Bad breath is a very common problem, but that doesn’t keep us from feeling embarrassed about it when it happens to us. In most cases, diligent dental care will keep bad breath at bay. However, if your bad breath proves persistent or particularly offensive, you can turn to your dentist for help.
Causes of Bad Breath
The bacteria in your mouth that causes decay and gum disease can also be a culprit in bad breath. These bacteria consume food fragments and residue from your teeth and create waste products. These waste products create acid that can decay your teeth, but they also create gases that cause bad breath. Removing the bacteria from the mouth is an important step in controlling or even eliminating bad breath. Regular brushing and flossing, as well as cleaning the tongue will help control the bacteria and thus the odors they create. You should also avoid strong-smelling foods like onions, garlic, or coffee, and don’t use any tobacco products.
If your bad breath is persistent, however, there might be another underlying cause. Some possible causes of persistent bad breath include:
- Tooth decay
- Dry mouth
- Sinus problems
- Kidney or liver problems
If you are taking good care of your teeth but still suffer from bad breath, a talk with your dentist can help you find a long-term solution.
Treatment for Bad Breath
The first step in treating bad breath is to be sure your oral hygiene is very good. Brush your teeth regularly, floss every day, and clean your tongue either by brushing it or by using a tongue cleaner. If you still have problems, try adding an antibacterial mouthwash. Also be sure to see your dentist regularly to be sure any decay or gum disease is promptly treated.
Though bad breath might not seem like a dentistry issue, your dentist can help a great deal if your problems are persistent. A trip to the dentist could reveal decay that’s lurking in your teeth, or dry mouth that’s causing bacteria to flourish in your mouth. Your dentist, Dr. Kemp or Dr. Borovac might also refer you to a doctor if your bad breath appears to be related to other health issues.