The Causes of Bad Breath: What They Are and How to Stop Them
When you are worried about bad breath, it can be hard to socialize and connect with others. Fortunately, stinky breath is not something you just have to give up and accept. There are all sorts of ways to address this issue and achieve fresher breath. Your first step to getting better breath is figuring out the causes of bad breath in the first place.
Common Causes of Bad Breath
Almost all smelly breath is due to bacterial buildup somewhere in the mouth, but there are a variety of reasons you might have bacteria buildup in the first place. For some people, the issue is as basic as poor dental hygiene. If you do not brush and floss your teeth regularly, food particles and bacteria build up and start to smell. Another common cause is a dry mouth since saliva helps to push away particles and bacteria. You can get a dry mouth from taking certain medications, smoking tobacco, or not drinking enough water.
In some cases, more severe conditions are the underlying cause of bad breath. All sorts of infections in the mouth, including cavities, impacted teeth, and injured teeth can result in bad breath. You can also get bad breath from periodontal disease, a severe infection under the gum line. In some cases, bad breath might not be due to dental issues. Some gastrointestinal problems, like acid reflux, can cause bad breath. Other throat and nose conditions, like sinus infections, tonsil stones, or esophageal cancer, can also cause bad breath to develop.
Figuring Out Why Your Breath Smells
As you can see, there are many reasons your breath might be a bit unpleasant. Identifying the cause correctly can take a little time. Diagnosis of bad breath typically involves checking for and treating the most common causes. A good place to start is usually visiting the dentist. They can help determine if your current brushing habits are inadequate and check for any cavities or potential gum disease. If you have any sort of bacterial infections or decay in your mouth, your dentist can help you treat your bad breath.
When your mouth seems healthy but you still have an odor to your breath, your dentist may recommend taking a sample swab from the back of your tongue and testing it to see what is causing the odor. In rare cases, where treatment from your dentist does not fix your bad breath, they may recommend you go to a doctor for further diagnostic tests.
How to Fix Bad Breath
There are a few different things you can do to treat your bad breath. At the simplest level, treatment is just taking good care of your teeth. Brush your teeth twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride and antibacterial ingredients. Each time, be sure to brush your tongue as well. You should also floss once a day to clean between your teeth. There are special mouth rinses that can further clean away stinky bacteria. Some other lifestyle changes that can help with bad breath include eating less sugary foods, quitting smoking, and drinking enough water.
For those with bad breath due to dental problems, the best fix is just treating the issue. If you have a cavity, a simple tooth filling can treat the problem quickly. For more severely damaged teeth, root canal treatments or tooth implants may be a better choice. If you have gum disease, you may need a professional deep cleaning from a periodontist to get rid of deep-seated pockets of bacteria.
When you’re tired of dealing with bad breath, Lovett Dental is here to help. Our talented dental staff can help you identify and fix most of the reasons your breath may be smelling. Set up your next appointment at Lovett Dental Conroe by calling 936.274.1925.