Bad breath happens to all of us. Typically, it is no cause for concern. You can probably trace it back to a strongly seasoned lunch. However, sometimes bad breath is much more than garlic. Bad breath can be a sign of more serious health problems. In addition, some conditions, such as gum disease, dry mouth, infections, or tooth decay, carry bad breath as a side effect.
The most common cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. However, if you have a condition that causes bad breath, your diet can make it worse. In fact, certain lifestyle habits can increase exacerbate your bad breath. For example, smoking or chewing tobacco can cause bad breath on its own. But, those particular habits may create health conditions like tooth decay or gum disease, which can also affect your breath.
Proper oral hygiene is the best way to keep bad breath at bay. However, understanding the importance of your oral care routine may make it easier to stay committed.
A sticky substance called plaque builds on your teeth. Plaque develops from leftover food and drinks that contain carbohydrates or sugars. For example, you may notice a “fuzzy” feeling on your teeth if you eat candy and don’t brush your teeth. Also, there are bacteria that live inside your mouth and feed on these leftover foods. As a result, they create acids that eat away at the enamel, causing tooth decay.
As the bacteria break down food particles, it releases an odor that causes bad breath. The more plaque buildup you have, the worse your breath can smell. In addition, if you don’t remove plaque, it will calcify into tartar. Unfortunately, only a dental professional can remove tartar buildup.
Another culprit of bad breath is gum disease. Gum disease is a condition that affects the soft tissues of the gums. Initially, gum disease starts as irritation or inflammation of the gums. If not treated, it can progress to decay, receding gums, tissue damage, and bone loss.
With gum disease, plaque will build under the gumline, causing infection. The plaque, in addition to the infection, will create a foul odor. The infection will begin to destroy the soft tissues, causing a “death” of the gums. Naturally, this will cause bad breath.
A proper oral health care routine is the easiest way to combat bad breath. For example, brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day can significantly reduce the amount of plaque and bacteria in your mouth. This can help to curb your bad breath by eliminating the cause.
Another way to prevent bad breath is to look at your diet. For example, reducing the amount of intense or high in sugar foods can help save your breath. Foods like garlic and onions can leave behind an unpleasant smell. Additionally, the bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar, resulting in bad breath.
Finally, getting regular dental cleanings should help to minimize your bad breath.