Nearly 90 million Americans suffer from chronic bad breath, or halitosis, every day. Although the issue can be uncomfortable to address, it can affect your relationships with all the people in your life, from your closest loved ones to casual acquaintances.
There are a few simple things that may contribute to bad breath. According to the American Dental Association, “90% of mouth odors come from the mouth itself.” Therefore, the leading cause of bad breath is improper oral care. Millions of bacteria live inside the mouth at all times. When this bacterium interacts with tissue, blood and food particles it can create volatile and odorous sulfur compounds. Poor oral hygiene can lead to cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues.
The substances that you put into your mouth have a large impact on your oral health and breath. Potent food can cause temporary bad breath, but when food particles get lodged between your teeth or in your gums, they can promote the growth of bacteria that causes bad breath. Low carbohydrate diets can also lead to a condition known as “ketone breath” that causes a fruity, acetone-like odor. Tobacco products, such as cigarettes and chewing tobacco, not only leave smelly chemicals in your mouth, but also promote the development of gum disease and oral cancers. Similarly, the consumption of alcohol can leave a temporary bad odor in your mouth; however, in excess, alcohol can lead to chronic bad breath. Certain medications; such as antihistamines, paraldehyde, diuretics, insulin shots, and triamterene, can also lead to unpleasant breath.
Other oral health issues can contribute to the development of halitosis. Sinus infections and throat infections such as pneumonia could be the cause of bad breath. Thrush, dry mouth, bronchitis, diabetes, postnasal drip, acid reflux, lactose intolerance, and liver or kidney diseases are also contributing factors.
Fortunately, there are several small steps you can take on an every day basis to help prevent or relieve halitosis symptoms. Practicing good oral hygiene is the most effective preventative step. This includes brushing your teeth and your tongue at least twice a day, replacing your toothbrush every two to three months, flossing once a day, and taking proper care of dental equipment, such as dentures or braces. Eating healthy and drinking lots of water will also help you avoid unpleasant breath. Most importantly, see your dentist regularly. Allowing a professional to conduct oral exams can help you identify issues that may affect your breath and overall health.
If you have questions or concerns about halitosis or general oral health, contact Lynn Dental Care today. We understand the embarrassment you may be experiencing if you suffer from chronic bad breath. Let us treat you with cutting edge dental techniques and compassionate service. We are dedicated to giving you refreshing breath and radiant smile you deserve.