Bad breath is something everybody has to deal with at some point in their lifetime. The American Dental Association supports this, saying over 50% of American adults suffer from bad breath or, halitosis, at some point in their lifetime.

Bad breath is typically the result of poor dental habits. In addition, consuming foods such as onion or garlic with a strong odor or consuming too many sugary treats and beverages can also lead to bad breath. Lifestyle habits such as smoking and the use of tobacco also contribute to bad breath.

Causes of Bad Breath

A few of the causes mentioned above are elaborated for a better understanding of the factors leading to bad breath:

• Consumption of Certain Foods: The process of digestion starts in the mouth, i.e., foods are broken down with the help of saliva in the mouth – giving off a strong odor. Although the breath can be dealt with temporarily by brushing or using a mouth rinse, it is not eliminated until the food is completely digested.
• Poor Dental Habits: Not brushing twice a day and not following steps to do it properly can leave behind food debris that the bacteria begin to infest on. The bacteria reproduce and reside on the gum line and the tongue – leading to bad breath.
• Lifestyle Habits: Smoking and chewing tobacco are associated with plenty of dental and health concerns – bad breath being one of the long-term effects.
• Dry Mouth: Saliva moistens the mouth, flushes out dead food particles, and neutralizes acids in the mouth. Thus, the absence of saliva, as is the case with dry mouth, can lead to bad breath.

How to Treat and Prevent Bad Breath

Bad breath is not an impossible condition to treat. Here’s how you can treat and prevent bad breath:

• Make it a habit to brush twice a day for two whole minutes. Use a fluoride toothpaste, clean your tongue, use an antibacterial mouthwash, and remember to replace your brush every 2-3 months.
• The second most important thing is the biannual visits to the dentist. Regular cleanings will help you get rid of tartar and bacteria.
• Keep a tab on the kind of food you eat and discuss it with your dentist to come up with a food chart that helps deal with bad breath.
• Drink water to keep your mouth moist. You could also try chewing sugar-free gum to keep the saliva flowing.
• Quit smoking and tobacco products.

Bad breath may sometimes indicate underlying health problems. Visit us at Palm Harbor Family Dentistry and give your dentist a complete health history and elaborate on how you are dealing with bad breath so that any possibility of underlying health issues are recognized.

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