What Is Bad Breath?
Breath odor affects everyone at some point. Bad breath is also known as halitosis. Odor can come from the mouth, teeth, or as a result of an underlying health problem. Bad breath odor can be a temporary problem or a chronic condition. According to the American Dental Association, at least 50 percent of adults have had halitosis in their lifetime.
What Causes Bad Breath?
- Poor Dental Hygiene
- Bacteria break down food particles trapped in the teeth or mouth. The combination of the bacteria and decaying food in your mouth produces an unpleasant odor. Brushing and flossing regularly remove trapped food before it decays.
- Specific Foods & Beverages
- When you eat onions, garlic, or other foods with strong odors, your stomach absorbs oils from the foods during digestion. These oils pass into your bloodstream and travel to your lungs. This produces an odor that others can notice in your breath for up to 72 hours. Drinking beverages with strong odors, such as coffee, can also contribute to bad breath.
- Smoking / Tobacco Products
- Smoking cigarettes or using tobacco products causes a bad odor and dries out your mouth, which can make your breath odor even worse.
- Dry Mouth
- Dry mouth can also occur if you don’t create enough saliva. Saliva helps keep your mouth clean and reduces odor. Dry mouth can be a problem if you have a salivary gland condition, sleep with your mouth open, or take certain medications, including those that treat high blood pressure and urinary conditions.
How Can I Help Prevent Bad Breath?
- Brush Your Teeth At Least Twice Per Day
- Floss Daily and make sure to get in between all of your teeth.
- Staying hydrated can often help to eliminate or prevent breath odor. Drink water to wash away food particles and keep your mouth moist.
- Quitting smoking if you smoke can also help keep your mouth moist and free of odor.
- Use antimicrobial mouthwash daily to kill bacteria.
- Clean your dentures, mouth guards, and retainers daily.
- Replace your old toothbrush with a new one every three months, and schedule a dental cleaning and examination every six months.
Schedule An Appointment
To learn more about innovative treatment options for Halitosis offered by East Market Dental, contact our office to schedule a personalized consultation. We welcome new patients from communities around Fairfax, Centreville, Chantilly and Reston, VA. To request a consultation, call our office at (703) 291-0198 or request an appointment online.