Causes and Solutions to Bad Breath
Research indicates that at least five in ten adults have ever suffered from bad breath, so you should not imagine that you are alone if you have this problem. The causes of bad breath (halitosis) are many, and the possible solution to this condition will depend on the specific cause of the problem as suggested in the following discussion.
The Causes of Bad Breath
Poor Oral Hygiene.
When you aren’t particular about flossing and brushing properly, you risk developing bad breath. This is because bacteria will feed on the food particles left between your teeth and this process will leave a bad smell in your mouth. Dr. Ben Kacos, an endodontist in Shreveport LA, also points out that poor oral hygiene predisposes you to other dental problems, such as cavities and periodontal disease.
Consuming Flavored Foods and Drinks.
Your bad breath could also be caused by the flavored foods and drinks that you consume. For example, when you eat garlic or raw onions, some odor-inducing particles in those foods will find their way into your lungs and your breath will smell each time you exhale. Dr. Ben Kacos, a dentist in Shreveport, says that no amount of brushing can fix this bad breath until what you ate is out of your system.
Consuming alcohol in excess also increases your likelihood of developing bad breath. This is because the alcohol will reduce the production of saliva in your mouth. When that happens, bacteria will grow rapidly in your mouth and trigger bad breath.
When you are on a diet that is high in sugar, you give oral bacteria plenty of food since this bacteria feeds on sugar. Consequently, you will develop bad breath due to the byproducts of the metabolism of this oral bacteria.
While high-sugar diets cause bad breath, the other extreme (low-carb diets) can also cause this problem as well. When you restrict your carb intake extremely, your body will be forced to change its metabolism. For example, your body can go into ketosis and start relying on the stored fat in your body to provide fuel as a replacement for the carbs that are no longer being provided by your diet. This change in metabolism will have by-products that will alter the odor of your breath, according to Dr. Ben Kacos.
Use of Tobacco Products.
People who smoke or use any other tobacco product (a pipe or chewing tobacco, for instance) are at a high risk of developing bad breath. Dr. Brian Leeson, a dentist in St. Petersburg, FL, explains that tobacco interferes with the production of saliva in the mouth and this creates favorable conditions for odor-causing bacteria to thrive in one’s mouth. Bad breath will be the result of such colonization.
Saliva is important because it rinses your mouth and removes any food particles that bacteria feed on. Saliva also moderates the pH of your oral cavity so that bacteria doesn’t thrive. When saliva production reduces drastically or stops altogether, chances are you will develop bad breath. Dry mouth can result from a variety of factors, such as some medications and smoking, so you should see a dentist in Shreveport LA about your bad breath so that a correct diagnosis for the problem can be made.
Medications can cause bad breath in two ways, according to Dr. Ben Kacos, an endodontist in Shreveport LA. First, some medications can interfere with the production of saliva in your mouth, resulting in bad breath. Secondly, the medications may be broken down into substances that cause your breath to smell during the time when you are taking those medications.
Solutions to Halitosis
Brushing and Flossing. As already mentioned, poor oral hygiene can trigger bad breath. Therefore, flossing once a day and brushing properly twice each day can be an easy way to combat bad breath since it will get rid of the food particles that bacteria feed on.
You can also buy an antibacterial mouthwash at a pharmacy and use this daily to kill the oral bacteria responsible for the bad breath. However, Dr. Ben Kacos cautions that using mouthwash could merely mask the problem without fixing it. For example, if your bad breath is due to improper brushing and flossing, then using mouthwash will not provide a fix to that inadequacy.
Keep Your Dentures Clean.
If you wear removable dentures, it is important to clean them daily. This can be at night when you remove them as you are going to sleep or in the morning before you place them in your mouth. This daily cleaning session will help to eliminate the bad breath that you have been having.
When you quit smoking, your overall health, including your oral health, will improve. Your breath will improve since the salivary glands will no longer be impeded in their function.
Boost Saliva Formation.
You can also eat chewy vegetables, such as carrots and celery, in order to trigger the production of larger amounts of saliva in your mouth. Sugar-free gum can also help, so try this too. If all these don’t have the desired effect, see Dr. Ben Kacos and he may recommend a saliva substitute.
It is important for you to visit a dentist in Shreveport on a regular basis so that any developing issues that could give you bad breath can be identified and resolved in a timely manner. If the need arises, Dr. Ben Kacos can refer you to another specialist, such as an expert in digestive issues, so that a lasting solution is found to the halitosis you are suffering from.