Bad breath (or halitosis) happens to all of us from time to time, and nobody likes it. As well as being a social embarrassment, bad breath can also be a warning sign of more serious dental problems. By analyzing the type of bad breath patients complains of, we can help determine its cause.
What Causes Bad Breath?
- Food – If your breath is especially strong after fragrant meals with garlic or onions, there’s unfortunately not much to be done except to go easy on these foods.
- After Mouthwash – Most mouthwashes are alcohol-based, which dries out the mouth and inhibits the flow of saliva. Try this instead: brush and floss again. It stimulates saliva flow while disrupting the bacteria that were causing the odor in the first place.
- Teeth or Gums – Your halitosis is sending a signal there’s a serious dental problem that needs correction. You won’t get rid of it until you’ve eliminated the tooth decay or gum disease and restored periodontal health. Call our office for a breath analysis that can identify whether your breath is related to gum disease or tooth decay.
- “Morning Breath” – While you were sleeping, so was your saliva. Reduced flow caused bacteria to grow in your mouth. It helps to brush and floss away trapped bacteria before bed, then have a glass of water at the nightstand if you wake up dry.
- From Heartburn – Some bad smells come not from the oral cavity but farther down the throat and into the stomach. Stress, acid stomach, the seeping of stomach acid back up through the valve sealing your esophagus from your stomach (“heartburn”) all may be culprits. A visit to our office (or your medical doctor) will help you know for sure.