What’s That Smell? Avoiding Bad Breath
We’ve all had those moments of paranoia. In the middle of a conversation, the person we’re speaking with backs away. We step closer and continue speaking, when the other person backs away again. After a few more steps of this awkward dance, it finally occurs to us that the reason our conversation partner is backing away could be because we have bad breath. But what if it isn’t just paranoia? What if we actually have bad breath? What causes it? What can we do about it? How can we help? Do dentists ever had bad breath? For answers to these burning questions and more, read on.
What Causes Bad Breath?
There are a number of reasons why you might have bad breath. The obvious causes are delicious but overpowering foods such as onions and garlic. But what causes bad breath when you haven’t eaten stinky food?
- Poor Dental Habits – If you don’t brush, floss, and come to our office for semi-annual examinations, then you’re going to experience bad breath. When your teeth and gums aren’t cleaned properly, food and bacteria accumulate around and under your gum line, creating an offensive smell.
- Dry Mouth – Dry mouth is common among smokers and users of some medications. When you experience dry mouth, your saliva production is slowed. Saliva is not only necessary to aid digestion, it’s also nature’s way of cleaning your teeth. If your saliva is not sufficient enough to remove tiny food particles from between your teeth, you may have bad breath.
- Illness – Some illnesses can actually cause you to have bad breath. Sinus infections, postnasal drip, acid reflux, and diabetes are just some examples of illnesses that might have you exhaling unpleasant smells.
- Tonsil Stones – If you still have your tonsils, food particles and bacteria can accumulate in the crevices of your tonsils and harden into tiny, yellowish, stinky stones. Even people who brush and floss regularly can get tonsil stones, as the back of the tongue and tonsils create the perfect atmosphere for bacteria to thrive.
What Can You Do?
Other than avoiding super fragrant foods, there are some things you can do to stave off bad breath.
- Take Care of Your Teeth – You know the drill: brush at least twice a day, floss daily, and come in for visits as suggested by me.
- Combat Dry Mouth – If you experience dry mouth, try sucking on sugar-free candy or chewing sugar-free gum to increase your saliva production.
- See a Doctor About Chronic Illnesses – If you are constantly suffering from sinus infections or acid reflux, you need to see your doctor. These illnesses could be symptoms of something else that will require medical treatment.
- Brush Your Tongue – Either use your toothbrush or purchase a tongue scraper to rid the back of your mouth of food and bacteria that can cause tonsil stones.
If you want answers to our other questions, then you’ll have to come in for an appointment to find out. Whether you visit because of bad breath or teeth whitening, I can’t wait to give you a reason to smile.