The clinical term for bad breath is halitosis. For some, it can be extremely embarrassing. Drug and convenience stores are chock-full of remedies like gum, mints, and more to obscure bad breath, but what actually prevents it? In some cases, bad breath can be addressed by modifying your dental habits or seeking treatment for oral problems.
What Causes Bad Breath?
There is no shortage of things that can compromise the quality of your breath. Below, is a short list of the most common factors involving breath problems.
- Food – Is it important to brush after eating? Yes. Is flossing important? Yes. Over time, food particles will stick between your teeth where they will rot. This will compromise the overall quality of your breath. If this is the cause, brushing and flossing regularly should alleviate symptoms.
- Smoking – Not only does smoking itself make your breath bad, but it can cause gum disease which also causes bad breath. Quitting smoking should alleviate symptoms if smoking is the cause of your breath issues.
- Dry mouth – Generally speaking, dry mouths tend to produce stinkier breath. Saliva helps break down food particles in your mouth and between your teeth. Absent saliva, these particles stick around and begin to stink. Additionally, some medications may cause dry mouth which exacerbates existing breath problems.
- Infections – If you have an abscessed tooth or another infection in your mouth, this could cause bad breath. If this is the case, then treating the infection should solve the bad breath issue.
- Gum disease – Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque beneath the gum line. It is an active infection in your mouth. The plaque is a bacteria-laden goo that can be removed to get rid of the infection.
- Tonsils – Sometimes the tonsils can become infected and result in bad breath. Dealing with the infection or removing the tonsils can solve the problem.
By and large, the most common cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. In cases where there is periodontal (gum) disease, the underlying plaque must be removed. This is known as a “deep clean”. The dentist goes into your gums and gets rid of the plaque there and along with it goes the bacteria. It’s the bacteria itself that is causing the odor and doing significant damage to your gums at the same time. On a long enough timescale, the plaque will cause your gums to pull away from the teeth, creating tiny pockets where more plaque and food particles can accrue. The infection can spread through your gums into your jawbone.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of bad breath in Americans, but it is treatable. The earlier the treatment occurs, the better off your mouth (and breath) will be.
Talk to a Cottonwood Bad Breath Dentist Today
If you’re worried about your breath or your child’s breath, the Flagstaff, AZ family dentists at Peak Family Dental Care can determine the cause of the issue and recommend a treatment plan. Talk to us today for more details.