Ask The Warrior Dentist: The Causes And Cures For Bad BreathAsk The Warrior Dentist: The Causes And Cures For Bad Breath

Bad breath is unpleasant, and the only way to effectively treat it with any kind of permanent results is to understand what causes it in the first place. Some bad breath is caused by diet, because the kinds of food we eat have their own odors and if we eat them regularly then the smell lingers in the mouth or emanates from the digestive system. Garlic and onions, for examples, are notorious for their strong and pungent odor. While they can be delightfully pleasant as part of a meal or to use to spice up a dish, they can also give us bad breath as an unwanted aftereffect.

Some cases of bad breath can be attributed to a low-carb diet, like many of those weight-loss diet plans that are so popular such as the Atkins Diet. The foods themselves may not have strong odors, but the way the body handles and assimilates them can cause bad breath. That's because those diets are comprised mostly of protein foods, not carbohydrates, and as the body digests lots of protein it can cause you to have bad breath. When that happens, reducing your intake of proteins and increasing your carb intake can usually solve the problem within a short period of time.
Other odors are caused by an illness in the body, and come about because of an unhealthy condition causing bacteria to fester.

If you have a bacterial infection in the teeth, mouth, or gums, for instance, it can cause not only discomfort and swelling but also unpleasant odors as the tissues or other bodily materials deteriorate and die. There are also causes of bad breath that come from a general lack of oral hygiene, and these are usually the most common. Those who fail to brush their teeth or floss on a regular basis, for example, will often get bad breath as the food particles trapped within crevices in the mouth begin to turn sour. The same kind of bad breath can also happen is the tongue is not clean, because a smelly film will start to coat the tongue making it look whitish and pale.

To cure bad breath, your dentist will first recommend that you maintain a healthy balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, a moderate amount of protein, and lots of water. Brushing and flossing after every meal and using a dentist recommended mouth wash is the next step, and finally it is important to make regular visits to the dentist to ensure that you not have any cavities, periodontal (gum) disease, or other problems that can cause poor oral health and increase your chances of having unpleasant breath. In severe cases the source of the bad breath may be something like acid reflux, a diseased liver, or other medical conditions.

If your dentist or doctor discovers that the bad breath or halitosis - another word for breath odor - is being instigated by that kind of problem then he or she will treat it accordingly to restore not just your fresh smelling breath but your optimum overall health.
by Dr. Susan Wells
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Dr. Susan Wells DMD has been a warrior dentist practicing dentistry in Warrior, Alabama since 1978.  She treats patients for all aspects of general dentistry including preventive dental care oral hygiene instruction and full scale exams and cleanings. To find out more visit her site at
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