Having stinky breath after eating pungent foods is normal, but chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a condition that should be addressed. If you’re always carrying around mints in fear of scaring people away with your breath, you’ll be relieved to hear that bad breath is actually a pretty common and preventable issue for people of all shapes, sizes, and ages. Here are the main causes of bad breath and how to fix them:
1. Acid reflux
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a condition that causes stomach acid and digested foods to go back up the esophagus. These substances may cause pain and make your breath smell bad. Stomach acid is also extremely strong and it can cause your enamel to erode, leaving teeth vulnerable to cavities and decay. You can see a primary physician or nutritionist to help ease your acid reflux symptoms. Acid reflux is often triggered by certain foods or drinks, like red meat or alcohol. Cutting these out might help!
2. Mouth breathing
When your mouth is dry, bacteria are more likely to thrive, attack the teeth, and cause cavities. If you find it difficult to breathe your nose, you may want to see a dentist or physician. Sleep apnea therapy and orthodontics can stop you from breathing through your mouth and put an end to your bad breath.
3. Gum disease and plaque
Bacteria are often the primary suspect when it comes to bad breath. Poor dental hygiene may result in stinky bacteria overgrowth in your mouth. Furthermore, if you don’t brush and floss properly, old food debris can get rot in the back of your teeth, making your breath foul. If you have gum disease or plaque, you will need to see a dentist to be treated.
Certain types of medication, such as antihistamines, can cause you to produce less saliva, leaving your mouth dry. If you can’t change your medication, sugar-free chewing gum can increase saliva production. You can also drink more water to stay hydrated.
5. Tobacco use
Tobacco products already have their own distinct scent (not necessarily pleasant), but they can also dry out the mouth and damage the gums with toxic chemicals. Reduce your use of tobacco products if you want fresh breath.
Last but not least, it’s important to maintain a great oral care routine if you want great breath! Brush and floss at least twice a day and see your dentist twice a year. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with our pediatric dentist in Katy at Kids Healthy Teeth today, feel free to give us a call!