Bad Breath!

Has any one ever mentioned to you that you have bad breath?   Beyond being embarrassing, bad breath might be the sign of something more serious.

The most common cause of bad breath, or halitosis, is a lack of oral hygiene.  A person should brush their teeth twice as day for two minutes per session in addition to daily flossing to help prevent bad breath.   Brushing and flossing will help prevent a build of plaque and other bacteria that lead to bad breath, cavities and gum disease.  Not only is it important to brush and floss, but it is important to do so with uitilzing proper technique.  Your general dentist can give you a tutorial on the proper ways to brush and floss, also know as Oral Hygiene Instruction (OHI).  It is important to see your dentist at least twice a year for a professional cleaning and exam.  Bad breath may be a sign of more serious tooth decay or periodontal disease that has to be treated by a professional dentist.

Bad breath may also be caused by food that you eat.  Upon ingesting foods with an odor, such as garlic or onions, the food is digested through our stomach and other organs until it is absorbed into our blood and lungs.  From that point both your body and your breath can expel an odor.

Foods may also turn into bacteria that sticks to your tongue, causing bad breath to increase as the day/night goes on.  Brushing or scraping the tongue  with an over the counter tongue scraper will help minimize this effect.

Xerostomia, or dry mouth can also contribute to bad breath.  Dry mouth can be a caused by numerous things and can also be a symptom of sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is a common disorder that disrupts one’s sleep because the affected person will have several pauses in the breathing trough out the night.  Please refer to our previous blog about sleep apnea for more information on this condition.

Halitosis  or bad breath may be a sign that there is a more serious infection or illness.  Respiratory tract infections, kidney failure and diabetes can all associated with bad breath though there many contributing factors that can lead to halitosis.

Schedule an exam today, to see your general dentist.  He or she will help you diagnosis the cause of your bad breath, and plan the steps necessary to treat it.  Whether it be a simple need to floss better or something more serious, it is time for you to know.







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