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What Causes Bad Breath?

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is an unpleasant smell coming from the mouth due to an underlying health problem. It can be a temporary issue or a chronic condition that can easily be prevented, managed or treated. Several factors, including diet, lifestyle habits, poor oral health and other underlying conditions, are among the contributing factors.

In addition to a bad smell in your mouth, you may also notice a bad taste. If the taste is due to an underlying condition and isn’t because of trapped food particles, it may not disappear even if you brush, floss and use mouthwash. Poor oral hygiene, which leads to gingivitis and periodontal disease, is the most common reason behind bad breath, besides eating spicy foods like garlic or smoking tobacco. Other causes of halitosis include the following: 

  • Dry mouth
  • Sinus infection
  • Postnasal drainage
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • An infection in your upper or lower respiratory system
  • Liver and kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disorder
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Mouth infections (cavities, gum disease or impacted teeth)

Poor Dental Hygiene

Bacteria break down food particles trapped in the teeth or mouth. The combination of the bacteria and decaying food in your mouth then produces an unpleasant odour. However, brushing and flossing regularly can remove the trapped food before it decays or causes gum inflammation(gingivitis). If you wear dentures or orthodontic appliances such as braces, poor oral hygiene can also lead to bad breath.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease happens when you don’t remove plaque promptly from teeth. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar, which you can’t remove by brushing. Over time, tartar buildup leads to gum irritation. Tartar may cause pockets or small openings to form in the area between the teeth and gums, where food, bacteria, and dental plaque can collect and cause a strong odour.

Treatment options for breath odour

If breath odour is due to plaque buildup, a dental cleaning may solve the problem. Deep dental cleaning such as scaling and planing may be necessary if you have periodontal disease. Treating underlying medical issues, such as a sinus infection or kidney disease, can also help improve breath odour. Our team at Campus Dentist may recommend using an artificial saliva product and drinking plenty of water if dry mouth causes your odour problem.

How Can I Prevent Breath Odor?

  • You should brush your teeth two or more times each day. Floss daily, making sure to get in between all of your teeth. Use antimicrobial mouthwash daily to kill bacteria. Brushing your tongue with a toothbrush or tongue scraper can also help remove bacteria.
  • Staying hydrated can often help to eliminate breath odours. Clean your dentures, mouth guards, and retainers daily. Replace your old toothbrush with a new one every three months, and schedule a dental cleaning and examination every six months.
  • Replace your old toothbrush with a new one every three months and schedule a dental cleaning and examination every nine months.
  • Stop smoking or chewing tobacco-based products
  • Schedule routine dental visits

Consult your dentist or dental hygienist when choosing oral hygiene aids to help you eliminate plaque and odour-causing bacteria and review the techniques that should be utilized at home. Also, ask your dental professional what oral hygiene care products they would recommend you to use to help eliminate bad breath (antibacterial toothpaste, antiseptic mouth rinse, tongue brushes or scrapers and interproximal cleaning devices).

The key to a clean, fresh mouth is optimal oral hygiene regularly and professional recommendations discussed with your dental professional.

Contact us today! Our team at Campus Dental can examine your mouth and give recommendations for the right treatment plan based on your individual dental needs.

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