It’s a sensitive subject, but bad breath needs to be addressed. Not only is halitosis (chronic bad breath) terrible for your social life, but it can also be an indicator that your oral health or overall heath has been compromised. Bad breath occurs when the bacteria in your mouth is out of balance, resulting in that foul odor that makes others back away.
Finding the cause of your bad breath is the first step towards eliminating this embarrassing condition. Here are 5 common reasons your breath is less than fresh:
- Gum Disease
- Your bad breath could be a side effect of untreated periodontal disease. Odorous bacteria hanging out along your gumline can destroy tissue and bone too. Brush and floss your teeth regularly to avoid this bad breath culprit.
- Health Problems
- You may need to go beyond your mouth to find the cause of your bad breath. Conditions like acid reflux disease, dietary imbalances and even cancer can cause foul breath. This can be one of your first signs that you need to see your doctor.
- Sinus and Allergy Problems
- Do you battle postnasal drainage? Or perhaps you are a known mouth breather? Both of these can disturb the flora inside of your mouth and cause halitosis.
- Smoking and Drinking
- Tobacco and heavy alcohol consumption are also culprits to chronic bad breath. By cutting back on or eliminating these habits, you can significantly improve embarrassing bad breath.
- Mints or Mouth Rinses
- This one may surprise you, but trying to mask your bad breath with mints, gum or mouth rinses can actually make your bad breath worse. Alcohol-containing rinses can dry out your mouth, which affects your mouth’s ability to neutralize acids and wash away harmful bacteria. Likewise, mints or gums supply bacteria with sugar to eat on and produce more foul-smelling bacteria.
The best way to fight bad breath at home is to brush, floss and clean your tongue on a daily basis (use a tongue scraper if needed). Also, drink plenty of water and tend to any dry mouth problems. To ensure your bad breath is not going untreated, keep up with your six-month dental cleanings. Let your dentist diagnose any bacteria imbalance in your mouth and make sure there are no signs of infection. Do yourself and your loved ones a favor and address your bad breath problem sooner rather than later.