A COMMON QUESTION WE GET ASKED HERE AT OUR PRACTICE IS, “What causes bad breath?” “How do we help or prevent it?” Of course, we also get asked if braces have anything to do with it.
Many times the complaint is not from the offender but from a long suffering family member or friend. There are many causes of bad breath – some serious and some not. And while many people have decided to just hold their and live with it, the good news is diagnosing and treating bad breath is something that can easily be done.
Below is a list of things that can cause bad breath:
Sore throats, coughs, colds, and sinus infections all cause foul smelling mucus to get trapped in your mouth, throat and nose, resulting in bad breath until the illness is taken care of. Luckily, if you are suffering from one of these highly contagious illnesses you’re probably keeping your distance from people anyway! If your symptoms don’t clear up after a week at most, you should probably see your physician to make sure the illness isn’t more serious than you realized.
Foods Containing Pungent Oils
Yes – garlic and onions are healthy and very tasty, but they contain oils which may cause those around you to flee. These odors come from deep in the lungs, can last up to 72 hours, and are pretty tough to cover up. Mouthwashes, mints and gum are your best bet, or just make sure everyone around you has had the same yummy food as well so you can suffer together!
Having a dry mouth causes dead cells to accumulate on your tongue, gums, and cheeks. Though morning breath is a normal phenomenon due to lowered salivary activity at night, it definitely shouldn’t last all day. Those who take certain medications, snore, or are middle aged are more prone to a dry mouth.
Smoking dries out your mouth—and as we mentioned above, dry mouths stink.
Chronic Diseases or Conditions
Many serious diseases such as kidney failure, lung infections, diabetes, GERD, cancer, bulimia,and anorexia can cause very specific types of halitosis. Fortunately, these are on the rare side, but if you think you might suffer from any of these diseases, make a visit to the appropriate practitioner.
Poor Dental Hygiene and Gum Disease
Ahhh…this topic is our favorite! Not because we want people to have poor dental hygiene and gum disease, but because these are the most common causes of bad breath and it can be treated quite easily. Even though this problem is an easy fix, please don’t put off doing it! If you have braces, keeping a thorough daily cleaning routine is so important. With everything else going on in your mouth, there are so many chances for buildup that can lead to cavities or gum disease.
Gum disease, which usually starts with poor brushing and flossing habits as well as a lack of routine dental visits, can do much more than make your mouth stinky. In just a short period of time, gum disease can advance and eat away at the gums and bone which hold your teeth in place. The result? Loose, unstable teeth which will eventually be lost if not treated.
Catching gum disease early is great as treatment is typically conservative. Wait too long and it gets much more difficult and extensive. Once again, we are always here to help you. Let us know if you have any concerns or questions about taking good care of your teeth with braces.
We want to remind you that chronic bad breath is not normal. Visiting with us, in combination with your dentist, on a routine basis is your best bet for making sure your teeth and gums stay healthy, your smile stays bright, and your breath doesn’t cause others to run in the opposite direction.
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