11
Aug

What Causes Bad Breath?

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Unfortunately for those of us who are always striving towards fresh breath, here are many causes for bad breath. From our dental hygiene practices to our food choices, there are many steps we can take to prevent – and cause – bad breath problems.

Bad Breath

The most common cause of bad breath is a medical condition known as halitosis, which results from bad oral hygiene or unhealthy lifestyle choices like smoking or chewing tobacco. However there are dozens of other factors that can lead to a foul smell throughout the day.

Food and Bad Breath

Everything we eat starts the process of being broken down in the mouth. Small particles are left behind on the gums, the tongue, and between the teeth until they are rinsed, flossed, or brushed away, but that is not the end of food’s effect on our breath.

As food is digested, it is absorbed into the bloodstream where is it eventually carried throughout the body. One of the places it is carried to is the lungs where foods with strong odors can be released into your breath. Garlic and onions in particular are known for causing this affect, but other food items can also cause a similar result. Gin, for example, is known to show itself in the breath and even sweat of people who imbibe it too greedily. In these cases, the smell won’t really go away completely until the foods have passed through your system.

Dental Hygiene

Poor dental hygiene can lead to a whole host of problems that may cause bad breath. Failing to brush the teeth or floss regularly can allow food particles to remain between teeth and along the gum line where it promotes bacterial growth in the mouth. Practicing good dental hygiene and regularly using an antibacterial mouth rinse is the best way to prevent not only bad breath but also gum disease, cavities, and tartar buildup.

Other Health Problems

In some cases, bad breath can be the result of more serious health problems. Very persistent bad breath that also leaves a bad taste in the mouth may be a sign of gum disease and should be checked out as soon as possible. Caused by the formation of toxins in the mouth from a buildup of plaque, it can lead to serious damage to the jawbone and gums if left untreated.

Oral yeast infections, poorly fitted dental appliances, and dry mouth condition can all cause bad breath as well as some treatments for unrelated health conditions including:

  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Diabetes
  • Acid reflux
  • Health issues related to the liver

For more information, contact the Sierra Dental team today!

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