What causes bad breath?
Bad breath is caused by odor-producing bacteria that grow in the mouth. When you don’t brush and floss regularly, bacteria accumulate on the bits of food left in your mouth and between your teeth. The sulfur compounds released by these bacteria make your breath smell. Most of the time, bad breath does originate in the mouth; its characteristic smell is often caused by volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), which have a foul odor.
What exactly causes the mouth to smell bad?
Bacteria. Millions of these microorganisms (some of which are harmful, and some helpful) coat the lining of the mouth and the tongue. They thrive on tiny food particles, remnants of dead skin cells, and other material. When they aren’t kept under control with good oral hygiene — or when they begin multiplying in inaccessible areas, like the back of the tongue or under the gums — they may start releasing the smells of decaying matter.
Are there brushing teeth tips for bad breath?
If you notice your breath has been less than fresh lately, start by following a healthy daily dental routine – brush twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth once a day. Other things, like drinking plenty of water, chewing sugarless gum with the ADA Seal of Acceptance and cutting back on caffeine may also help get your saliva flowing and boost the freshness of your breath.
What is Halitosis?
Halitosis – or chronic bad breath – is something that mints, mouthwash or a good brushing can’t solve. Unlike “morning breath” or a strong smell that lingers after a tuna sandwich, halitosis remains for an extended amount of time and maybe a sign of something more serious.
What else could be causing my bad breath?
Dental issues: Cavities and deeper pockets from gum disease give bad breath bacteria extra places to hide in your mouth that are difficult to clear out when you’re brushing or cleaning between your teeth. Either can contribute to halitosis.
Mouth, nose, and throat infections: According to the Mayo Clinic, nose, sinus, and throat issues that can lead to postnasal drip may also contribute to bad breath. Bacteria feeds on mucus your body produces when it’s battling something like a sinus infection, leaving you sniffly and stinky.
Dry mouth: Saliva goes a long way for your dental health – and your breath. It rinses and removes unwanted leftovers from your mouth, helps break down food when you eat and provides disease-fighting substances to help prevent cavities and infections. If you don’t make enough saliva, one sign may be halitosis. Dry mouth can be caused by medications, certain medical conditions, alcohol use, tobacco use or excessive caffeine.
Smoking and tobacco: Tobacco products wreak havoc on your body and your breath. Not only do many tobacco products leave their own odor on your breath; they can also dry out your mouth. Smokers are also more likely to develop gum disease, which can also add to halitosis.
Other chronic conditions: While halitosis is most often linked to something happening in your mouth, it may also be a sign of gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease.
What can I do if brushing doesn’t work?
Those breath mints are really just a cover-up. Your best bet is to come into the dental office for an examination. We have several ways of finding out exactly what’s causing your bad breath and then treating it. Depending on what’s best for your individual situation, we may offer oral hygiene instruction, a professional cleaning, or treatment for gum disease or tooth decay. Bad breath can be an embarrassing problem — but visiting a dentist can help you breathe easier.