Bad breath happens to most of us sooner or later. Studies show that 50 percent of adults have suffered from bad breath, also known as halitosis, at some point in their lives.
What Causes Bad Breath?
There are many reasons you might have bad breath. Although most of these causes are harmless, some can indicate something more serious.
Our mouths are alive with bacteria because your mouth acts like a natural hothouse that allows them to flourish. Whenever you eat, the bacteria dine on the remnants of food left in your mouth. Their digestive process leaves a foul-smelling waste product behind that causes bad breath.
It is possible that your mouth may not be making enough saliva. Having enough saliva is important as it constantly washes out your mouth and if you don’t have enough your mouth is not being cleaned as much as it should. Dry mouth can be a side effect of certain medications, untreated salivary gland issues or by breathing through your mouth. Keeping properly hydrated is important to prevent a dry mouth. Doctors recommend drinking at least 2 liters of water- eight 8 ounce bottles- per day to prevent dehydration.
Persistent bad breath that doesn’t go away or a chronic bad taste in your mouth can be an indicator of advanced gum disease. Gum disease occurs when sticky, cavity-causing bacteria called plaque cause your gums to become infected and inflamed.
While it makes sense that gum disease and other mouth infections would cause bad breath, other medical conditions can also cause it. If your dentist has already ruled out other dental or oral health issues and you brush and floss every day as recommended by your dentist, your halitosis could be the result of another problem. Conditions that can cause this issue are varied, including a sinus condition, gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease. In this case, make certain you see your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
How Can I Prevent Bad Breath?
Brush and Floss
Brushing twice daily and flossing daily will help rid you of bacteria in your mouth that’s causing your bad breath.
Take Care of Your Tongue
Don’t forget to clean your tongue while you’re brushing your teeth. If you stick out your tongue and look at the very back, you’ll notice a white or brown coating. That’s the area where most of bacteria that cause bad breath are living. You can use your toothbrush or a tongue scraper to clean them off your tongue.
Over-the-counter mouthwashes can eliminate some of the bacteria or neutralize and temporarily cover bad breath. However, this measure is only temporary. The longer you wait between brushing and flossing, the more likely you are to have bad breath.
Keep Saliva In Your Mouth
Eat healthy foods that require a good bit of chewing, like carrots or apples and keep hydrated to maintain plenty of saliva in your mouth. You can also chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candies to help keep your mouth moist. Your dentist may also prescribe artificial saliva if these quick fixes do not help.
Schedule Regular Appointments With Your Dentist
If in the Lititz PA area and you’re concerned about what might be causing your bad breath, schedule an appointment to see Dr. John or Dr. Sara Gotwalt. Regular check-ups will help Dr. Gotwalt to spot any impending problems such as gum disease or dry mouth and stop them before they become more serious. If your your mouth is healthy, you may be referred to your primary care doctor. To schedule a consultation with either of the Drs. Gotwalt today call 717-220-4651 or make an appointment online.