Halitosis, or bad breath, affects everyone at some point in their lives. Many people wake up with unpleasant “morning breath,” for instance, or need a mint after enjoying food that’s heavy with onion and garlic. Some people have chronic bad breath though, which may indicate a problem that needs some attention from the dentist. The guide below discusses how oral care correlates with bad breath and how to improve it.
The Major Causes of Bad Breath
Bad breath has many causes beyond certain foods. From genetics to feeling sick, many people may have a foul odor that lingers throughout the day. Some of the most common reasons for bad breath include:
- Dry Mouth: Saliva is a natural mouth cleanser, helping remove bacteria from the surface of your teeth. If you have dry mouth, though, due to medication or illness, bacteria can build up and cause odors.
- Diets: Some diets, like the popular keto diet, cause a buildup of ketones in your body when fat is burned. Ketones have a strong odor and will cause bad breath.
- Conditions of the Mouth, Nose, & Throat: Infections in your nose or throat can make your breath smell bad, as can the development of bacteria-covered stones on your tonsils.
- Poor Dental Hygiene: Not properly brushing your teeth or seeing the dentist for professional cleanings can lead to plaque, which contributes to gum disease and tooth decay. These conditions are commonly associated with bad breath. Not properly cleaning your dentures can also cause bad breath.
How to Eliminate Bad Breath
For most people, the easiest way to prevent and treat bad breath is by implementing a proper dental hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing after every meal, or at least twice a day, and seeing the dentist twice a year will help regulate bacteria. Regular dental care ensures your teeth are free of plaque buildup that causes bad breath, and that any problems (like cavities and gum disease) are addressed before they lead to bigger problems.
If you still have bad breath despite taking care of your teeth, talk with your doctor or dentist about the issue. Treating an underlying cause, like an infection or acid reflux, may help your breath stay fresh.
If you’re dealing with chronic bad breath and need help finding a solution, turn to Drs Emery & Scuro DMD, PC. Serving Rochester, NY, and all Monroe County, these dentists provide comprehensive care for patients of all ages. From general dentistry and teeth cleaning to restorative dentistry and sleep apnea oral appliance therapy, they offer a wide range of services. Explore their full list of services online or call (585) 247-7110 for an appointment.