Causes and Solutions for Bad Breath

February, 2014 by Chantel Ledbetter

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a condition where your breath has a noticeable odor. Sometimes the odor is pungent, and people can smell it simply when you speak to them. Other times, the odor is foul but not extremely strong. No matter which type of bad breath you have, it’s an embarrassing condition that can affect your social life and confidence. Thankfully, dentists can help you pinpoint the reason for your bad breath and offer solutions.

Foods and Dieting

One thing that can cause bad breath is a change in diet. If you’re trying to lose weight, decreasing or increasing certain foods in your diet can cause a chemical imbalance that results in bad breath. This bad breath is often temporary and will disappear once your body begins to regulate itself. Dentists cannot help cure bad breath that are a result of dietary changes, so it’s best to chew gum or use mouthwash more frequently when dealing with temporary halitosis.

Gum Disease

Gingivitis is a huge contributor to bad breath. Gingivitis causes redness and inflammation of the gum line. Food is more likely to get stuck between teeth and within the gums when you have gingivitis. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, the food will decay and cause bad breath. Dentists can perform a dental exam to diagnose periodontal disease and offer solutions to help you fight it. Normally, a better brushing and flossing regimen will help heal the gingivitis and decrease bad breath.

Bacterial Growth in the Mouth

Any form of bacterial growth in the mouth will cause bad breath. Gingivitis is a sign of bacterial growth, but there are other opportunities for bacteria to spread and affect your dental health. Morning breath, that foul smelling odor that your breath has when you first wake up, is caused by bacteria that’s not washed away while you sleep. If you suffer from dry mouth, you may experience halitosis that strongly resembles morning breath.

Dentists can help you figure out solutions to dry mouth, although if your dry mouth is a side effect of medication there may not be much you can do. Poor dental hygiene also causes an overgrowth of bacteria as food decays and leaves particles within the gum line and between the teeth. A better dental regimen can cure bad breath if it’s caused by neglect of regular dental hygiene. Overall, halitosis is curable with the right dental techniques.


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