Are you tired of battling persistent bad breath (halitosis)? While various factors can contribute to this issue, many cases of foul breath originate from treatable dental causes. That’s why popping a piece of gum into your mouth only temporarily masks the issue. Instead, understanding these underlying dental issues is the first step toward fresher breath and improved oral health.
In this blog, Dr. Samuel Sigmon and the team at Full Circle Dental Care explore common dental reasons behind bad breath and how to address them.
Poor oral hygiene
Neglecting your oral hygiene routine can lead to a buildup of plaque and bacteria in your mouth. While plaque is most often associated with cavities, it can also cause odors. That’s because the same bacteria that cause decay produce unpleasant odors.
To combat this, brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, and use an antimicrobial mouthwash. Not only does this help keep your breath fresh, but it also helps reduce your risk of cavities and gum disease. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are also essential for plaque and tartar removal.
In addition to brushing and flossing your teeth, don’t forget to take care of your tongue! Your tongue's rough surface can trap bacteria and debris and contribute to bad breath. Make tongue cleaning a part of your daily oral hygiene routine by gently brushing or using a tongue scraper.
Tooth decay and cavities
Tooth decay can create pockets of bacteria that emit foul-smelling gasses. You might suspect that your foul breath is connected to tooth decay if you also have tooth pain, increased tooth sensitivity, or pain when chewing.
Gum disease (periodontitis)
Advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, can cause chronic bad breath. It occurs when bacteria invade your gum tissue and create pockets of pus. Treatments such as scaling and root planing can remove the bacteria and restore gum health.
Gum disease isn’t the only condition that causes bad breath. Any oral infections in your mouth, like abscesses, can lead to offensive odors. If you have signs of an oral infection, such as swelling, pain, or fever, seek immediate dental care. Dr. Sigmon may prescribe antibiotics and perform necessary treatments.
Dry mouth (xerostomia)
Saliva plays a crucial role in cleansing your mouth and neutralizing acids produced by bacteria. If you suffer from chronic dry mouth, it can contribute to bad breath since you have less saliva to neutralize the odor-causing bacteria. Stay hydrated, chew sugar-free gum, and talk to Dr. Sigmon about saliva-stimulating products.
Oral appliances and dentures
Removable dental appliances, such as dentures or retainers, are notorious for causing bad smells, especially if they aren’t cleaned properly or frequently enough. These devices can trap food particles and bacteria, which can contribute to bad breath. Thankfully, staying more diligent with your cleansing routine can remedy this cause of bad breath.
Certain foods like garlic, onions, and spices can contribute to temporary bad breath. Many foods have health benefits, so you don’t have to give up these potentially stinky foods. Instead, focus on maintaining good oral hygiene and drinking water to help mitigate the effects of these foods.
Tip: Keep sugar-free gum in your pocket or purse so you can freshen your breath after meals.
What if you still have foul breath?
If you have foul breath no matter what you do, know that these sources of bad breath can get remedied. Dr. Signmon and the Full Circle Dental Care team can help identify the specific cause of your bad breath and provide personalized recommendations to keep your breath fresh and your smile healthy.
Don’t let bad breath embarrass you anymore! Call 405-677-0516 to book your appointment in our Del City, Oklahoma, office.