Bad breath, or halitosis, can be embarrassing, but it might be caused by an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
Halitosis can be caused by many different things. While it might take a visit to the dentist to figure out the underlying cause, figuring it out can help you cure the problem and prevent it from coming back in the future. Keep reading to learn about the underlying conditions that might be causing bad breath.
What Is Causing My Bad Breath?
Dry mouth – According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, dry mouth is “the condition of not having enough saliva to keep the mouth wet.” Saliva neutralizes acids in the mouth and gets rid of the dead cells. When there is not enough saliva, these acids and dead cells can cause our mouths to smell.
Getting a dry mouth occasionally is common for most dental patients, but if you notice your mouth is dry more often, consider talking with your dentist about your concerns so the two of you can discuss how to address the issue properly.
Seasonal allergies – Seasonal allergies can often be the cause of a person’s bad breath. Since seasonal allergies mean your nose is stuffed up, you’re breathing through your mouth, and you’re likely taking allergy medications (antihistamines), both of which can cause dry mouth, resulting in a bad odor originating from the mouth.
Sinus infections – A sinus infection is when the air spaces around the nasal passages become inflamed. Mucous in infected sinuses puts off a bad odor. Since the sinuses and the mouth are connected, there’s a good chance that someone who has a sinus infection is also experiencing halitosis.
Gastrointestinal issues – If you or someone else notices that you have a bad odor coming from your mouth and you also experience frequent heartburn, you might be experiencing Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD. The acid produced by your digestive tract has a sour odor and might be affecting your breath. According to Colgate, you could also be experiencing kidney disease, ulcers, or bowel obstruction if you’re noticing a bad odor from your mouth and other gastrointestinal problems.
What to Do About Bad Breath
We know halitosis can be annoying and embarrassing, but there are ways to help prevent it. Check out this helpful list of tips that we’ve put together for you:
- Practice good oral hygiene by establishing a proper brushing and flossing routine.
- Use a specially formulated mouth wash that combats dry mouth.
- Drink lots of water to stimulate saliva production.
- Chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production.
- Use tongue cleaners
- See your dentist every 6-months and talk about your concerns.
- Visit with your physician if you feel acid reflux is a possibility
- Avoid the following foods: garlic, onions, cheese, pastrami, orange juice, soda, alcohol, coffee, and fish, all of which can be the culprit of stinky breath, but feel free to enjoy in moderation and brush your teeth shortly after consuming.
- Eat the following foods: apples, carrots, celery, and other hard fruits and vegetables that can break down plaque.
- Avoid tobacco products which are linked to gum disease, which often is a culprit for halitosis.
- Consider using a probiotic if you think your breath has something to do with your stomach.
Oak Hills Dentistry Is Taking New Patients
Whether you’re experiencing bad breath or you are just due for your six-month dental check-up, Oak Hills Dentistry in Layton, Utah, wants to see you! Our dentists specialize in family and cosmetic dentistry with a gentle touch and a love for educating our patients on oral hygiene. Contact us today to learn more about our services and to set up an appointment with us!