Your Bad Breath could Signify a Problem

Do you suddenly notice that you have chronic bad breath? Are you constantly at the store looking for a better mouthwash? You might be searching needlessly as no amount of mouthwash is going to help certain conditions. Sometimes bad breath, also known as halitosis, is caused by certain oral health conditions that need to be addressed right away before they become worse. There are two factors that play a role in your bad breath - extrinsic and intrinsic; let's take a look at both.

Extrinsic Reasons for Bad Breath

Extrinsic reasons for bad breath are caused by your dietary and lifestyle habits. If you consume odorous foods, such as onions and garlic for example, you will have bad breath. In addition, if you smoke or chew tobacco, you will likely have bad breath. These are controllable factors. If you stop these habits, chances are your breath will become more pleasant. This is not a serious problem, except for the fact that you are smoking or chewing tobacco, which bring up other oral health issues, giving you more reasons to quit.

Intrinsic Reasons for Bad Breath

Intrinsic reasons, on the other hand, are not controllable by you. They are caused by underlying oral health issues and are usually a sign of a serious issue. Sometimes it could mean tooth decay while other times it could be advanced periodontal disease or an infection in your mouth. This issues need to be addressed by our office as no amount of changing your habits will help these issues go away - they need to be treated by a professional.

How you can Control Bad Breath

So what can you do to minimize your bad breath? It starts with keeping up with your regular dental checkups. When you come in twice a year, we are able to evaluate your mouth for any signs of impending oral health issues as well as those that already exist. This means that we can catch the problems early and elicit the proper treatment right away. Tooth decay that is caught early might need a simple filling, while gum disease when it is caught in its earliest stages can be cured, allowing you to save your breath and your teeth! In addition, here are a few other ways you can help your breath:

•  Keep proper oral hygiene habits - Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once. This eliminates food debris that could not only cause bad breath now, but tooth decay and gum disease down the road, which would further your bad breath.
•  Drink water - Keeping up with your water consumption will help to wash away the bacteria in your mouth which minimizes the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. It also helps to fight extrinsic bad breath when you consume odorous foods or when you smoke.
•  Chew sugarless gum - When you cannot get to your toothbrush for a while, try chewing sugarless gum that is approved by the ADA. This helps to promote saliva production, which helps to keep the bacteria and food debris away from your teeth, resulting in better breath and oral health.

Bad breath can be embarrassing as well as threatening to your health. Rather than just riding it out, come in and find out what is causing it. If we do not find any oral health reasons for your bad breath, we will help you figure out how to minimize it, based on your diet and lifestyle habits. It is important for you to get to the bottom of the reasons to ensure that you are not putting your oral health at risk.

Do you have bad breath? Call us for an appointment today!

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