What Causes Bad Breath and How Do You Treat It?

Most people have had the occasional brush with bad breath, a condition known as halitosis. But some people struggle day after day. If mints and mouthwash aren’t enough to keep bad breath at bay, your trusted team at Tracey Dental is here to help. We will work with you to determine real, lasting solutions for fresh breath and a confident smile.

What Are the Causes of Bad Breath?

Here are the leading causes of bad breath:

Poor Dental Hygiene: Neglecting to maintain proper oral hygiene practices is behind most cases of bad breath. Without regular brushing and flossing, food particles remaining in the mouth break down and promote bacterial growth, resulting in an unpleasant odor. It’s also important to clean your restorations, such as dentures or bridges.

Dental Disease: Oral health conditions such as cavities and periodontal (gum) disease can cause bad breath. Dry mouth, a condition known as xerostomia, is another cause of halitosis because saliva keeps the mouth clean by removing food particles. If there’s an interruption in saliva production, bad breath will likely follow.

Odor-Causing Foods: When you eat certain foods, such as garlic, onions, and some spices, odor-causing particles enter the bloodstream and make their way to your lungs, emitting an unpleasant odor every time you exhale. Brushing your teeth and rinsing with mouthwash will temporarily mask the bad breath. However, you won’t eliminate the odor until these foods pass through your body.

Certain Diet Programs: Fasting and very low-carbohydrate programs are notorious for causing bad breath. That’s because chemicals called ketones are released when the fats break down, producing a strong odor. High protein diets can also result in bad breath because they are often difficult for the body to digest and release sulfurous gases when they don’t metabolize.

Tobacco Use: Smoking and using tobacco products can cause a host of oral and overall health problems. Not only do they leave you with an unpleasant mouth odor, but they also increase the risk of developing gum disease and dry mouth, two leading causes of bad breath!

Illnesses: Bad breath is often a warning sign of health conditions, including liver and kidney problems, diabetes, certain blood disorders, poor digestion, chronic acid reflux, respiratory and tonsil infections, and postnasal drip. In some rare cases, halitosis may result from serious conditions, including some metabolic disorders or even cancer.

Medications: Numerous over-the-counter and prescription drugs come with side effects, including dry mouth, which leads to bad breath. Moreover, as some medications break down in the body, they release chemicals that produce unpleasant odors.

How Can You Treat Bad Breath?

The first line of defense against halitosis is maintaining proper oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing and flossing. Don’t forget to brush your tongue to remove any odor-causing bacteria and food particles.

Drinking plenty of water will help flush away bacteria and food debris. If you have a dry mouth, chewing sugarless gum or sucking on hard candy will stimulate saliva production, reducing the chances of having bad breath. It is also helpful to cut down on odor-causing foods and to refrain from smoking or using tobacco products.

If your bad breath persists, a visit to your trusted team at Tracey Dental will help. We will treat any oral health condition behind your halitosis, such as cavities or infections. We may also recommend a visit to your healthcare provider to rule out any health conditions that may be contributing to your bad breath.

Quality Dental Care in McKinney, TX

Visit Tracey Dental to learn more about keeping bad breath at bay. We encourage you to keep up with your routine, twice-a-year dental exams and cleanings. Dr. Long will treat any condition as it develops to maintain your healthy, confident smile. Call us and schedule your appointment today!