Though not considered life threatening, bad breath, or halitosis, can certainly have a dramatic impact on your life. Some people develop occasional bad breath when they eat foods like onions and garlic, or because of a head cold. In these cases, the problem usually resolves itself in a short time period. Unfortunately, bad breath can also be a chronic condition.
Usually, bad breath is caused by the food trapped in our mouths, which forms the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. These anaerobic bacteria give off waste products known as volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), the actual cause of the offending odors. The tongue is the most common location for the bacteria, although they can reside anywhere in the mouth.
Certain conditions, as well as lifestyle choices, can increase the odds of developing bad breath. Excessive smoking and drinking can produce halitosis. Allergies, dry mouth, diabetes, and dentures can also lead to bad breath issues. Another big contributor to halitosis is poor oral health, which includes problems such as gum disease, abscessed teeth, and decay.
Treating chronic halitosis involves addressing the root problem, not covering it up with mouthwash or mints. In fact, these solutions can actually exacerbate the problem by drying out your mouth. Follow these tips to help control bad breath:
- Avoid odor causing foods
- Brush and floss regularly to eliminate plaque
- Chew sugarless gum, which increases saliva
- Drink plenty of water
- Make sure to brush your tongue
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Schedule regular checkups and cleanings
Schedule a dental cleaning appointment today at our Morehead City dentists office.