Bad breath – also known as chronic halitosis – is a completely preventable condition that is almost always caused by lifestyle and diet choices. We’re sure you’ve had someone point out the fact that you’ve had bad breath at one point or another; while it can be embarrassing, there are a number of things you can do to avert this. Learn about the cause of bad breath and use our tips to help prevent bad breath in the future!
Causes of Bad Breath
There are a number of factors that can cause bad breath and knowing what these are is half the battle. Here is a list of things that are known to cause bad breath:
- Food: Many foods can leave your breath smelling less-than-spectacular, such as coffee, onions, garlic, spicy foods, and very fragrant foods. If it’s stereo-typically bad for your breath, you probably already know what it is. If you eat a very fragrant food, make sure to brush your teeth, chew sugar-free gum, or use a mouthwash after the meal.
- Gum Disease: Over half of Americans above the age of 30 have gum disease or may be in the process of developing the condition. Regular brushing, flossing, and check-ups can easily prevent this.
- Dry Mouth: A dry mouth can be the cause of smoking, diet, certain prescription medications, or other drugs. Dry mouth can result in bad breath due to a lack of saliva. Talk with your doctor or your dentist to figure out the best solution for you.
- Chronic Disease: Certain diseases, such as diabetes, tonsillitis, sinus infections, and respiratory problems can be an underlying cause of halitosis. If you’ve noticed bad breath persists even after regular brushing and flossing, consult with your doctor.
- Tobacco: Cigarettes look as bad as they smell. Smoking tobacco and/or cigarettes can lead to dry mouth, bad breath, cancer, and other chronic disease. Cigarettes also can lead to gum disease, stained teeth, oral cancer, and gum irritation. If you haven’t quit already, it’s time.
Ways to Improve Your Breath
Now that we’ve gone over the most common causes of bad breath, we’ll touch on some ways to improve your breath.
- Brush and Floss Daily
We know you’ve heard it before: brush twice daily and floss at least once daily. If food is left in-between the teeth, bacteria will feed on the food and multiply, which will cause bad breath. Brushing your teeth two to four minutes per day – twice daily – will help prevent gum disease, cavities, and bad breath. Toothpaste also helps make your breath smell fresh!
- Use a Mouthwash
Mouth rinses are very effective ways at killing off odor-causing bacteria in the mouth; however, if the underlying cause of your bad breath is a dental issue such as gum disease, then it will only mask the problem. Which leads us to our next point…
- Visit Your Dentist
No one is going to be more of an expert at the cause of bad breath than your dentist. The right dentist will give you important dental hygiene tips, check your mouth for possible dental diseases, and will get to the root cause of your chronic bad breath. Often times it can be a simple fix! If you have an infection, antibiotics will clear up the case in a jiffy. If it’s a lack of proper oral hygiene, expect a gentle scolding and a plethora of oral hygiene tips!
Many people neglect to drink the recommended 8 glasses (8oz) of water every day. Staying hydrated can prevent a dry mouth – another cause of bad breath – and rinse away the excess bacteria and food particles that may be in your mouth or between your teeth.
- Chew Gum and Eat Fruit/Veggies
Fruits and veggies such as celery, carrots, and apples serve as powerful breath fresheners, as their fiber helps wash away bacteria. Apples and other fruits also contain powerful antimicrobial properties that can prevent the spread of pathogenic bacteria. Chewing sugar-free gum is also another easy way to prevent bad breath after a meal, as the extra saliva production can help wash away bacteria.
Family Dentistry Bergen County
Dr. Bruce Freund and his staff have been fighting cavities, bad breath, and gum disease for over 25 years in New York and New Jersey. We offer new patient specials for first-time visitors, along with many other specialty treatments such as:
- Laser Dentistry
- Dental Extractions
- Dental Crowns
- Periodontal Treatment (Gum Disease)
- Teeth Whitening
- And more!
To schedule a free consultation, give us a call at (201) 568-0606 or visit our contact page today!