What Causes Bad Breath?

Posted on: Monday, July 10th, 2017

Engaging in a conversation knowing that you have bad breath can feel as mortifying as smiling wide with a piece of spinach stuck between your front teeth. Fortunately, bad breath is easy to avoid once you understand its causes and solutions.

Why Do You Have Bad Breath?

Bad breath, formally known as halitosis, is a very common problem that can be traced back to a few different sources. Most people with halitosis simply need to improve their dental hygiene habits. As soon as you eat or drink anything, food and liquid particles begin to breakdown in and around your teeth. If you don’t brush and floss regularly to remove food remnants, they accumulate into a coating of plaque that harbors odor-causing bacteria. This impacts the tongue as well, which is known to produce an unpleasant odor when not cleaned properly.

Dry mouth is another cause of bad breath. Since saliva helps to clean your mouth and remove the particles that cause bad odors, a mouth with insufficient saliva production will begin to release a bad odor. Most people experience this naturally when they wake up with “morning breath”, but some people have chronic, round-the-clock dry mouth that needs to be specifically treated. The use of tobacco products, certain medications, and specific medical conditions can also lead to halitosis. The entire body is connected, so one health problem like diabetes can quickly lead to an issue like halitosis.

Fighting Bad Breath

There are many solutions to halitosis, so you never need to suffer through the embarrassment or discomfort caused by bad breath. Begin by improving your oral hygiene habits. Brush and floss at least twice a day, scrape your tongue each morning with a tongue scraper, and replace your toothbrush every two to three months. Oil pulling is also an innovative and completely natural way to fight bad breath. This process involves swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil gently in your mouth for 20 minutes, then spitting it out and rinsing with warm water. Since oil pulling removes bacteria from the mouth, it eliminates bad breath at its source!

These simple yet effective steps will prevent bacteria from building up and generating a foul odor. Drinking water throughout the day is another easy but powerful way to kick bad breath to the curb. Water rinses away plaque and bacteria, hydrates the mouth, and freshens bad breath.

Making strategic food choices can even alleviate bad breath. Raw, crunchy food choices help to clean the teeth and even contain components that control food odor and promote saliva production naturally. Apples, almonds, carrots, and walnuts are great examples. Even the active cultures in yogurt reduce odor-causing bacteria in the mouth. Eat up!

If these preventative measures don’t resolve your bad breath, visit a holistic dentist like Natural & Cosmetic Dentistry in Clearwater, Florida. Dr. Carlson and Dr. Gilton can help to determine if dry mouth or another health condition is leading to your chronic halitosis. Call (727) 888-6523 to make your appointment today.

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