You may notice it yourself, but sometimes bad breath goes unnoticed. Bad breath, or halitosis, can be embarrassing, especially when it is persistent. Many men and women who struggle with bad breath turn to oral rinses, chewing gum, and breath mints to mask the smell, but these efforts are often fruitless. If you are having trouble finding the cause of your chronic halitosis, the best solution is to schedule a check-up with your dentist.
What Causes Bad Breath?
- Food: Some foods that have strong odors can cause temporary bad breath. Garlic and onions, for example, can leave a bothersome residual smell that lingers until the body has finished processing them. Fragrant foods can also alter how other bodily fluids smell, even hours after eating them.
- Poor hygiene: Those who fail to brush and floss twice daily are likely to suffer from halitosis due to food particles that have not been appropriately removed from the mouth. Antibacterial mouthwash or breath mints can provide some relief, but the best way to eliminate this cause of bad breath is by adopting good oral hygiene habits.
- Periodontal disease: Having chronic bad breath or an unpleasant taste in the mouth can be indicative of periodontal disease. When plaque builds up, bacteria begins to accumulate on the teeth and gums. Severe gum disease can not only deteriorate the gum tissue, but it can also damage the jawbone.
How Do I Treat Bad Breath?
It is vital to adopt and maintain good oral hygiene for optimal dental health and bad breath prevention. Drinking plenty of water, avoiding coffee, and quitting smoking are also recommended for a fresh-smelling mouth. Seeing a dentist twice a year can also help stave off bad breath by detecting odor-causing conditions early. In some cases, patients may require a periodontal examination, which involves a thorough analysis of the teeth, gums, bite, and jawbone.
It is essential to visit your dentist at least twice a year to keep your teeth and gums healthy. To schedule a dental or periodontal exam appointment with Dr. Christine Chung, please call (551)222-4493.