Causes of Bad Breath & How to Treat It

Many people don’t realize bad breath is often a sign of an underlying oral health problem. A variety of conditions, some more serious than others, contribute to bad breath, medically known as halitosis.

As embarrassing as bad breath is, there are ways you can fight strong-smelling exhales. Our dentists can help preserve your dignity and your health with this quick rundown on halitosis.

Causes of Bad Breath

Bad breath culprits can be found everywhere. Here are some of the more common causes of halitosis:

  • Strong Foods: Foods like garlic and onions can cause perpetual bad breath because they actually seep sulfuric compounds into your bloodstream.
  • Low Carb Diets: Research shows that low-carb diets cause odorous breath due to certain chemicals that are released when the body burns fat rapidly.
  • Coffee and Alcohol: These two substances dry out your saliva production, increasing bacteria’s opportunity to grow and create a stink.
  • Tobacco: Cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products cause nicotine to stick to your teeth, gums, and tongue – leaving a lingering odor behind.
  • Improper Dental Hygiene: Not brushing or flossing allows plaque and bacteria to flourish, creating foul breath.
  • Medications: Some medications cause bad breath as a side effect. While this isn’t ideal, it’s best to consult a doctor or dentist before stopping medication.

Halitosis can also be a sign of an oral infection, or a deeper health issue such as cancer, diabetes, or heart or kidney failure.

Treatments for Bad Breath

Most of the time, proper oral hygiene can effectively get rid of bad breath. By brushing and flossing, you break up bacteria colonies and plaque, which not only stops halitosis, but also protects your teeth and gums from cavities and disease. Ultimately, fresh breath is the sign of a healthy mouth.

Minimizing your exposure to tobacco products, alcohol, and coffee can help prevent halitosis. Adding water and sugarless gum to your diet will stimulate saliva production, again freshening breath and keeping your teeth clean.

If proper oral hygiene does not fully treat bad breath, visit your dentist for a diagnosis and to check for any underlying issues.

Freshen Bad Breath at Our Cary Dental Office

Eradicating bad breath begins with healthy oral hygiene and mouth care. By scheduling regular teeth cleanings and check-ups at Beavers Caring Family Dentistry in Cary, you can maintain both fresh breath and your beautiful smile. Schedule an appointment by calling (919) 467-0654 or filling out our online contact form!