Bad breath, also referred to as halitosis, occurs in up to 50% of adults at some point in their lives. Bad breath can have a multitude of causes, which range from the mild (garlic breath) to the very serious (diabetes, gum disease, liver or kidney problems). Before assuming serious conditions, however, consider these common causes of halitosis.
Bacteria: One of the main causes of tooth decay and other oral health problems–including halitosis–is the host of bacteria that live in your mouth. Many of these bacteria live on your tongue. When you floss and brush your teeth, be sure to brush your tongue using a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle pressure. Alternatively, you can use a tongue scraper.
Dry Mouth: Some conditions, such as taking certain medication, sinus or salivary gland troubles, or simply breathing through your mouth excessively, can cause a reduction of saliva in your mouth, appropriately called dry mouth. Saliva works to clean your mouth. If you don’t have enough saliva, your mouth doesn’t get as clean as it needs to be, and so increases instances of bad breath.
Smoking and Tobacco Use: Smoking and tobacco use introduce a host of health problems, not the least of which is gum disease, halitosis, and tooth staining. Tobacco use greatly increases risk of gum disease, and smoking can limit your sense of smell. This can make it hard to tell that you have bad breath.
If you clean your teeth through brushing and flossing every day, brush your tongue, and avoid dry mouth and tobacco products–yet still deal with consistent bad breath–it would be wise to consult your dentist. halitosis can be a sign on periodontal disease or other serious medical conditions. To schedule an appointment in Santa Fe, New Mexico, call Sharpe Dental Studio at 505-982-4686. Dr. Virginia Sharpe and our team look forward to seeing you soon!