Bad breath can be very bothersome. When you have bad breath in business and social settings, it can turn people away. As the condition is called, Halitosis may be caused by inadequate oral care habits, dietary issues, or even serious medical conditions like gum disease and untreated wounds in the mouth.

Here Dr. Stephen Coates shares more about bad breath, how to prevent it, and how to treat it when it’s getting you down.

What Causes Halitosis

Bad breath can be caused by several reasons, including:

  • Bacteria: Bacteria live in the mouth and find an agreeable environment to grow due to the moisture and warmth found there. The bacteria feed on food left in your mouth after eating, leaving waste behind.
  • Dry Mouth: When your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, it doesn’t get as clean as it should. The saliva helps wash out the mouth. Medications, salivary gland issues, or mouth breathing can cause dry mouth.
  • Gum Disease: Advanced and even mild gum disease caused by plaque can cause persistent bad breath and an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
  • Leftover Debris: Debris that gets trapped in between the pockets of the teeth can also begin to decay and start to smell. Ill-fitting dentures, cavities, and broken fillings can also leave openings that trap food and bacteria.
  • Tobacco Use: Not only does smoking cause lung cancer, but it also causes stains on your teeth, makes your breath smell bad, and impairs your ability to taste the food you eat.
  • Medical Conditions: Infections in the mouth can cause Halitosis. Sinus issues, reflux, diabetes, liver, oral yeast infections, and kidney disease can also cause your breath to smell bad.
  • Poor Oral Care Habits: Not taking care of your teeth properly can cause decay, plaque, and bacteria to build up and cause a foul odor.

Bad Breath Prevention

Prevention is key, so you must adopt good oral health habits like brushing and flossing twice a day, visiting your dentist for cleanings twice a year, and managing dental problems early on.

Bad Breath Treatment

Treating bad breath often comes down to treating the condition causing it. Antibiotics for infections, adjusting dentures, repairing filings, treating gum disease, or changing medications could help solve the issue of your bad breath. Other times treating bad breath boils down to taking care of your teeth by:

  • Brushing: Ensure that you are not only brushing twice daily but also that you are thoroughly cleaning between your teeth and floss to rid your mouth of bacteria that cause bad breath.
  • Use Mouthwash: Mouthwash can kill bacteria and neutralize bad breath temporarily.
  • Clean Your Dentures: Take out removable dentures each night, clean them well, and store them properly until you need them again in the morning.
  • Encourage Saliva Production: Eat healthy foods, chew them well, try sugar-free gum and candies, and ask your dentist for artificial saliva.
  • Commit to Quitting: It’s time to quit smoking for your oral health and the health of the rest of your body.
  • Keep Up With Regular Dental Appointments: It’s important, and recommended by the American Dental Association, to visit your dentist twice a year for regular cleanings and exams.

To keep bad breath at bay, make an appointment with Dr. Coates and keep up with regular checkups. Our Long Beach, CA dental team is waiting to discuss your symptoms and determine the right approach to treat your bad breath. Call us today at 562-434-6414, or visit us online to schedule your appointment.