Halitosis, more commonly referred to as Bad Breath, can be troublesome to a patient’s social confidence as well as their overall health. It can also be a sign of a more significant illness or disorder, such as an infected tooth, gingivitis, or potentially even cancer of the throat or tongue.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Bad breath is caused by a collection bacteria that forms on the tongue of the patient. The acids released by these bacteria are picked up by the air that runs over the patient’s tongue as they breathe, causing a sour smell to catch onto his or her breath. Some of the most tried and true solutions to bad breath might surprise you with their simplicity. If your bad breath persists despite all of your best efforts, be sure to see a dentist about your condition, as they can be a result of these greater health concerns.
Bad breath is made much worse by a dry mouth. This is because the bacteria that cause halitosis can thrive on your tongue and in your mouth while it is dry. Dry mouth can be caused by a wide variety of other health issues. Additionally, there are even dental products that can make your mouth more dry.
Depending on which mouthwash you use, it might be doing more harm than good in terms of bad breath. As stated earlier, bacteria thrives in a warm, dry environment. Some mouthwashes contain a high concentrations of alcohol, which can cause your mouth to become dry after use. Although these mouthwashes kill any bacteria they come into contact with, they can actually make your breath worse by creating a better environment for allowing bacteria to grow after use. If you are suffering from bad breath and dry mouth, you might want to consider a mouthwash that has a lower alcohol content.
Some medications can contribute to dry mouth, which can definitely be a contributor to bad breath. For this reason, you might want to consider the side effects of any prescription drugs you might be taking, as this is a fairly common side effect. If you feel that the side effects of your medication are outweighing the benefits, discuss possible alternatives with your doctor or dentist.
Smoking and Smokeless Tobacco
Both smoking and smokeless tobacco contribute to dry mouth. Tar and other residue from the smoke as it is inhaled collect on the tongue and trachea. As the air escapes on your breath, it picks up the smell from these unpleasant chemicals. Alongside this, irritation to the throat caused by smoking can also produce a sour scent for your breath. Although cigarettes are a difficult habit to kick, the benefits of quitting certainly outweigh the relatively minor benefits of continuing smoking.
Soda and Sugary Drinks
Drinks with a high amount of sugar content collect on the tongue and mouth as you drink them. Bacteria responsible for bad breath feed on the residue these sugary drinks leave behind. Although they might make your mouth and throat feel refreshed at first, sugary drinks leave you much worse off, as you are creating an environment for this bacteria to thrive on your tongue and in your throat and mouth.
Other Sugar Intake
As with sodas and sugary drinks, candy and chewing gum that contains sugar can be responsible for bad breath. Just like soda, the bacteria that live and grow on your tongue will feed and thrive off of the sugar within these products. To prevent bad breath, try avoiding sugary products and looking for sugar-free alternatives.
One of the least common causes of bad breath are tonsil stones. These develop over long periods of time as food particles get stuck between the esophagus and the folds of the larynx. If you have ever suffered from tonsil stones before, you might already know that they produce a foul odor.
How Can I Prevent Bad Breath?
Maintaining a consistent dental care routine is essential to keeping control over your bad breath. As unpleasant as it may be, it can be critical in diagnosing the source of your bad breath. If you see a dentist every regularly, you might want to consider discussing your bad breath symptoms with him or her. Your dentist specifically might have solutions in mind that are more tailored to your unique dental situation.
Keeping your tongue, teeth, and mouth clean is essential to fighting off bad breath. As most dentists recommend, you should brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day. You should also clean between your teeth once a day, although floss is commonly used, other devices might be suggested by your dentist.