Have you been told your breath stinks? Bad breath, or halitosis, is an embarrassing condition that is often difficult to detect on your own. It is reported that 35 to 45% of the world’s population suffers from chronic bad breath. If you are plagued by bad breath on a regular basis, it is worth the investigation to determine the cause so you can treat it more effectively.
Your first line of defense when you suspect bad breath is probably to grab a breath mint or stick of gum. While this might be a temporary bad breath solution, it is not necessarily combating your bad breath at its source.
There are numerous causes for halitosis. Certain medications, foods, tobacco and alcohol are some of the leading causes of bad breath. However, chronic bad breath could be from decay in your mouth. Poor oral hygiene can leave food stuck between teeth, along the gum line or on the tongue, and the decay will emit a foul odor. If your poor oral hygiene leads to gum infection, or Periodontal disease, it must be treated by a dentist before it progresses. Your unpleasant breath odor could also be caused by other health conditions such as respiratory tract infections, postnasal drip, sinusitis or gastrointestinal issues. Diabetes and liver conditions also produce bad breath occasionally.
A dentist can help you determine if your bad breath is caused by poor oral hygiene or gum disease. One of the most effective ways to fight bad breath at home is by brushing twice daily with a fluoride tooth paste and flossing each day to remove plaque build up between your teeth. You can reduce bad breath by up to 70% simply by brushing your tongue, especially towards the back of the tongue. Do not skip your routine dental appointments in your quest to eliminate bad breath. A dentist can give your teeth the deep cleaning and comprehensive exam they need to stay healthy. Your dentist can also prescribe a microbial mouth rinse to help with stubborn plaque that might be causing your bad breath.
Bad breath is not just an embarrassing social problem. If you have bad breath on a regular basis, it could be an indicator of other health problems that need attention, whether it is diabetes or poor oral hygiene. Let your dentist develop a treatment plan for your bad breath so you can not only be confident, but healthy as well!