Bad breath, or halitosis, has several causes. The most common cause is substandard oral hygiene. Often, halitosis occurs midday arising from the inability to brush teeth between meals. Small food pieces on the teeth, gums, and tongue grow bacteria. The wastes of the bacteria and decay of the food create a sulfur compound, which emits the undesirable odor. Food particles, bacteria, and sulfuric gas all need to be removed to eliminate bad breath caused by poor oral hygiene.
While poor oral hygiene is the most prevalent cause of halitosis, many conditions can contribute to or worsen the problem. The best remedy is consistent, thorough brushing and flossing, but other actions might also be required depending on the cause(s).
For example, a salivary gland problem or certain medications can cause dry mouth. Saliva moistens the teeth and gums, clearing away odiferous dead cells. Saliva also neutralizes the ever-present acids on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. Limiting caffeine, chewing sugar-free gum, using OTC saliva substitutes, and using a humidifier can add moisture to the mouth.
Most Common Causes of Bad Breath:
Poor oral hygiene
Inability to brush between meals
Gum disease or tooth decay
An infected root canal
Dry mouth (Xerostomia)
Ear, nose, throat issues
Constant breathing through the mouth
Specific foods: garlic, onions, horseradish, etc.
Some prescription medications
To Minimize or Prevent Bad Breath:
Go to the dentist twice a year for professional dental cleanings
Brush teeth, tongue, gums, and roof of the mouth
Use a tongue spray or scraper
Use antimicrobial mouth rinse
Chew sugarless gum
Brush and floss after each meal
Drink plenty of water (A dry mouth is conducive to bacteria growth)
Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months
Have a toothbrush and floss available when you are out
Talk to your doctor or dentist if bad breath persists despite proper oral hygiene
Remember, the very best defense to bad breath is a good dental care routine – brushing, flossing, and regular visits with your dentist.
If you struggle with bad breath regardless of vigilant oral hygiene, ask your dentist for help in identifying the source. It may be an issue outside of the oral cavity. If this is the case, your dentist may refer you to your family physician or a specialist.
If you don’t have a regular dentist or are unhappy with your current one, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Drs. Blaisdell at Blaisdell Family Dentistry in Boise. Drs. Blaisdell has been serving patients in the Boise area since 1981. The friendly team of dental professionals at Blaisdell Family Dentistry provide the full spectrum of general and cosmetic dental services including porcelain veneers, prepless veneers and teeth whitening.
Be sure to check our website at https://www.blaisdellfamilydentistry.com/about-blaisdell-family-dentistry/ for more specifics on Drs. Blaisdell’s services. Thanks for visiting our blog.