Bad breath & what you can do about it

why do people get bad breath?


What causes bad breath?

At some point or other, we all experience bad breath. For example, poor oral hygiene, food that remains in your mouth or between your teeth, the type of food you had that day, or it can be a more severe condition known as halitosis.

Halitosis is a constant bad smell in your mouth which can't be easily solved by brushing, flossing or using a mouthwash or a mint.

Bad breath can also be a result of health problems & a result of advancing gum disease like periodontitis.

What Causes Halitosis?

If bad breath persists, some of the following issues may be contributing to bad breath, and you need to see a dentist for the best advice. 

Dental Issues: 

Required dental care left untreated, such as dental filling due to cavities/tooth decay, a root canal, an old dental crown will allow odour-causing bacteria room to grow and promote bad breath.

An unrestored dental filling can be contributing to bad breath even if not filling any pain. Each tooth has five (5) surfaces, and one of the reasons why flossing regularly is essential is that when food gets trapped between your teeth, it can lead to a dental cavity in between adjacent teeth. This will also result in unwanted bad breath and more food regularly trapped between those teeth.

Smoking and tobacco products:

You probably heard it countless times that you should quit smoking. Side effects of smoking can cause teeth staining, gum disease, loss of teeth and may lead to oral cancer.

Dry Mouth:

Saliva is essential for your oral health because salivary glands produce saliva that helps to break down food as you eat and helps rinse and remove leftover food in your mouth. Also, saliva contains vital disease-fighting substances which help prevent dental cavities and fight infections. Taking prescription medication can also cause dry mouth.

Mouth, Nose or Throat Infections: 

Sinus infections can lead to postnasal drip and bad breath. The reason is that odor causing bacteria feed on mucus your body produces when it fights infections. 

Other Conditions:

Medical conditions such as diabetes, gastric reflux, salivary gland problems, kidney diseases or liver disease may cause bad breath. Other health conditions can cause bad breath because of a side effect of the medication.

Tips to achieve fresh breath

Step 1: Cleaning the tongue

Why the tongue you might ask? Your tongue is the vital organ that is responsible for your digestive system and is a primary organ of taste in the gustatory system. The upper part of the tongue contains millions of taste buds and along with saliva helps with digesting food and cleaning your mouth. Brushing your tongue with a toothbrush is not enough to get rid of bad breath.

Tongue scrubbing

Use a teaspoon, turn it upside down and in a downward direction, gently scrape your tongue. The reason you want to do this before anything else is that there is a film build up on your tongue, and the easiest way to remove it is by scraping. 

There are tools called tongue scrapers that you can purchase online or at your local store.

The bacteria that you remove by scraping can cause bad breath, plaque build-up, gum infection, gum recession, tooth decay, periodontic problems and another gum disease.

Scrape away all those bacteria for a fresh and healthy mouth.

Step 2: Flossing

Food stuck between the teeth can cause bad breath. Regular flossing will keep your teeth and gums healthy. You may experience some bleeding when you begin to floss regularly, especially during your first week. Try it daily; you will like how clean your mouth feels. 

So, to help keep bad breath odors away, floss regularly.

Step 3: Brushing Your Teeth and Tongue

Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle and make sure you get both the outer side and the inner side of your teeth as well as the top of your back teeth (molar teeth). Take at least two(2) minutes to brush your teeth and then move on to your tongue and give it a brush as well.

Brush your teeth twice a day. Brushing your teeth before bed removes bacteria that you accumulated on your teeth throughout the day. If you had to choose between morning brushing or at night, it is, more useful to brush before bed, but we suggest doing it in the morning as well.

Choose an electric toothbrush as it removes more bacteria from your mouth than a manual toothbrush - Check out this article by team to help you pick the best electric toothbrush

Step 4: Mouthwash

 Rinse your mouth with warm water and after, use mouthwash for at least 30 seconds.

Can dental appliances cause bad breath?

Some other dental reasons for bad breath include poorly fitting dental appliances, infections in the mouth, and dental cavities. The dentist determines how to fit your dental appliances best to make sure no foot gets stuck in poorly fitted appliances or invisible braces.

If you are wearing dental braces, Invisalign, removable dentures or other dental appliances, follow your dentist's instructions to clean your appliances to avoid bad breath. 

Visit your dentist regularly

Regular dental visits are necessary to help keep your breath fresh and your oral health in check. If you are looking for a dentist in Burlington, Lakefront Family Dental is currently accepting new patients.

Call 905-635-1100 to schedule your appointment.