Bad breath is medically known as halitosis. It could result from poor oral habits or other health problems. Bad breath could get worse by the types of foods consumed and other harmful lifestyle habits.
How Can Poor Habits Lead to Bad Breath?
If you don't brush and floss teeth correctly, food particles can get stuck between your teeth and remain in your mouth. Inadequate brushing could cause bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. Thus, bad breath could result. Bad breath can also lead to inflammation of the gums from poor dental hygiene.
If a person uses dentures, food particles and odor-causing bacteria could cause bad breath if they are not suitably cleaned. Smoking or chewing tobacco can also be a reason for bad breath, stained teeth, decreased ability to taste foods, and irritation of the gums.
What Kind of Health Problems Are Linked With Bad Breath?
Halitosis or bad breath may be an indication of periodontal or gum disease. Periodontal disease is caused by the accumulation of plaque on teeth. The bacteria in plaque might produce toxins that irritate the gums. As a result, the gums and jawbone might suffer damage if the gum disease is not treated.
A condition called dry mouth can also cause bad breath. A dry mouth may be a side effect of different medications, salivary gland problems, or breathing through the mouth. Saliva is essential to moisten the mouth, balance the acids produced by plaque, and flush away dead cells that collect on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. If not eliminated, these cells deteriorate and could result in bad breath.
Other reasons for bad breath include ill-fitting dental appliances, yeast infections of the mouth, and cavities.
How Can Bad Breath Be Prevented?
- Practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day to clean off food particles and plaque. The tongue should also be cleaned using a scraper.
- Consult your dentist at least twice a year. They will perform an oral exam and teeth cleaning and will be able to detect and treat gum disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad breath.
- Quit smoking and chewing tobacco products.
- Drink lots of water to keep the mouth moistened.
- Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless candy to increase the production of saliva. Saliva helps to flush away food particles and bacteria.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Avoid eating meat.
- An antibacterial mouthwash can help keep away bacteria that cause bad breath.
Call us at Shepherd Dental or schedule an online appointment to know more about bad breath/halitosis.