What Causes Bad Breath & How to Prevent It | Pleasant Dental

What Causes Bad Breath?

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Have you ever wondered what causes bad breath? Have you tried quick fixes like mints or gum to mask the problem? If so, you’re not alone. According to Harvard Health, approximately 30% of the population suffers from bad breath.

The good news? Your dentist can help! Keep reading to learn about common causes, plus effective treatments for bad breath.

The Top 5 Bad Breath Causes

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Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can have many causes. While garlic and onions are often to blame, other halitosis causes include underlying medical conditions and unhealthy habits. Here are some of the most common culprits.

  • Poor oral hygiene: This is easily the most common cause of bad breath. Bacteria grow in your mouth and on your tongue if you don’t brush and floss and have regular dental cleanings.
  • Smoking: Smoking or chewing tobacco reduces saliva production and increases bacteria in your mouth.
  • Dry mouth: Saliva helps wash away food particles and bacteria from your teeth. So, if you don’t produce enough saliva, you can develop bad breath. Many common medications — including antihistamines, antidepressants, diuretics, and decongestants — can increase your risk of dry mouth.
  • Certain foods and beverages: Food like onion, garlic, or alcohol can cause bad breath temporarily because they increase the amount of bacteria in your mouth while they break down into acids during digestion.
  • Underlying medical conditions: Diabetes, liver or kidney disease, sinus infections, and gum disease all cause bad breath.

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5 Effective Treatments for Halitosis

Have you been looking for a bad breath remedy? Prevention is often the best course of action. Here are five ways to prevent bad breath.

  1. Practice proper oral hygiene techniques. In addition to brushing and flossing regularly, you should visit your dentist at least twice yearly for professional cleaning. This helps remove plaque and tartar buildup, which can cause bad breath.
  2. Brush your tongue. You can also brush your tongue with a toothbrush or scraper tool designed for this purpose. The bacteria on your tongue can contribute to bad breath, so you can remove it to help reduce odor.
  3. Use a bad breath mouthwash or other oral hygiene products. These products are available over the counter at drugstores or from a doctor’s office. Some people with chronic bad breath may benefit from rinsing with an oxygenating agent such as sodium perborate or hydrogen peroxide for 30 seconds few times a day. 
  4. Maintain hydration. Dehydration causes dry mouth, which can aggravate halitosis. To keep your mouth moist, sip water throughout the day and avoid alcohol and caffeine beverages.
  5. Adjust your diet. Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits daily. These foods contain fiber, which helps remove food particles from your teeth and tongue that can cause odor problems.

How Do I Know if I Have Bad Breath?

 It’s not always easy to tell when you have bad breath, so here are some ways to find out.

  • Pay attention to any bad taste in your mouth. If your mouth tastes bad, it likely smells bad too.
  • Ask a friend or loved one. While it might be uncomfortable to ask, a second opinion is helpful.
  • Try the wrist test. Lick the back of your wrist, wait ten seconds, and then smell.
  • Ask your dentist. Your dentist can use professional tools to gauge the sulfur levels in your mouth.

What if I Still Have Bad Breath After Brushing?

In most cases, you can treat bad breath easily with home remedies or over-the-counter products. However, if you notice your breath remains bad even after you’ve tried these solutions, make an appointment with your dentist and doctor right away to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

Dr.Shah Can Help You Address What Causes Bad Breath

If you have bad breath that doesn’t go away after trying home remedies or over-the-counter products, or if you’re concerned about other symptoms, make an appointment with Pleasant Dental.

Dr. Shah and his compassionate team are here to provide expert care and regular dental cleanings so you can prevent bad breath and keep your smile healthy.

Do you have questions about what causes bad breath?
Call (336) 738-3661 TODAY to schedule your appointment!

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