Judging by all the ads on television for mouthwash, you might think that bad breath is an epidemic affecting most of the population. And you would be right! Studies show that 50%-65% of people have halitosis (bad breath) at some point in their lives. At Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert, we are often asked what causes halitosis. Here are some of the most common causes of bad breath.
Poor oral hygiene
Our soapbox as a dental practice is: brush and floss regularly. That means at least twice a day. When you don’t, bacteria builds up in your mouth from left over food particles. The bacteria release sulphur compounds in the process of their digestion. This is the most common source of foul-smelling breath.
Food and drink
Some foods, like cheese, onions, and garlic, leave their signature on your breath for hours. Morning breath from pizza can be overwhelming! Coffee breath is a common cause of morning social awkwardness, and alcohol is another leading cause of halitosis. Wine and whiskey break down in your stomach, producing acids that cause your breath to smell. They also dry out your mouth, which is a significant factor in bad breath. Staying hydrated with water is an important ally in keeping halitosis at bay. But stay away from sugary drinks; they are harmful to your teeth as well as your breath.
We hope that more people are getting the message that smoking is harmful to your health. It not only stains your teeth and puts you at risk for cancer, it also gives you bad breath and reduces your ability to taste food. Most smokers have bad breath and don’t even realize it. If you smoke, it’s time to quit!
Underlying medical conditions can be the source of bad breath. Periodontal disease, tonsillitis, sinusitis, and bronchitis are all potential causes. More severe medical problems such as liver or kidney disease, GERD, and diabetes also produce unpleasant odors in the breath. If you are experiencing other symptoms related to these diseases, see your doctor immediately.
Now that you know what causes halitosis, don’t let it affect your life any longer! Come in for a checkup and cleaning! Lifetime Family Dental will teach you good oral hygiene habits that will help to eliminate bad breath and restore your confidence.