Bad breath, also called halitosis, afflicts up to 50% of adults at some point in their lives. There are multiple possible causes for bad breath, which range from the mild to the serious. Before leaping to serious conclusions, however, consider these common causes of halitosis.
Bacteria: One of the main causes of bad breath is microflora–hundreds of kinds of bacteria which live in your mouth. These microflorae are often the cause of tooth decay and other oral health problems, such as halitosis. Many of them live on your tongue. When you floss and brush your teeth, be sure to brush your tongue. Alternatively, you can use a tongue scraper.
Dry Mouth: Some conditions, such as taking certain medication, sinus or salivary gland troubles, or simply breathing through your mouth excessively, can cause dry mouth. Saliva works to clean out your mouth, deliver fortifying substances to your tooth enamel, and neutralize acids that cause tooth erosion. If you don’t have enough saliva in your mouth, it doesn’t get as clean as it needs to be, which increases instances of bad breath.
Foods: Some foods, such as onions and garlic, contain compounds that seep into your breath and cause halitosis. It is important to clean your mouth thoroughly after eating these foods. Some smells are very persistent, and so are best avoided on a date or a job interview.
If you clean your teeth through brushing and flossing every day, brush your tongue, and avoid dry mouth–yet still deal with consistent halitosis–it would be wise to consult your dentist. Bad breath can be a sign of periodontal disease or other serious medical conditions. To schedule an appointment in Alvarado, Texas, call Alvarado Family Dentistry at 888-635-6401. Dr. Eseoghene Okugbaye and our team look forward to seeing you!