By Kenneth Bagby, D.D.S. on October 05, 2017
Bad breath happens to everyone. Chronic bad breath, also called Halitosis, affects up to fifty percent of adults in their lives. Most causes of bad breath are absolutely harmless (garlic and onions are likely culprits), but there are a few causes which require a little more attention, and could be the cause of a more serious condition.
It’s no surprise that bacteria live in our mouths. And when those bacteria feed off food debris they leave a waste behind that has a stinky odor.
Dry mouth happens when the body can’t produce enough saliva to clear away food debris from the inside of the mouth. There are many likely culprits of dry mouth, and many are sporadic and go away easily. Dry mouth is also the end result of salivary gland problems, medications issues (dry mouth is a common side-effect from certain medications), or breathing issues (constant mouth breathing keeps the soft tissues in the mouth dry). When dry mouth is caused by a more chronic and pervasive condition, such as something derived from issues within the salivary glands, it’s important to seek treatment from your dentist.
Gum disease is caused by plaque. Oftentimes gum disease, especially in its initial stages, will be difficult to self-diagnose. (Thankfully, however, Dr. Bagby can determine gum disease before it evolves into the more pervasive and destructive periodontal disease, so keep up with your regular visits!) Gum disease, usually, also has the symptom of an ever-present bad taste in your mouth.
Food and Tobacco
Food is a big cause of temporary bad breath. We’ve already mentioned the likely culprits of onions and garlic. Tobacco use also brings with it pervasive, chronic bad breath, which should give you just one more reason as to why you should quit tobacco!
Bad breath can be fought by twice daily brushing and flossing. Remember to brush your tongue, because the tongue is a place where bacteria thrive. Remember to visit your dentist regularly. For some, mouthwashes can be effective at daily control over bad breath, although if you need a product like mouthwash to keep bad breath at bay then you may want to come in for a checkup with Dr. Bagby, because the underlying cause of your bad breath may be something that requires treatment.
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