Bad breath - at best it’s embarrassing, at worst it’s a sign of serious dental disease. Whether it’s halitosis or coffee breath, one thing’s for sure. You need to find a way to manage your bad breath.
Your Toronto dentist isn’t just concerned with your teeth. They maintain the health of your entire mouth. So no matter what the cause of halitosis, they will get you back to breathing fresh. To start, your dentist must identify the source of the issue.
Most of the time halitosis is caused by something harmless and is simply resolved. However, it can be the sign of a disease or medical condition so persistent bad breath should always be addressed by a doctor. We look at some of the causes of halitosis:
What you eat and drink has a direct impact on your breath. Strong-smelling foods like garlic and coffee are the cause of most intermittent bad breath. In many cases, a stick of gum or brushing your teeth is a quick and effective solution if this is a problem.
If the smell is still overpowering, you may need to dial back on consumption of these foods. A good indicator that diet is the cause of bad breath is that your breath smells like what you ate.
In a similar vein, smoking or chewing tobacco are also common causes of bad breath. Smokers will not always notice the bad breath because they are used to the smell and have gone “nose blind” to it. Smoking can also lead to other problems, like gum disease, that cause halitosis.
Your mouth needs saliva to wash it out, one of the effects of this is controlling your breath odour. A dry mouth isn’t cleaning itself properly and results in bad breath. There are a number of potential causes for dry mouth including dehydration, prescription medication and gland problems.
Even breathing through your mouth, instead of your nose, can cause dry mouth. This is one of the common reasons why people wake up with morning breath.
If dry mouth is the cause of halitosis a visit to the dentist can help assess what your best approach is.
The bacteria your mouth needs to stay clean and help you eat and digest food can result in bad breath. Any food left in your mouth will start to decay and smell as a result of this bacteria. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing help to clear the food remnants away, removing the offending odour.
Some bacteria, such as plaque, can advance into gum disease if allowed to settle for too long. A common sign of this is persistent bad breath and/or a bad taste that won’t go away. The treatment for gum disease varies depending on how advanced it is. Treatments range from cleanings to surgical procedures. It’s important to catch gum disease early.
Gum disease is not the only oral infection that causes halitosis. Oral thrush is a yeast infection that can emit an unpleasant odour. Abscessed teeth, dental caries, and gingivitis can all cause bad breath as well.
It’s not only oral conditions that can affect your breath either. Diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease are all potential causes of halitosis. So it’s worthwhile looking into bad breath as soon as you can.
Once you have identified the cause of bad breath, you can determine how to manage it. Regardless of the cause, there are a few things you should do that are important for oral health and managing all causes of halitosis:
Practicing proper oral hygiene is important for managing halitosis. Twice daily brushing and flossing at least once a day helps to remove any food residue that can cause odours or allow bacteria cultures to grow. As well, it helps to prevent gum disease.
In between brushings, mouthwash can temporarily kill bacteria that causes bad breath. This will help to hide the smell until you can brush again.
Eating healthy foods can help to alleviate bad breath caused by dry mouth. Anything with a lot of chewing can also help produce saliva. As well, make sure you are staying hydrated.
If you have problems with strong smelling foods like onions, you may want to avoid them or reduce your consumption of them. If you’re a heavy coffee drinker consider making the switch to green tea. It still has a high caffeine content, but tea can also help fight bad breath.
Preventative dental care is essential for maintaining your oral health. The dental cleanings scrape away disease-causing bacteria and the dentist has a chance to identify potential problems before they become an issue. This helps your overall health as well as preventing bad breath.
Are you overdue for a dental exam? Book an appointment today with our Toronto cosmetic dentist office at Bay and Bloor.
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