Bad breath. Halitosis. When it comes to putting a cramp in your style or making a tender moment awkward, few things get the job done as well as some really bad breath. It’s a common problem that we all have to face at some point. And most of us try to fight it with breath mints and avoiding stinky foods like onions and garlics, but the truth is there are a lot of different things that can cause bad breath that you wouldn’t expect.
At Imagine Dental, we’re dedicated to helping our clients achieve their dental health goals. Whether it’s a brighter smile or stronger teeth, we’ve got the skills and determination to make it happen. If one of your goals is to say goodbye to bad breath, read about these three surprising causes of it to see if sweet-smelling breath is just a habit change away for you.
Good dental hygiene is essential, because regular brushing and flossing helps cut down on the amount of bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria is the leading cause of bad breath, so the less of it you have nestling inside your mouth the better. What attracts the bacteria to your mouth is the food particles stuck in your teeth and gums. They feed on those stray particles, excreting smelly sulfur compounds out after they consume the food. These sulfur compounds are most likely the source of your halitosis.
These bacteria don’t need oxygen to survive, so they thrive in the parts of your mouth where there isn’t great ventilation. They often multiply at night while you’re sleeping because of your mouth’s inactivity. This is why our breath usually smells its worst when we wake up in the morning.
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Even if you use products to help kill off the bacteria causing your bad breath, it won’t do much good if you aren’t hydrated. If you’re dehydrated you’ll produce less saliva and that’s a big problem when it comes to fighting bad breath. Saliva is the body’s best weapon against halitosis: It acts as a natural cleanser, helping to clear debris and food products from your teeth. The less saliva you produce, the more bacteria will start building up and making your breath smell worse and worse.
You should sip water throughout the day to keep your mouth from drying out. Doing this will also remove bacteria when you swallow. Chew gum to stimulate saliva, or chew on rosemary, thyme, cinnamon bark, anise seeds or coriander. These herbs will help increase saliva levels and make your breath smell sweeter.
Certain medications can cause dry mouth as one of their side effects. Dry mouth reduces your saliva production, letting the bacteria in your mouth grow unchecked. Medications that produce this effect include diuretics, antihistamines, antipsychotics and muscle relaxants. If you can’t stop taking these medicines, one way to combat the bad breath they create is to clean your tongue with either a toothbrush or a tongue scraper. Your tongue harbors most of the bacteria that causes bad breath, so scraping it clean can temporarily dispel your halitosis.
Do you want to keep your breath smelling fresh? Looking for ways to brighten up your smile and make your teeth strong and healthy? Give Imagine Dental a call at 480-893-7733.