No one likes to talk about it, but halitosis, or bad breath, is a common problem that many people face. This embarrassing situation is caused by the sulfur compound produced by the bacteria in small particles of food left after meals or snacks and after long periods of inactivity, like a night’s sleep. Occasional bad breath is usually temporary and can be eliminated or controlled with regular brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. If bad breath continues even when you try these methods to fight it, however, it could be a sign of a bigger problem.
When Bad Breath Is A Dental Problem
Halitosis is linked to dental problems when you have one of the following conditions:
- Cavities: When bacteria gets stuck in the decay pockets, it’s harder to remove and its presence releases toxins and contributes to halitosis.
- Gum disease: This condition is caused by the build-up of plaque on the surface of the teeth. The bacteria under the gum line are impossible to clean with brushing or flossing, so bacteria builds up and, again, releases toxins that cause bad breath.
- Ill fitting or improperly-cleaned dentures: When dentures don’t fit or align well inside the mouth, they leave gaps for food particles to get in, which are extremely difficult to clean. If the teeth are not cleaned properly, the bacteria stuck in them can also cause bad breath.
- Xerostomia: This medical condition, also known as dry mouth, is another common cause of bad breath. Saliva has an important role in fighting bacteria in your teeth because it neutralizes acids produced by plaque, washes away accumulated dead cells, and moisturizes the mouth. When you’re not producing the normal amount, it’s easier for bacteria to stay and affect your gums, tongue, and teeth.
Here are some general tips to prevent or fight bad breath:
- Keep your mouth hydrated to reduce bad smells.
- Be disciplined with your oral hygiene routine.
- Don’t forget to brush your tongue. It contains 75% of the bacteria that causes bad breath.
- Keep an eye on what you eat. Some foods can worsen the problem.
Bad breath can be a sign of physical health conditions, but it also affects your confidence to express yourself comfortably in social situations. Make sure to let us know if you start to experience it so we can address the root cause.