You take excellent care of yourself – you eat organic produce, you hit the gym at least 3 times a week, and you always wear your seat belt. That’s why you’re surprised to overhear your work colleagues sharing some water cooler chat about the unpleasant odor of your breath. What could be causing this? Could it be all the coffee you’ve been drinking to get through the long hours? And, more importantly, what can you do about it? In this post, your trusted dentist in Federal Way provides the information you need to make sure this embarrassing situation never occurs again. Learn all about bad breath – and what you can do to prevent and treat it – from Dr. Drew Beaty.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Dr. Beaty explains that there are several causes for bad breath, including:
- Poor Oral Hygiene – This is the most frequent reason people experience malodorous breath. Skimping on brushing and flossing causes oral bacteria to thrive and the result is often a negative impact on your oral health, including your breath.
- Food Choices – While potent foods like garlic and onions are tasty and have some antioxidant properties, they can linger and people can become nose-blind to the smell. Beverages like coffee and sodas can also cause issues for three reasons: first, the drink itself is robust in smell, second, caffeinated liquids dry out your mouth causing an increase in oral bacteria, and third, the sugar that usually goes hand-in-hand with these also makes bad breath germs flourish.
- Dry Mouth – The bacteria that causes your mouth and breath to smell badly increases exponentially in a dry environment.
- Using Tobacco Products – Smoking, chewing, dipping, and using tobacco in any form not only drastically increases your risk for oral cancer, gum disease, and tooth loss, the linger odor wreaks havoc on your breath.
- Gum Disease – Periodontal issues, even in the earlier stages of gingivitis, can cause your breath to smell badly.
Additionally, bad breath can the result of medical conditions, such as:
- Upper respiratory infections
- Sinus infections
- A GI tract (gastrointestinal) problem
- Liver problems
- Kidney ailments
What Can I Do If I Have Bad Breath?
If you find yourself in the circumstances of having halitosis or bad breath, try these strategies:
- Brush your teeth gently for two minutes, twice a day.
- Increase your flossing from once a day to twice daily (after breakfast and before bed are the best times to make the most of flossing).
- Limit your intake sugar in both foods and beverages.
- Make food choices that are smarter when it comes to smell.
- Chew sugarless gum with Xylitol that increases saliva and helps prevent cavities.
- See Dr. Beaty for an exam and teeth cleaning in Federal Way at least every 6 months – not only will he be able to remove odor-causing plaque and tartar buildup, a professional dental checkup can help diagnose more than 120 medical conditions, including diabetes.
- Quit smoking and using tobacco in any of its forms.
- Try using over-the-counter mouthrinses that are designed to treat dry mouth and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
If you use the tips above, you’ll be well on your way to maintaining a minty fresh mouth no matter what. Schedule your appointment with Drew Beaty DDS to keep your smile looking – and smelling – great today!