What causes bad breath?

Bad breath is caused by a variety of factors. In most cases, it is caused by food remaining on the teeth, tongue, gums and other structures in the mouth that collect bacteria. This dead and dying bacterium releases a sulfur compound that gives your breath an unpleasant odor. Other causes of bad breath may include eating certain foods, such as garlic and onions, as well as fasting.

Periodontal (gum) disease will often cause persistent breath odor or a bad taste in the mouth. Persistent bad breath may mean that you have gum disease. Gum disease is caused by plaque that constantly forms on teeth. Saliva cleans your mouth and removes particles that may cause odor. Dry mouth, or xerostomia, may also cause bad breath due to decreased salivary flow. Tobacco products cause breath odor, stain your teeth, reduce your ability to taste foods and irritate your gum tissues.

Diet, sinus problems, stomach problems, and certain foods and medications can also contribute to bad breath in Lindon, Utah. Bad breath could be a sign that you have a serious health problem. Talk to your doctor or dentist to see if any of your treatments or medications may be causing bad breath.

What foods should I eat to prevent bad breath?

According to MSN Health and Fitness, there are 4 foods that can prevent bad breath.

1. Chewing on herbs such as parsley, coriander, spearmint, tarragon, eucalyptus, rosemary, and cardamom can all fight bad breath.

2. Eating active cultures. A recent study shows that eating a serving of yogurt each day reduces the level of odor-causing hydrogen in the mouth.

3. Crunchy foods like apples, carrots, celery, or any other fiber-rich fruit or vegetable will help fight halitosis.

4. Masking techniques such as sugarless gum can’t replace brushing but will mask the odor in your mouth and increase salivary flow to rinse away plaque and bacteria.

How do I solve bad breath?

Daily brushing and flossing, as well as regular professional cleanings at Scott M. Healey Dentistry, will normally take care of unpleasant breath. Make sure to scrape and brush your tongue daily to remove any type of bacteria or food that might have accumulated in the crevices or back of the tongue. Maintain good oral health habits to avoid gum disease. If you feel that you have severe periodontal disease, periodontal treatment and cleaning of your gum tissues may be necessary and will likely resolve your bad breath.

Although mouth rinses can be helpful to freshen your breath and help you maintain good oral health, over-the-counter mouthwashes may not be strong enough to resolve your bad breath. If your bad breath persists even after good oral hygiene, there are special rinses your dentist may prescribe that will kill the germs that may be causing the odor. Ask Dr. Scott Healey about trying some of these products.

Improperly cleaned dentures or other removable structures can also harbor odor-causing bacteria and food particles. If you wear dentures or something that is removable, take them out at night and clean them thoroughly before replacing them.

If your bad breath persists and your dentist has determined that your mouth is healthy, you may be referred to your family physician or specialist to determine the cause of the odor and possible treatment.