Few things are as embarrassing as bad breath. It can strike out of seemingly nowhere and cause some awkward social situations. It can also indicate serious underlying conditions. Knowing the causes of bad breath can help you prevent it and determine when home treatment isn’t enough.
Causes of Bad Breath
The top four causes of bad breath are:
Certain foods are known for their pungent odor, which can, unfortunately, linger in your mouth long after your meal. Many foods, including spices, coffee, and spicy foods can cause a temporary odor. Garlic and onions are the most well-known offenders. Alcohol can have a very strong smell as well. Most people believe that brushing their teeth is enough to get rid of the odor. However, with these foods, compounds enter your bloodstream and then your lungs. When you exhale, your breath smells like whatever you consumed, often for a few hours after eating or drinking it.
Poor Oral Hygiene
When food particles get stuck in your teeth, it’s a breeding ground for foul-smelling bacteria. Over time, this can cause cavities and gum disease, which can also cause bad breath. Brushing and flossing twice a day can prevent this. Antibacterial mouthwashes can also help control bacteria.
Dentures require daily cleaning as well. Food particles stuck in dentures, or between your gums and dentures, can also allow harmful bacteria to grow.
Smoking or chewing tobacco is one of the well-known causes of bad breath. The distinct odor is often known as smoker’s breath. The chemicals in the tobacco itself are often to blame. Dry mouth is a contributing factor as well. Both these factors also increase the risk of tooth decay, which can cause bad breath in its own right.
Curing smoker’s breath begins with a good oral hygiene routine. You may want to choose an alcohol-free mouthwash because alcohol can cause further dryness in your mouth. Scraping your tongue is also recommended, as it is also a favorite place for bacteria. Staying hydrated and drinking water often can also ease the risks associated with dry mouth. Gums and breath sprays may be useful in this case as well, particularly to mask the smell of tobacco itself. Sugar-free gum will also encourage your mouth to produce saliva.
A wide range of health problems are frequent causes of bad breath. Sinus infections, colds, or allergies result in mouth breathing, which can cause bad breath due to dry mouth. The drip associated with these conditions can also cause bad breath.
Gastrointestinal issues are sometimes to blame as well. Lactose intolerance, acid reflux, and other digestive problems can also cause bad breath.
Diabetes can cause bad breath. One of the causes of bad breath from diabetes is ketones. Ketones can build up in your body due to fasting or a low protein diet that causes your body to break down fat instead of sugar, or in diabetics because the body is unable to process all the sugar in the blood. Ketones will produce a sweet fruity odor.
Diabetes also puts you at an increased risk of gum disease. Bacteria feed on sugar, so the increased sugar levels make it easier for bacteria to grow in your mouth.
Get Dental Help You Need Today
If you are experiencing chronic bad breath or just need a dental check-up, you should visit Lovejoy Dentistry in Lucas, TX. We offer full general, cosmetic and restorative dental services. You’ll love our relaxed yet professional approach to dentistry, and our warranty will ensure you enjoy a winning smile for years to come. Call 972.449.7411 today.