Is Bad Breath Making You Avoid Socializing?Thursday, December 24th, 2015, 9:14 pm
You don’t need to avoid socializing with friends and family because of bad breath. Halitosis has many causes and discovering why your breath doesn’t smell fresh is the first step to solving the problem.
All of us experience bad breath from time to time, especially after ingesting certain foods or drinks. If you suspect that your bad breath occurs on a regular basis it is time to investigate. Here are the usual suspects in cases of bad breath:
- Oral bacteria. Lots of bacteria live in our bodies and when the ones that live in the mouth aren’t cleaned out on a regular basis they begin to give off odors. The solutions is simple – keep your oral bacteria count low by brushing the teeth and tongue for at least two minutes twice each day. FLOSS! Flossing is necessary to remove the bacteria and food debris stuck between teeth. Visit your dentist for regular professional cleanings to ensure that bacterial colonies below the gum line are removed.
- Tonsil Stones. The tonsils are full of nooks and crannies that collect bacteria and mucus. This goop eventually hardens into a “stone” which is really stinky and can cause a nasty taste in the mouth. Gargling with warm salt water or using a water flosser can help remove debris before stones form and you can gently remove stones with a cotton swab or toothbrush. If you form stones often and experience frequent throat infections you may want to discuss removing the tonsils with your doctor.
- GERD. People who experience gastric reflux may also experience bad breath. Talk to your physician about keeping your GERD under control with medication and lifestyle changes.
- Food. We think of smelly foods like onions and garlic causing bad breath but your morning coffee can pack a malodorous punch! Some of these foods cause a stink in the mouth and again, when they have been digested. The chemicals in the food travel through the bloodstream to the lungs where you breath them out. The cure – in the short term you can brush and floss but until that garlic has worked its way through your system you will possess garlic breath. Avoid these foods unless they are cooked.
- Dry Mouth. Dry mouth is common as we age and is a side effect of many medications. Our saliva cleans debris from the mouth and without it, bacteria can breed and cause odors and oral disease. Drink lots of water, try chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production and check out the saliva substitutes now available.
- Oral Disease. If you have active gum disease, tooth decay or infection in your mouth it will smell bad. Visit the dentist to see what is going on and get your mouth healthy again!
- Smoking. Smokers breath is always bad. The only cure is quitting the habit. Chewing tobacco or other forms of tobacco also leave a bad smell and taste in the mouth. Smokers are also more likely to develop gum disease which is another cause of bad breath.
If you suspect bad breath but can’t pinpoint the cause, contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-391-8777 to schedule a visit. We can get to the bottom of your bad breath and make you more comfortable going out and socializing!