Research has shown that more than half of American adults have had bad breath at some point in their lives. We are not referring to the temporary bad breath caused by the food you eat, but a condition that happens without any relation to your eating habits.
Bad breath is one of most people’s biggest fears. Also known as halitosis, this condition can cause embarrassment, stress, and social anxiety.
How can you go 12 hours without worrying about your breath?
December 12 is national 12 -Hour Fresh Breath Day so let’s take a look at some of the common causes and ways to deal with bad breath.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Bacteria living on your tongue
Specifically, the back of the tongue has many grooves and crevices, making it the perfect place for odor-producing bacteria to grow.
Overall poor dental hygiene
Without daily brushing and flossing, a colorless film of bacteria called plaque forms on your teeth. If not brushed away, plaque can irritate your gums and eventually cause periodontitis. In addition, food particles can be stored between your teeth and eventually become a great habitat for odor-causing bacteria.
Saliva is a natural deterrent to bad breath because it washes away bacteria. Dry mouth is a fairly common condition called xerostomia and often contributes to bad breath.
Certain medical conditions
Gum disease, allergies, chronic reflux of stomach acids, inflammation in the nose, sinuses or throat, lactose intolerance, diabetes all can be a cause of bad breath.
Certain medications can indirectly become a cause of bad breath by contributing to dry mouth.
How To Prevent Bad Breath?
Develop Good Dental Hygiene
Good hygiene goes a long way toward preventing bad breath. At minimum, you should be brushing your teeth twice a day, as well as flossing once a day. These habits should be enough to keep normal bacteria growth at bay, but if you feel like your breath is still bad, you can use an antibacterial mouth rinse to cut down on bacteria growth on your tongue and elsewhere in your mouth.
Get Regular Dental Cleanings
For good oral health you should have your teeth cleaned every six months. A dental hygienist can do a much more thorough job of eliminating plaque and flushing out bacteria than you can at home, so if your halitosis persists even after stepping up your brushing and flossing, this might be what’s needed.
Investigate Dental Problems
If you are still dealing with halitosis even after having your teeth cleaned professionally, it’s possible you may actually be dealing with some kind of dental problem. Remember, bad breath is caused by bacteria, so the source of the problem could be something as simple as food and bacteria getting trapped in your teeth. Let your hygienist know your breath is chronically bad and have your dentist look for any untreated problems that could be a potential cause.
Consider The Role of Other Health Problems
Because saliva helps fight bacteria in the mouth, a dry mouth can lead to a buildup of bacteria, which in turn could be the cause of foul breath. If you have a dry mouth or if dental cleanings and other measures don’t resolve your bad breath, you may need to consider the role other health conditions could be playing.
For instance, diabetes can cause your mouth to be unusually dry, while other conditions such as post nasal drip, chronic bronchitis, and respiratory tract infections can cause an unusual buildup of bacteria. Liver disease and acid reflux are other conditions that can cause your breath to smell bad. If you have one of these conditions or have been unable to resolve your bad breath through good hygiene and dental care, it’s time to pay a visit to your doctor.
Keeping Your Breath Fresh
Having bad breath can be an embarrassing and stressful issue, but you don’t have to be at its mercy. Through proper hygiene, dental cleanings, and good health care, most cases can be resolved. For more information about improve or get rid of your bad breath, contact us or request an appointment online.