Identifying the Causes of Bad Breath
When your breath is less than fresh, it can impact your relationships and your confidence. Fortunately, it is possible to fix this problem permanently instead of just trying to use mints to cover up your breath. Keep reading to learn all about the most common causes of bad breath and discover what you can do to identify and address them.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Sometimes, the problem of bad breath is due to poor oral hygiene. If you do not properly remove harmful bacteria from your teeth, gums, and tongue, this buildup can have a distinctively unpleasant smell. Fortunately, this problem is easy to fix. All you need to do is make sure you are brushing twice a day, including your tongue, and flossing once a day. If you have dentures or bridges, make sure you are cleaning these devices, too. After your dental cleaning, your dentist may be able to recommend special toothpaste that kills extra bacteria if basic oral hygiene measures are not enough to get rid of the bacteria causing smells.
If you have any tooth decay, one of the key symptoms can be bad breath. This happens because decaying tooth matter has a very unpleasant smell. Sometimes, tooth decay is not immediately evident to the untrained eye. However, a dentist will be able to look at your teeth closely and let you know if decay is causing the smell.
The treatment will depend on the severity of the decay. For some milder cases, you may just need a dentist to remove the small pocket of decay and provide you with a tooth filling. If the decay is in the tooth root, a root canal can replace the infected matter and save your tooth. In some cases, the decay may be bad enough to require the removal of the tooth. You have all sorts of options to replace teeth after this treatment. Dental implants can look and function just like a real tooth while bridges or dentures provide a replaceable treatment.
Even if your teeth are healthy, it is possible to have other infections in your mouth that are causing an unpleasant smell. A common culprit is gum disease. When bacteria gets trapped beneath the gums, it can flourish and cause unpleasant smells. In the early stages of gum disease, the only visible sign might be gums that look a little puffy or red. Therefore, it is important to get your gums checked out even if they seem fine to you. You may need a deep cleaning to remove bacteria from the roots of your teeth. In more severe cases, a periodontist may need to remove the infected gum tissue to fix your bad breath.
Causes of Bad Breath That Are Not Related to Dental Issues
Though rare, it is possible for you to get bad breath without having any sort of dental problems. In these cases, your bad breath may be due to an issue in your stomach, throat, or nose. For some people, the problem is simply acid reflux or tonsil stones that get lodged in the tonsils and create a bad smell. It can also be due to infections or growths in the throat or stomach. Other potential causes include medication side effects, tobacco use, and eating certain foods. In some rare cases, cancer or metabolic conditions may cause breath to smell. If your dentist reports that the cause of your bad breath is not related to dental problems, you should visit your primary care physician or an ear, nose, and throat doctor to get more assistance.
The first step to solving any type of bad breath is talking to your dentist. At Lovett Dental, we can help you figure out what is causing your bad breath and recommend solutions. We can also help with cleanings, fillings, and all other sorts of dental services. To set up your next appointment at Lovett Dental of Webster, Texas, give us a call at 832.909.1469.