lungs, and ultimately affect your breath. Additionally, as the body burns fat, it releases chemicals called ketones in the breath, which can have a negative impact on the smell as well.
- Poor oral hygiene: Poor oral hygiene habits can cause food particles to remain in your mouth and plaque to form on your teeth. You should brush your teeth and tongue after eating, use dental floss daily, and drink plenty of water.
- Health conditions: A common cause of halitosis is dry mouth, or xerostomia. Other conditions that may be related include some types of cancer, metabolic disorders, infections after oral surgery or tooth decay, or conditions related to your mouth, nose, and throat.
- Medications: Finally, some medications, like antihistamines, can indirectly cause bad breath by promoting dry mouth. Others, when broken down by the body, may release chemicals that are carried to your breath.
How Maitland Ave. Smile Co. Can Help
It’s no surprise that one of the most common dental concerns is bad breath. Fortunately, at Maitland Ave. Smile Co., we can work with you to maintain your oral health and wellness. Some simple treatment options include:
- Mouth rinses and toothpastes: If your halitosis is caused by microbial deposits on your tongue or plaque on your teeth, we can recommend a mouth rinse and/or toothpaste that contains antibacterial agents.
- Treatment of gum disease: With routine preventative care, we can identify any early warning signs of periodontal disease. Once diagnosed, we can work with you to find an effective treatment to restore the health of your smile and lessen any pain caused by your symptoms.
Do you struggle with bad breath? Schedule an appointment at Maitland Ave. Smile Co. today!
Check out our Dental Blog for posts about sensitive teeth, the impact of stress on oral health, and more.