Root Causes of Bad Breath and How to Treat Them

Root Causes of Bad Breath and How to Treat Them

Bad breath, also called halitosis, can be embarrassing and often leads to low self-confidence and anxiety. Certain foods, underlying health conditions, gum diseases, tobacco habits, etc., can cause bad breath. Improper oral hygiene leading to gum diseases is among the top causes of bad breath. In many cases, one improves bad breath by practicing a good oral hygiene regime.

The market is now overflowing with gums, mints, mouthwashes, and other whatnot products to fight bad breath. Most often, these products address the problem temporarily as they do not treat the cause of the problem. If self-care routines don’t solve the problem, you should consult a dentist as early as possible. The dentist will analyze the condition which is causing your bad breath and address it accordingly.

Why Do Poor Habits Cause Bad Breath?

If the one you don’t brush and floss your teeth daily, food particles can get accumulated between your teeth, leading to housing on millions of bacteria. This causes halitosis, inflammation of gingival and gum diseases. In some cases, patients wearing dentures may experience halitosis if dentures are not cleaned properly. Smoking or usage of any form of tobacco products can cause bad breath and stain your teeth. Smoking often leads to gum diseases and reduces one’s ability to taste food.

Health Problems Are Associated With Bad Breath

Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may indicate gum disease or periodontal disorder. Gum diseases are often caused by the accumulation of plaque and calculus over some time. If gum diseases the left untreated over a while, it can cause damage to underlying jawbones and loss of teeth. Candida infection and dental caries may also lead to bad breath.

A medical condition called xerostomia or dry mouth leads to reduced saliva production by the salivary gland, which is necessary to moisten the oral cavity, neutralize acids produced by bacteria and wash away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. In a dry mouth, these activities get compromised and often lead to bad breath or halitosis.

Other conditions that may cause bad breath includes:-

  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Diabetes
  • COPD and respiratory tract infections
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux syndrome(GERD)
  • Liver diseases
  • Renal complications

How can we prevent bad breath?

Bad breath can be corrected by one or by a combination of the following ways:

  • Maintaining good oral hygiene practices: Maintaining good oral hygiene is first and foremost required to keep your mouth overall healthy. Brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing regularly should never be compromised. Brush your teeth with good fluoridated toothpaste to remove plaque and tartar from teeth. Cleaning of the tongue should be routinely done with the use of tongue scrapers. Bacteria on your tongue often lead to bad breath or halitosis. Give your mouth a good water rinse after each meal to remove food debris. Changing your toothbrush to a new one after 2-3 months or after an illness would be best. Interdental aids can also be used to remove plaque and food debris between the teeth. Routine use of mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine has also been advocated to treat bad breath. Antiseptic mouthwashes can also be used to prevent gum diseases. Dentures should be cleaned thoroughly regularly and should be removed at night. Patients wearing braces or retainers should visit the dentist regularly to get their oral hygiene status checked.
  • See your dentist regularly:- you should visit your dentist at least twice regularly for the complete oral examination. The dentist will assess your oral hygiene status and do professional cleaning and polishing to remove plaque and calculus, which will prevent gum diseases and prevent bad breath. The dentist will also examine other underlying problems like xerostomia or dry mouth and may sometimes even refer to physicians to evaluate systemic diseases.
  • Quit tobacco use:- use of any form of tobacco product severely affects your dental health. Ask your consultant dentist for tips to quit smoking and tobacco products. 
  • Reduce caffeine intake:- in many instances, it has been found that chronic use of products containing caffeine stains your teeth and causes bad breath. You reduce the intake of caffeine to a minimum.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet:- eat lots of green leafy fruits and vegetables, which will provide optimum nutrition to the body, which will indeed help to fight harmful bacterial colonization in the mouth.

Who can treat bad breath?

In most the cases, dentist treats bad breath or halitosis. Suppose your dentist finds that your mouth is healthy and suspects that the cause of bad breath is not of oral origin. In that case, he may refer you to a specialist who can then undergo the list of medications you are under prescription and see the other contributing factors. In some cases, a dentist and a physician work together to keep the condition under control.

If you are looking for a new dentist then look no further than our top-rated dentist Dr. Stevenson. You can also feel free to contact our office, Anthem Dentistry in Anthem, AZ to setup a consultation or answer any of your questions regarding your oral health!