Chronic or occasional bad breath can make any social situation uncomfortable. At Palmetto Dental Associates understands that the cause of your bad breath may be more than what you eat. Below are a few common causes of bad breath. Sometimes bad breath, or halitosis, can be a sign of a more serious dental concern or it can be solved with a few tweaks in your daily routine.
CAUSE OF DRY MOUTH
Saliva is your natural cavity fighter. Saliva washes over your teeth removing sugars and bacteria that could develop into cavities or gum disease. Saliva does more than rinsing your mouth, it also neutralizes bacterial acids. Dry mouth, or xerostomia, can be a symptom of a disorder or simply a side effect from a medication. A few ways to reduce bad breath due to xerostomia is to stay hydrated, chew sugar-free gum, and employ artificial saliva or rinses.
BACTERIA AND BAD BREATH
Anaerobic bacteria are one of the primary causes of bad breath that feed on proteins in your mouth from food and expel offensive-smelling sulfur. This bacteria does not need oxygen to survive, actually, oxygen can sometimes reduce their performance. Often, this bacteria lives in the back of your mouth on your tongue or in between your teeth. It is difficult for oxygen to reach this area, yet most of your food particles are trapped here. This feeds the bacteria and promotes bad breath.
ACID REFLUX OR CALORIE RESTRICTING DIETS
Not only do anaerobic bacteria in your mouth love dry, oxygen-less places, they also thrive in acidic environments. Chronic acid reflux or calorie restricting diets could restrict the liver from providing energy for your body. Soon, ketosis will occur, which invades the bloodstream and saliva with ketones that increase pH levels. Simply, ketosis can create a more acidic environment in your mouth for bad bacteria to flourish. Talk to your doctor if you have acid reflux and double check the risk factors before participating in a calorie restricted diet!
SMOKING AND TOBACCO
Surprisingly, many smokers do not know they may have bad breath. This is because smoking can dampen your sense of smell and taste. Along with numerous health risks, smoking is an addictive substance that can stain your teeth, tongue, and increase your risk of gum disease. Additionally, smokeless tobacco products cause the same if not more damage. Many chewing tobaccos contain higher levels of nicotine than cigarettes. If you smoke or use tobacco products, now is your time to quit.
There are many reasons for bad breath from what you eat to what you drink and even the amount of saliva in your mouth. To ensure fresh smelling breath, stay hydrated, floss and brush twice a day and visit Dr. Emily Hortman at Palmetto Dental Associates twice a year for a check-up and cleaning. For more information, call (843)-399-2525 to schedule an appointment today!