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Bad Breath: Causes and Treatment Options

We talk a lot about the importance of a healthy smile. Another component of looking and feeling your best? Fresh breath! You may be surprised to learn that millions of patients struggle with bad breath — and many don’t even realize it. Fortunately, there are a number of at-home solutions as well as professional help to combat this embarrassing issue.

To start, let’s look at common causes of bad breath.

This problem may be attributed to:

  • Poor oral hygiene: If you fail to brush and floss regularly, bacteria and plaque may build up on your teeth and cause bad breath.
  • Dry mouth: Your saliva naturally neutralizes odors. Unfortunately, bad smells become more prominent when your mouth is dry.
  • Other medical conditions: Other problems, like gum disease and sinus infections, also lead to bad breath. If the smell persists even after brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash, it’s important to see your doctor and determine if you have an underlying health problem.
  • Food: It’s no secret that certain foods — like garlic, onions, and cheese — can cause bad breath. These odors may even last for hours after eating. There are foods that are good for your oral health too. Click here to learn more!
  • Tobacco products: Of course, smoking or chewing tobacco also causes bad breath and stained teeth. It can even irritate your gums. 

To combat this issue, take a closer look at your oral hygiene habits. Are you brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste? Are you flossing and using mouthwash once a day? After your dental care routine, rinse your mouth with water to remove any leftover food and bacteria. Additionally, be sure to drink enough water each day; this practice will reduce bacteria growth and keep your mouth moist. If your mouth feels dry, chew gum or mints to increase saliva production and decrease odor-causing bacteria.

Bad breath is often a sign of something being wrong with your mouth and/or throat, making it particularly important to properly treat.

If the at-home treatments mentioned above fail to work, contact your dentist for professional help. Something as simple as an in-office cleaning may remove the plaque and/or tartar causing the bad smells. Your dentist may also see signs of problems like cavities or gum disease.

If needed, your dentist may recommend periodontal cleaning or scaling and root planing to further address bacteria in your mouth. Another option is tongue scraping, which is especially helpful if you have a coated tongue. Lastly, your dentist may suggest a prescription antimicrobial mouthwash to use in addition to regular brushing and flossing. 

The good news? You don’t have to suffer from bad breath any longer!

A fresh smile is within your reach. Contact Maitland Ave Smile Co. today, and we’ll determine the cause of your problem and suggest a treatment plan specific to your needs. 


Call us at 407.834.0330 to schedule your appointment today! Check out our Dental Blog to learn more about topics like restorative dentistry, dental anxiety, and more.