Bad breath can be a social killer but it can also be a sign of a health problem. The staff at Davenport Dental Group in Laredo, TX, doesn’t want you to live with bad breath. Give us a call at 956-242-6745 or 956-517-2695 to set up an appointment. We’ll determine the cause of your bad breath and then take steps to treat it.
If you have bad breath, also called halitosis, you might be the last person to know. First of all, pointing out to someone that they have bad breath is one of the socially hardest things to do. It requires such an awkward conversation that no one relishes being the one to deliver the information.
It would be OK if you could tell yourself whether you had bad breath. But we usually can’t detect bad breath in ourselves. This is due to a process known as acclimation. We become accustomed to our own body smells enough that we no longer notice them.
You don’t want to walk around with bad breath. Bad breath is very off-putting to those you come into contact with. It can really ruin a social encounter.
What Causes Bad Breath?
There are several reasons you could have bad breath. These include:
- Dry Mouth
Saliva keeps your mouth moist and helps clean food particles from your mouth. When saliva flow is low, your mouth won’t be able to cleanse itself as well, leading to odor problems. You could have a low saliva flow due to any number of conditions, like sleep apnea, certain medications you’re taking, tobacco use, and so on.
- Poor Oral Hygiene
If you don’t brush twice a day with a good fluoride toothpaste and floss on a regular basis, you run the risk of food collecting along your gumline and between your teeth. When bacteria breaks these food particles down, it can cause oral odor.
- Gum Disease
One of the biggest sources of bad breath is the odor-causing bacteria from gum disease. Even if you can’t smell your own breath odor, you may have a persistent bad taste in your mouth, which could also be a sign of gum disease.
The best way to prevent gum disease, along with practicing good oral hygiene at home, is to visit your dentist regularly. We recommend about every six months. Regular professional cleanings can keep plaque and tartar off your teeth. The bacteria that forms from plaque and tartar is one of the leading causes of gum disease.
- Some Food And Drinks
Spicy foods like garlic and onions can cause halitosis. That’s because they contain molecules called mercaptans, which is a type of sulfur compound. You don’t have to stop eating these foods, but it can help if you can brush your teeth afterward. Be sure to brush your tongue since bad odors can hide there as well.
High-protein foods like milk can also result in bad breath because they create an environment in which bacteria can grow.
- Some Medical Conditions
Sinus infections can be the cause of bad breath. If you breathe through your mouth because your sinuses are clogged, you can dry out your mouth. Also, the mucus in infected sinuses drips down the back of the throat. When it meets the air you exhale, the odor transfers to your breath.
Other medical conditions that can be behind bad breath are tonsillitis, gastrointestinal disorders, and diabetes. Diabetes can be a cause of bad breath due to the fact that bacteria feed on glucose. And high blood sugar levels can cause them to grow.
Sometimes the medications you take for physical conditions can cause bad breath.
The use of tobacco products, whether through smoking or chewing, can contribute to mouth odor. Smoking can also increase your chances for gum disease, which is a source of bad breath itself. In fact, nearly half of periodontal (gum) disease in smokers is caused by smoking.
The best thing to do is to quit tobacco altogether.
When you come into Davenport Dental Group in Laredo, TX, we can help you with your bad breath. Through an exam, we can help pinpoint the cause and then take measures to correct it.956-242-6745 (Junction Drive) 956-517-2695 (Winfield)