Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is an embarrassing problem most people encounter at some point in their lives. The good news is that simple lifestyle changes are usually sufficient to combat this common but annoying condition. If, however, your bad breath persists, your trusted team at Dr. Rick Dentistry is here to help!
Here are the five most common bad breath culprits.
1. Poor Oral Hygiene Practices
The leading cause of halitosis is neglecting to maintain proper oral hygiene practices. If you don't brush and floss daily, food particles will remain in your mouth, providing odor-causing bacteria an abundant food source to flourish. Moreover, poor oral hygiene results in tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, both of which are causes of bad breath.
2. Consuming Odor-Causing Foods
Consuming odor-causing foods, such as garlic, onions, or certain spices can result in bad breath. While you can temporarily mask the odor by brushing your teeth or using mouthwash, the bad breath won't completely resolve until these foods pass through the body.
3. Smoking and Tobacco Use
Smoking or using tobacco products is one of the most damaging things you can do to your oral and overall health. Not only does tobacco cause an unpleasant mouth odor, but it can also result in oral health conditions, such as dry mouth or periodontal disease, two leading causes of bad breath.
4. Oral Health Problems
Persistent bad breath can result from oral health problems, including periodontal disease, tooth decay, and mouth sores. It can also result from dry mouth, a condition known as xerostomia. That's because saliva helps clean the mouth and flush out food particles and debris, so when its production decreases, odor-causing bacteria thrive.
5. Medical Conditions and Medications
Bad breath is often a symptom of health conditions, including kidney problems, liver failure, diabetes, metabolic diseases, blood disorders, chronic acid reflux, respiratory tract infections, postnasal drip, and infections of the nose, throat, and sinuses. At times, small bacteria-covered stones develop on the tonsils and cause an unpleasant smell. Halitosis can also result from medications that cause dry mouth and those that break down in the body and release odor-causing chemicals.
Bad Breath Treatment and Prevention
Your first line of defense against halitosis is maintaining proper oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing and flossing. If you wear a dental bridge, denture, or mouthguard, make sure to clean it well before placing it in your mouth. Don't forget to visit Dr. Rick Dentistry for your twice-a-year dental exams and cleanings to keep your mouth healthy and free of disease.
Some lifestyle changes can also help. Consider limiting your consumption of strong-smelling foods and refraining from smoking or the use of tobacco products. Make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and prevent dry mouth.
If your bad breath persists, talk to your trusted team at Dr. Rick Dentistry. We will treat any dental problem that may be behind your bad breath and will provide you with tips on maintaining a healthy smile. If we suspect that a medical condition is the culprit, we will refer you to your healthcare provider for an evaluation.
Quality Dental Care Near Me
Visit Dr. Rick's Dental practice in Scottsdale, AZ, to learn more about preventing and treating bad breath. We are committed to providing quality preventive and restorative services for long-term healthy smiles. Call us to schedule your appointment today!