Bad breath is also sometimes referred to by its medical name, which is halitosis. It can be a condition which causes significant embarrassment to an individual, especially if it gets pointed out in a social setting. If you’ve ever doubted how uncomfortable it can make someone feel, or how it can trigger anxiety in someone, just take a look at the hundreds of products available in grocery stores and pharmacies which are supposedly cures for bad breath.
The truth is though, that most of these products don’t really address the underlying cause of bad breath, and merely mask the symptoms for a short while. If you really want to control bad breath, you’ll need an understanding of what causes it in the first place, so you can deal with that instead of just putting a sweet-smelling lozenge in your mouth.
What actually causes bad breath?
There are quite a few things that cause bad breath in your mouth, some of them natural and some of them artificially induced. The first and most obvious cause is some of the foods you eat. Onions, garlic, and some spices can all cause bad breath, and even after being swallowed, can then travel to your lungs and affect your breath. Tobacco products cause bad breath themselves, and they also contribute to gum disease which is another trigger for bad breath. If you have poor dental hygiene, you’re much likelier to have bad breath, because particles will become trapped between your teeth, then break down and release bacteria which has a foul odor.
Anyone regularly bothered by dry mouth will often have bad breath as well, because the saliva in your mouth is what does oral cleaning, and helps to keep your breath fresher. A number of medications will cause your breath to smell badly, and when these medications break down, they can still affect your breath. You can also get bad breath from having an infection in your mouth, from tooth decay, or following some type of surgery such as a root canal.
Bad breath from the stomach
It’s possible for a person to have bad breath as a result of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is an affliction that comes about when you experience chronic reflux of stomach acids. These stomach acids can travel back up into the throat, where they emerge to trouble the victim with whatever stomach odors resulted from recent digestive efforts. This can not only give you bad breath, but it can be quite uncomfortable because these acids are moving through your system and your throat.
Fix your bad breath
Fixing your bad breath will be a matter of discovering what the primary cause of the condition is, and then addressing that effectively. For example, if you determine that your bad breath is being caused by some of the foods you eat, you would just have to choose some alternative foods which don’t affect you in the same way.
One thing you can do for sure is to maintain good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing your teeth regularly after eating, and using dental floss to remove particles which may become trapped between your teeth. If these particles are allowed to disintegrate and decay on their own in your mouth, they will give off a foul odor as bacteria is generated. You can also drink plenty of water to make sure you’re regularly flushing out any of this material, so it doesn’t just sit in your mouth and decay.
If you are a smoker, you should stop smoking as soon as possible, because this can be contributing to gum disease, which is notorious for causing bad breath. If you have made all these lifestyle changes and still have persistent bad breath, you should consult with your dentist. It’s entirely possible that there is some more serious condition which is triggering your bad breath, and your doctor may refer you to a specialist to find out the true cause of your condition.
See What Our Patients Are Saying
"I don't think I've ever been to a dental office that has been this friendly and happy and it just makes you feel at home. It's been a wonderful experience and I certainly wouldn't want to go anywhere else."— Grateful Patient
"Great experience here. Been here for about a year and a half or something. My name is John Murphy. They do a terrific job in here and I'm very very pleased with their performance and trust what they do for me. Thank you."— John Murphy
"I came in today as a new patient and was surprisingly cared for. Everyone was very patient with me, as somebody who has a fear of the dentist and they took me through everything so I knew exactly what's going on and they put together an awesome treatment plan. I would recommend to anybody."— Happy Patient
"I love coming to Ammons Dental By Design. The staff is always so friendly and helpful and they make coming to the dentists office fun again."— Happy Patient
"Hi there. Very pleased with my care at Dr. Ammons. He has a modern facility with friendly people and happy faces and it's always a pleasing experience."— Happy Patient
"I had a great experience getting my implant done here. The staff and Dr. Ammons have been great and everything was virtually painless. I definitely recommend them for all your dental needs."— Implant Patient