Everyone suffers from bad breath on occasion. It’s common for people to notice a bit of an odor in their mouth after they eat a pungent meal or when they first wake up in the morning. But what if bad breath becomes frequent or chronic? It can put a damper on your confidence and adversely affect your social interactions. What causes bad breath, and what can you do to correct it? Let’s talk about the answers to these important questions.
Oral Health and Hygiene
The problem: In some cases, the culprit behind bad breath is missteps in oral hygiene. If some food gets stuck between your teeth, it may create an unpleasant odor as it breaks down. Or, if your brushing and flossing habits aren’t quite what they should be, you might develop gum disease, which leads to persistent odor in the mouth. The problem might even be related to your tongue if you do not regularly clean it.
The solution: Improving your oral hygiene routine can certainly help to lessen bad breath, but a visit to your preventive dentist is also a good idea. They can look for signs of gum disease and other oral health problems and help you get on the road to sound oral health. Your hygienist will be happy to coach you on proper brushing and flossing techniques. And don’t worry — your dental team isn’t going to judge you. All they want to do is help!
Your Eating and Drinking Habits
The problem: Food and drink can contribute to bad breath in numerous ways. For example, the odor of garlic can actually go into your lungs, which means that no amount of toothbrushing can make it go away. If you drink coffee or alcohol, your mouth might dry out, allowing odor-causing bacteria the opportunity to flourish. A low-carb, high-protein diet can also cause bad breath by changing your body’s metabolism and causing the release of sulfurous gases.
The solution: Drinking plenty of water can combat dry mouth and bacterial buildup in the mouth. It’s also important that you eat a balanced diet. If you like the idea of a low-carb diet to lose weight, talking with a qualified nutritional expert might help you design an eating plan that helps you reach your goals with a minimal risk of bad breath.
Other Common Causes
Smoking, digestive health issues, and certain medications can all lead to bad breath. In some cases, bad breath can even be an indicator of diabetes or kidney problems. If you aren’t sure why you are struggling with an odor in your mouth, visiting your primary care provider as well as your dentist would be a good idea.
Bad breath isn’t always a big deal, but in some cases, it indicates a significant oral or overall health problem. Pinpointing the cause of your bad breath and addressing it is important!
Meet the Practice
Drs. Mark Farthing and Armin Tepner are the dental experts at Indianapolis Family Dentistry. They both have decades of experience and have completed numerous advanced training courses. If you are struggling with bad breath or have any other questions related to your oral health, they would be pleased to talk with you. Contact our practice at 317-898-3384.