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Getting to the Bottom of Bad Breath: Causes and Treatments

Mar 07 2017

Bad breath: It happens to all of us. In fact, surveys have shown that at least 50% of adults have had bad breath—also known as halitosis—at some point in their lives, so if you’re experiencing it right now, you’re not alone. But what causes bad breath, and how do you get rid of it?

Causes of Bad Breath

Besides your standard onion, bad breath can be caused for a lot of reasons outside of your food choices. For example, in many cases, bad breath can be a result of the bacteria that naturally live in your mouth. These bacteria feed on the sugars and starches that you eat, and end up producing that “bad breath” smell as a result.

In addition to bacteria, simply having a dry mouth can lead to bad breath. The saliva in your mouth serves as a natural “mouth rinse” by helping remove small food particles. If you’re not producing enough saliva, there’s no way to remove these particles that will eventually attract bad breath-causing bacteria.

There are also more serious reasons as to why you may have bad breath. If you have bad breath that doesn’t seem to go away with regular dental hygiene and rinsing your mouth after meals, it may be a sign of gum disease.

Best Bad Breath Remedies

However, although there are many causes of bad breath, there are also different types of solutions for it too! Some ways you can bust bad breath include:

  • Practice dental hygiene – If you continuously make a habit of brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day, you can significantly reduce the bacteria that cause bad breath.
  • Clean your tongue regularly – Your tongue can actually be a safe harbor for bad breath-causing bacteria! While you’re practicing regular dental hygiene, make sure you don’t forget your tongue; use your toothbrush or a tongue scraper to best remove lingering bacteria.
  • Keep your mouth hydrated – If you often have problems with dry mouth, start making a habit of drinking more water, or eating healthy foods that may require more chewing, like apples or spinach. You can also try chewing sugar-free gum to try to generate more saliva.

Besides practicing dental hygiene and keeping your mouth hydrated, it’s also important that you visit our office at least twice a year, so we can perform a thorough dental cleaning that will help eliminate bacteria. We can also check for any serious causes of bad breath—such as gum disease—that may need immediate treatment. If you’re having problems with bad breath, book an appointment with our office today!

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