What You Need To Know About Bad BreathWhat You Need To Know About Bad Breath

No one likes bad breath and it can definitely be a cause for embarrassment or uncomfortable situations, but there is actually good news about bad breath. Halitosis (another name for bad breath) is often an indicator or warning sign that there could be a problem with either your oral health or your health in general. If you find the reason behind the unpleasant odor instead of ignoring it or covering it up, you could save yourself from a much more serious situation.

Unfortunately, the first reaction that many people have to bad breath is to buy sugary breath mints to 'fix' the problem. Since tooth decay is one of the many problems that could be behind bad breath and sugar is one of the main causes for tooth decay, the 'easy fix' of a sugary breath mint is only adding to the problem.

One of the first steps to take after discovering that you have bad breath is to look at your daily oral hygiene habits and make sure that you are brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day to remove plaque and food debris from your teeth and gums. And don't forget to brush your tongue as well because the back of the tongue is the perfect breeding ground for halitosis if plaque and food debris are left to collect there and decay. If a buildup of food particles and plaque either on the tongue or gum or in between your teeth is the reason that your breath is unpleasant smelling, the problem will generally disappear after the first good brushing and will not return as long as you consistently brush and floss all of the areas in your mouth. If periodontal disease is the reason for your bad breath, it is an indicator that you have an infection in your gum tissue that is eating away at the foundations that hold your teeth. If the gum disease is not diagnosed and treated, the results could be disastrous to your oral health.

If your bad breath still persists after developing and maintaining good oral hygiene habits and getting a dental checkup to ensure that no serious problem exists in your mouth like periodontal disease or even oral cancer, take a look at your diet to see if it could be contributing to the problem. Foods like milk products, meat, garlic, coffee or alcohol on a regular basis can cause bad breath in some people. Your body may simply be telling you that the foods you are eating are not agreeing with your digestive system, so changing your eating habits could be the solution.

Dry mouth (also known as xerostomia) is another factor that can cause bad breath. When saliva in your mouth is decreased due to medications or even the habit of breathing through your mouth instead of your nose, bacteria and plaque are not being 'rinsed away' but are instead collecting and decaying, causing any unpleasant odor. Your dentist can help you find a solution to replenish the saliva in your mouth and eliminate the issue.

In general, most of the reasons behind bad breath begin and end in your mouth, but halitosis can also be an indicator of a more serious medical issue such as diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbances or even liver, kidney, sinus or bronchial problems. In other words, bad breath should not be ignored because it could be a plea from your body that it needs help to get back to optimal health.

Once the problem behind your bad breath is dealt with, you can ensure that your mouth stays healthy and your breath stays sweet by eating foods that are good for you, brushing and flossing regularly, visiting your dentist at least twice a year and eliminating any habits or problems that could contribute to xerostomia.
by Dr. Vito Clarizio
References and Bibliography
After graduating as a DMD in 1988 Dr. Vito Clarizio started his own practice in Whitestone, NY and has been in private practice here for over 20 years. He is loved by both his patients and his staff. His core staff has been with him since the beginning of the practice. http://whitestonegentledentist.com
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