The Top 10 Reasons You Have Bad Breath
It makes for an awful first impression when meeting new people.
We try our best to prevent and eliminate it, but sometimes it's not good enough.
Sometimes we're on the go, and there's nothing we can do about it.
No matter who you are, what you do for a living, or where you lived, you've experienced this at least once in your life.
It's called halitosis, otherwise known as bad breath.
We've all had it. Sometimes it's completely unavoidable.
Many things can cause bad breath.
Below is a list of the top 10 reasons you get bad breath.
1. Poor Oral Hygiene
This one is entirely in our control.
The most obvious reason to have bad breath is that you aren't taking care of our teeth and/or gums.
If you don't floss and brush often, bacteria is going to build up in your mouth.
When the bacteria builds up, your teeth start to decay.
When your teeth start to decay, we start to smell it.
It's a smelly chain reaction.
In addition to flossing and brushing regularly, you need to replace your toothbrush every few months.
If you don't replace your toothbrush, bacteria will start to live on your toothbrush.
Visit your dentist regularly. Most dentists recommend a checkup every six months.
2. The Food You Eat
The foods you eat have a significant impact on the air you exhale.
We've all been victims of post-meal breath.
Onions, garlic, curry and an endless list of herbs and spices make our breath anything but desirable.
Once the food makes its way into the bloodstream, it gets into your lungs, and then you breathe it out.
Not to mention the particles that get left behind in your teeth.
Breath mints and mouthwash after the meal only mask the odor.
The only way to prevent bad breath after eating is to avoid the foods that make it bad.
3. Morning Breath
There's no way to avoid this.
We all sleep, and we all wake up in the morning.
Or the afternoon depending on your schedule.
Anyway, while you sleep your saliva production slows down.
This makes your mouth a breeding ground for bacteria.
Be sure to brush and floss your teeth right before bed to give yourself the best shot at avoiding morning breath.
Brush your teeth as soon as you wake up to knock it out completely.
4. Gum Disease
Gum disease is a bacterial infection in the tissue surrounding the teeth.
If you suffer from gum disease, you're more prone to bad breath because of the build-up of bacteria around your teeth.
If brushing and flossing don't get rid of your bad breath, gum disease may be the culprit.
5. Dry Mouth
Dry mouth occurs when the flow of saliva to your mouth decreases.
Saliva is the body's way of cleaning your mouth of bacteria.
So when you have dry mouth, saliva isn't getting rid of the bacteria, and you get bad breath.
Having salivary gland problems and regularly breathing through your mouth are causes of dry mouth.
If you seem to get dry mouth often, chew sugar-free gum to increase your saliva.
6. Allergies and Sinus Infections
Odor-causing bacteria are attracted to the proteins found in mucus and phlegm.
When you have a cold or sinus infection, your sinuses will produce more mucus.
Because of the extra mucus in and around your mouth, you'll have more bacteria in your mouth than you usually would.
This is another reason why you should brush your teeth more than you usually would when you have a head cold.
7. Your tongue
Your tongue is one of the biggest reasons you have bad breath.
The tiny little hairs on your tongue act almost as velcro.
Food particles and bacteria get stuck to your tongue, and as they accumulate, your breath turns sour.
Now you probably think you can use your toothbrush to brush your tongue.
You've got the right idea, but the wrong tool.
Your toothbrush was designed to clean your teeth, so it isn't ideal to use on your tongue.
A tongue scraper is designed to clean the extra muck off of your tongue.
Some toothbrushes come with one on the opposite side of the bristles.
8. Undiagnosed Medical Conditions
Sometimes chronic bad breath, bad breath that won't go away, is a sign of underlying health issues.
Bronchitis, respiratory tract infections, diabetes, and gastrointestinal disorder can all cause bad breath.
If you brush and floss your teeth with no luck, then you need to go to the dentist.
If you go to the dentist and he determines you have a healthy mouth, you might have another serious health issue.
Your dentist will likely refer you to your family doctor for additional tests.
In case this wasn't obvious, smoking causes bad breath.
Smoking leaves behind a distinct smell, so people that don't even know you will know you're a smoker.
It also affects the flow of saliva in your mouth, which leads to bacteria growth.
And as you know by now, that bacteria cause bad breath.
Again, gum and mints will only mask the odor smoking produces.
You should stop smoking altogether to keep from getting bad breath and a myriad of other health issues.
Taking care of your overall oral health applies to your dentures as well.
Just like natural teeth, food particles and bacteria can build up in your dentures.
If you don't clean them on a regular basis, they're going to make your breath less than inviting.
Remove and clean your dentures after each meal, and gently brush your gums.
Visit your dentist on a regular basis to be sure your gums stay healthy.
When to see the dentist
There you have, the top 10 factors that cause bad breath.
If you've gone through this list and you've done everything that's recommended, and you still have bad breath, it might be time to see your dentist.
He'll give you an oral exam to see if you have a healthy mouth.
If he finds something he can treat, he'll take care of it.
If he finds that you have a healthy mouth, he'll refer you to your family doctor to check for any other medical issues.
If you think you need to see a dentist and live in the greater Cleveland area, the team at Hylan Dental Care is standing by.
Click the button below to schedule your free consultation to fix that bad breath.