Bad breath is a common yet embarrassing condition. Unfortunately, it is caused by more than just eating an abundance of garlic and onions. Bad breath can be a sign of troubling dental health problems. These problems may need to be addressed by a dental professional.
If you are uncomfortable with the smell of your breath, consider some of these practical tips for refreshing your oral hygiene routine.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Foul or bad-smelling breath can impact everyone at some point in time. A study by Harvard researchers estimates that about 30 percent of the population reports having some form of bad breath issue. However, chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be more difficult to treat than a bout of regular “morning breath.” Halitosis is typically characterized as bad breath lasting weeks to months at a time.
Some of the most common causes of bad-smelling breath tend to include:
- Eating pungent foods
- Smoking or tobacco use
- Pockets of gum disease
- Infections of the mouth, nose, or throat
- Dry mouth
- Certain diets like low-carb and low-calorie
- Chronic health conditions such as acid reflux or diabetes
The root cause of halitosis can vary. That makes getting to the bottom of the issue difficult for some people. It may take some trial and error and a visit to the dentist to help you narrow down the cause of your chronic bad breath.
Combating Bad Breath
It is always best to try to figure out what is causing your bad breath. That way, you treat the underlying cause of the issue. Treating the cause of the smell is better than masking the smelly symptoms. If gum disease or a cavity is causing a rotten smell, having a dentist treat these issues will help cure the foul smell and protect the health of your teeth and mouth. If your breath smells odd in a sweet or fruity way, that may mean you have or are developing diabetes. Diabetes is an extremely serious medical condition that requires medical intervention as soon as possible.
While you are uncovering the cause of your bad breath, try some of these home remedies to reduce the smell.
- Brush your teeth twice daily. Getting rid of bad breath starts with good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. Brushing keeps the number of bacteria down, which helps prevent bad breath. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, too.
- Floss. Flossing gets what your toothbrush misses. Floss can clean food particles and build-up out from between your teeth and prevent them from building up in the pockets of your gum line. Food particles stuck in teeth can be a major source of bad smells.
- Rinse or gargle with mouthwash. Mouthwash can’t combat bad breath all on its own, but it can help keep your mouth smelling minty fresh. It can also be a part of a good, overall oral health routine. If you have a dry mouth, a special mouthwash may help combat bad breath. It can also treat some of your dry mouth symptoms.
- Drink water. Drink plenty of water. Water can help flush out food particles between brushings. Staying hydrated may also help those who suffer from dry mouth.
- Avoid triggering substances. This includes spicy, sugary, or garlicky foods. To improve bad breath, you should also avoid tobacco products which can create bad breath and stain teeth.
- Clean dentures thoroughly. If you wear dentures, be sure to clean them thoroughly each time you take them out. Regular cleaning helps prevent bacteria build-up.
Bad breath doesn’t have to keep you from smiling. Halitosis is a treatable condition, but sometimes it means talking to a dental professional to identify the source of the smell. At Babylon Dental Care, we offer sensitive and compassionate service to all our clients. Don’t be embarrassed to share your concerns with our team. Schedule an appointment today at (631) 983-6665. We want to help you put a fresh spin on your smile.