Has bad breath ever ruined your confidence on a first date, job interview, or while hanging out with friends? You can pop in a piece of sugarless gum or a mint, but these temporary solutions only mask the smell. To stop bad breath in its tracks for good, you need to know what’s causing it in the first place. Your Washington DC dentist explains five common causes of bad breath and what you can do to keep your smile fresh.
1.) Your Diet
Some foods are notorious for how well they can sour someone’s breath. The pungent particles in garlic, onions, coffee, and other aromatic foods can lace your breath long after you’ve eaten them. Drinking plenty of water while enjoying these foods can help keep these smelly particles from lingering in your mouth.
2.) Oral Bacteria
Your mouth is naturally full of oral bacteria. When they feed off the sugars contained in the foods you eat, they release foul-smelling gases. The best way to keep your oral bacteria in check and the smelly compounds they create at bay is to brush your teeth twice a day and use mouthwash and floss regularly.
3.) Dry Mouth
Saliva works to constantly wash away plaque, bacteria, and food debris. In a dry mouth, these elements can build up rapidly and produce stinky compounds. A lack of saliva can be the result of certain health conditions, medications, or simply breathing through your mouth. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to rinse away these lingering particles and encourage saliva production.
4.) Gum Disease
Gum disease is a bacterial infection in the gums that impacts well over half of the American population. While the most common symptoms associated with this condition are inflamed, easily bleeding gums, chronic bad breath is also a tell-tale sign of gum disease. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other serious complications, so see your dentist right away for periodontal therapy treatments is your bad breath is accompanied by puffy, bright red gums.
5.) Medical Conditions
Occasionally, bad breath may be an early warning sign of an underlying systemic condition. Health issues like sinus infections, gastric reflux, liver disease, and diabetes can all keep your breath from smelling fresh. Catching these issues early can stop bad breath and boosts the chances of a successful treatment.
While bad breath is relatively common, it can sometimes be the result of a serious issue. See your dentist to identify the problem, determine the most effective treatment, and regain your fresh smile!
About the Practice
At Aesthetic & Family Dentistry of Washington, we are dedicated to helping smiles of all ages in Washington, DC look and feel their best. Our highly trained and experienced dental team is proud to offer a wide range of services to help you overcome oral health issues both big and small, including everything from bad breath to tooth loss! If you’re suffering from chronic bad breath, we can be reached via our website or at (202) 364-8989.