– Becky Allen
Archive for February 2013
Bad breath is something that most – if not all – of us are familiar with. The chances are that the condition will affect all of us at some point in our lives, and for many of us, we will experience it on a regular basis. Bad breath is definitely not an unusual condition. In fact, it has been estimated that about half of all people have persistent bad breath.
The good news about bad breath (halitosis) is that root causes are usually not related to serious medical conditions and can be treated quite easily. Listed below are some of the most common causes of bad breath.
In the morning: The vast majority of people have bad breath first thing in the morning and this is a normal condition. One of the main reasons we get bad breath in the morning is that as we sleep, the flow of saliva in our mouths decreases. This causes our mouths to dry out and any food particles leftover create a stale smell.
Food: Some types of food and drink can also lead to bad breath. For example, we all know about the impact that foods such as garlic and onions can have on our breath. However, it is not only foods with strong odors that can give us bad breath. Drinks such as coffee and alcoholic beverages can also be linked to bad breath.
Smoking: Most people are aware of the negative effects that smoking can have on their body. Bad breath is just one of the many negative conditions that smoking can cause within your body. Smoker’s breathe can be very unpleasant.
Drugs: There are a few classes of medications that your doctor may prescribe to you that have the potential to cause halitosis. For example, some chemotherapy drugs for cancer patients can cause bad breath, as can nitrates (these are sometimes used for angina patients).
Hygiene: The purpose of brushing and flossing your teeth is to keep them as clean as possible and to remove any remnants of food, plaque and tartar that may have become trapped in the mouth. If oral hygiene is not sufficient, the food that is trapped will instead be broken down by bacteria in the mouth. This causes a gas to be released, which is the primary cause of bad breath. Therefore, a complete and thorough oral hygiene regiment is imperative to combat bad breath. As you can see from above, there is a wide range of causes for bad breath, some of them more serious than others.
For most people, getting rid of bad breath is uncomplicated. Simply improving oral hygiene can make a huge difference in the eradication of bad breath. For example, regular brushing at least twice a day, with good quality toothpaste can make a huge impact. Remembering to floss regularly is another important step in keeping your oral hygiene in check and decreasing your chances for halitosis.
Since your tongue can also be a source of the bacteria that causes bad breath, it is important to clean your tongue as well as your teeth. You can use a separate toothbrush for this, or some toothbrushes come already equipped with a tongue scraper that you can use for the job. There are also various mouthwashes that you can use to complement your oral hygiene routine.
When it comes to bad breath, the important thing to remember is that most of us will experience it at some point in our lives, but it is generally a fairly easy condition to correct. So try not worry – and maybe keep some mints handy just in case! Keep up your oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, email or call me at (928) 636-1565.
Dr. Mark Costes
– Catrina Stout