Bad breath is enough to make anyone self-conscious, and can sometimes be easily explained by eating onions or garlic (any fellow garlic lovers out there?). Food is one of the major causes of bad breath. Food starts to get broken down in your mouth when you chew. The obvious remedy for this is simply gum or breath mints after eating one of your favorite garlic or onion-laden dishes. Beyond that, if you don’t brush your teeth regularly, those food particles stay in your mouth, in between your teeth and on your gum line and start to grow bacteria and plaque. Plaque is smelly and can cause bad breath. Brushing and flossing is the first line of defense not just for bad breath, but for overall oral health.
But consistent bad breath, or halitosis, can have other causes besides eating a pungent food. Here are a few of these causes:
- It’s morning and you just woke up – morning breath is very real, and it happens because the production of saliva slows down when you’re sleeping and the bacteria thrives in that environment. Saliva helps to naturally clean out that bacteria.
- You breathe with your mouth open – similar to what happens when you sleep, breathing with your mouth open affects the saliva in your mouth. Breathing through your mouth causes saliva to evaporate, drying out your mouth and letting the bacteria grow and start to smell. This is cause for concern for people who sleep through their mouth when they sleep, and for athletes who tend to breathe heavily through their mouth during exercise. This makes staying hydrated while exercising extra important.
- You’re a smoker – smoking increases the number of odor-producing compounds in your lungs and mouth, and smoking also dries out the mouth and reduces saliva production.
- You’re taking a medication that causes dry mouth – alot of medications–including muscle relaxants, diuretics, antihistamines, and depression and anxiety-treating medications–have dry mouth as a major side effect. This causes bacteria to linger in your mouth and cause bad breath. Some dentists will prescribe special mouthwashes that can help with dry mouth caused by medications.
- You have allergies or post-nasal drip – the mucus in our noses helps to filter out what we breathe in. But when that mucus starts to run down the back of your throat, whether it’s from bad spring allergies or a sinus infection, that eventually makes its way to your mouth and start bacteria growth and smelly breath.
- You have a dental appliance –whether you have a retainer, dentures, braces, or some other dental appliance, you’re more prone to bad breath. Food particles get caught on those wires or pieces of plastic, and if not cleaned properly and regularly, bacteria can build up and contribute to bad breath.
If you don’t think any of these causes are the root of your chronic bad breath, schedule an examination and cleaning with us here at Perdido Bay Dental. Not only will provide a deep cleaning, we also use state-of-the-art technology to exam your entire mouth. Call us today to schedule an appointment: (850) 542-4428