Everyone has the occasional bout of bad breath, usually first thing in the morning or right after eating a garlicky meal. However, for some people, bad breath is a constant problem, regardless of their last meal or the time of day. If you’ve ever wondered what causes bad breath and what can be done about it, this blog post from Drs. Ali and Shery Mansouri of Serene Dental Center is for you.
What Causes Bad Breath
There are many possible causes of bad breath, including:
- • use of tobacco products
- • dry mouth
- • diet: certain foods like onions, garlic and spices are absorbed into the bloodstream and transferred to the lungs, where their odor is expelled
- • inadequate dental hygiene habits: failing to brush and floss daily can leave food particles in the mouth that cause odors; a sticky film of bacteria called plaque can form on the teeth and lead to gum disease, which also produces odors
- • dental appliances that aren’t properly cleaned: dentures that are dirty or fit poorly can trap odor-causing bacteria and food particles
- • mouth, nose and throat conditions: respiratory tract infections, sinusitis, postnasal drip, bronchitis and similar conditions can lead to smelly breath
- • other medical conditions: diabetes, acid reflux and cancer can cause foul odors
When to See a Dentist about Bad Breath
Most people try to self-manage foul breath by making small tweaks to their oral hygiene habits and lifestyle. These can include avoiding odiferous foods, brushing the teeth after every meal, drinking more water and using a tongue scraper to eliminate smelly bacteria from the crevices of the tongue. This often helps to improve bad breath.
However, if the odor persists, it may indicate a more serious underlying dental or medical condition. A dental exam is recommended to check for gum disease, tooth infection or related oral health problems. The dentist will inquire about the patient’s history of bad breath, medical record and lifestyle habits that could contribute to the odor. He or she will examine the mouth for signs of a problem.
If the dentist finds something, he or she can develop a treatment plan to correct it. If the dentist believes a medical condition could be to blame, the patient may be referred to their primary care physician for a full work-up.
Are You Struggling with Smelly Breath?
Dr. Ali and Dr. Shery Mansouri know what you’re going through. Call (949) 748-7373 or email our practice today to schedule an exam with one of our dentists.