Bad breath is caused by the buildup of bacteria in your mouth that causes inflammation and gives off odors or gases. Halitosis is another term for bad breath. Let’s explore some common causes of this problem.
Food trapped in different areas of the mouth causes bad breath. Particles of food can get trapped between teeth or in tonsils. Daily flossing is the best way to remove food and/or bacteria from between the teeth. One way to detect bad breath is to check floss for blood or odor.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Buildup of bacteria in the mouth causes halitosis. When the bacteria are not removed on a regular basis with brushing and flossing, these bacteria cause inflammation and give off odors or gases that we can smell. The buildup of this bacteria also leads to gum disease causing halitosis to worsen. It is important to remember to make brushing your tongue a part of your dental routine as this area traps much of the bacteria that causes bad breath. Furthermore, practicing good oral hygiene and maintaining regular dental cleaning appointments are great ways to prevent issues with halitosis.
Bacteria in our mouths feed off the sugars we eat. The combination of sugars and bacteria produce acids. Consequently, the acids produced cause tooth decay. As the tooth surface decays, the acids and bacteria emit odors causing patients to experience halitosis. If you detect an odor in an area of your mouth that does not improve with regular brushing, flossing, and use of oral rinses, then a tooth in this area may be decaying.
Diet and Acid Reflux
Extreme fasting or very low carb diets cause bad breath. Highly acidic foods can cause acid reflux. Odors from the stomach or esophagus caused by acid reflux or improper diet enter the mouth and cause halitosis. If there are no known oral conditions causing your bad breath, it is likely you have a gastrointestinal issue that may need to be addressed by your physician.
Many medications and medical conditions cause dry mouth. A dry mouth can lead to increased tooth decay. Staying hydrated is extremely important, especially in patients battling dry mouth. Avoiding dental products containing alcohol is also a good way to help limit dry mouth. Additionally, chewing sugarless gum with xylitol helps promote salivary flow as well as prevent tooth decay.
Eighty percent of bad breath originates from an oral source. Unfortunately, the constant need to wear a mask during the pandemic has also led to increased halitosis problems. Click here to read more about “mask mouth”. Please contact Adams and Cheek Dentistry at 919.866.1360 or click here if you are concerned that any of the above conditions are contributing to your halitosis.