What is causing my bad breath, you may feel anxious in social settings. The condition can even make you withdraw from friends and family as you struggle with the fear of others knowing you have this issue. But you are not alone. This is why there are so many options for breath mints, sprays, mouthwashes and gums marketed to people wanting fresh breath. So, what causes my bad breath and how can you treat your problem?
There are multiple causes for my bad breath, also called halitosis. Foods, health problems, personal hygiene and habits can all cause your breath to take on a characteristic odor. When personal hygiene fails to resolve your issue, it is important to visit your dentist for help.
Do I need to see my dentist about my halitosis?
If you are embarrassed by your bad breath or others tell you about it, first consider your daily oral hygiene. Are you brushing your teeth twice daily and well enough? Do you brush your tongue, too? Have you been flossing your teeth daily? Are you drinking enough water? Neglecting any of these areas of your daily health and hygiene can lead to breath odors.
If you try improving your daily oral hygiene and water intake, but the bad breath persists, visit your dentist. They can help you determine why your breath is unpleasant. To determine what is causing your breath odor, your dentist will typically need to experience your malodorous breath for himself or herself. They rate the odor on a scale. They also may scrape your tongue to rate the odor of this residue.
If your dentist suspects a more serious health problem as the cause, they can also refer you to a doctor who can help.
Many Causes of My Bad Breath
Most bad breath begins in your mouth for one of the following reasons:
- Food, such as garlic, spices, onions
- Bacteria, such as those breaking down food particles in your mouth
- Tobacco, from smoking or using other oral tobacco products
- Poor oral hygiene, not brushing and flossing each day as you should enables food particles to remain in your mouth and increases production of plaque on your teeth and tongue
- Oral dryness, with dry mouth decreasing saliva that cleanses your mouth and removes bad breath-causing particles
- Medications, such as those causing dry mouth or releasing foul smelling chemicals
- Oral infections, typically caused by tooth decay, mouth sores, oral surgery or gum disease
- Tonsil stones, with these covered in foul smelling bacteria
- Nasal, sinus or throat infections causing post-nasal drip
- Diseases, including cancers and metabolic disorders
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD, a chronic reflux of stomach acids
Treatment for My Bad Breath
Good oral hygiene is one of the most important steps in preventing halitosis and treating an ongoing problem. At the same time, improved oral hygiene reduces your risk of cavities and gum disease. But if your breath issues remain even after improving your daily oral regimen, it may be the result of an underlying health problem. In such cases, your dentist refers patients to their primary care provider or another specialist.
Typical dental methods used to improve the odor of breath include:
- Using a mouth rinse or antibacterial toothpaste
- Treating existing dental disease, such as gum disease or tooth decay
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, causes your gums to pull away from your teeth. As a result, the gums form deep pockets that collect foul smelling bacteria. Your dentist can perform a professional teeth cleaning to remove the bacteria. You may also need your tooth restorations, such as fillings or crowns, replaced. Faulty restorations provide a breeding ground for foul odor-producing bacteria.
Visit Your Dentist for Bad Breath Diagnosis and Treatment
The caring professionals of Carolina Dental Arts can help you understand the cause of your bad breath. They can provide appropriate treatment and methods for you to use at home to improve your halitosis. Schedule your next visit with your Carolina Dental Arts Goldsboro or Raleigh, NC dentist today.