Bad Breath: Causes and Prevention

Have you ever been astonished by the smell of bad breath, only to realize in horror that the bad breath was your own? Luckily, most instances of halitosis or bad breath can be prevented quite simply. Read on for the common causes of bad breath and how to prevent them.

Causes of Halitosis

Certain Foods and Habits

Eating foods with strong odors such as onions or garlic can temporarily cause bad breath. Habits such as smoking also contribute to more lasting bad breath.

Dry Mouth

Chronic dry mouth (xerostomia) or a temporarily dry mouth can cause bad breath because there is not enough saliva in the mouth to neutralize acids and wash away dead cells.

Improper Oral Hygiene

If you do not brush and floss your teeth regularly, bacteria to build up inside your mouth, which is a leading cause of bad breath.  It can also cause gum disease, which makes the bacteria multiply even faster in the periodontal pockets, making your bad breath even worse.  If you’re suffering from gum disease in Pittsburgh, don’t hesitate to set up an appointment with our team of specialists today.

Medical Conditions

There are many different medical conditions and illnesses such as xerostomia (dry mouth), salivary gland problems, pneumonia, sinus infections, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, postnasal drip, and kidney or liver problems that can cause chronic bad breath. Unfortunately, there is not much that you can do if your bad breath is caused by an underlying health issue, until you clear up the cause.

Halitosis Prevention

Good Oral Hygiene

The best thing you can do to prevent bad breath is to practice good oral hygiene.  Brush your teeth and tongue at least twice a day and after every time you eat, and use floss to remove food and plaque stuck between the teeth at least once a day.

Visit the Dentist

Don’t skip your semiannual visit with Dr. Silberg, as we do not only give you a professional teeth cleaning, but check for diseases such as periodontal disease or dry mouth.

Drink Water

Bad breath is often caused by a dry mouth, so make sure that you drink plenty of water.  You should drink ½ oz to 1 ounce of water each day for every pound that you weigh.

Quit Smoking

Smoking causes not only bad breath, but stained teeth, irritated gums, and many health problems as well. The best thing you can do for your health is reduce or eliminate your use of tobacco.

If you have bad breath and don’t know the cause, we can help. Contact the Silberg Center for Dental Science to make an appointment, and let us help you find a solution to your problem.

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