Bad breath simply isn’t very pleasant. It can ruin dates, and turn routine social gatherings into an embarrassing situation.
You may try and avoid these unpleasantness by purchasing a bottle of mouthwash to discreetly use. But what you may not know is that mouthwash does not actually treat many of the causes of bad breath. To be sure, it can act as a mask for bad breath, but it doesn’t treat tooth decay or chronic dry mouth.
In today’s blog post from the office of Andrew Dine, DDS, in Fairfield, OH, we’re both going to explain the root causes of bad breath, and give you tips on freshening your breath without mouthwash.
Sometimes Food Causes Bad Breath
Which foods do you suspect are causing you to have bad breath? For most people, the list begins with garlic and ends with onions. But what you may not realize is that all foods you eat can cause you to have bad breath. That includes everything from bagels to pizza rolls to hamburgers.
As you eat, food clings to teeth as you chew. Even after you swallow a bite of food, microscopic particles of it remain on your teeth and it the crevices of your mouth. All of this food attracts bacteria. Over the long-run, this bacteria can eat away the enamel of your teeth can cause decay. In the short-run, this bacteria can sour your breath.
All the food you eat attracts bacteria. But which foods attract the most bacteria? The answer isn’t surprising, as it’s the same foods which promote tooth decay. Namely, sugared foods. Sugar is not just in your Halloween candy, and it’s just not in your can of soda. High carbohydrate foods, which range from bread to pasta, are also filled with sugar.
But it’s not always easy to avoid the foods you love. One get thing you can do to prevent bad breath is to brush after every meal. If you just can’t get to a toothbrush, even rinsing your mouth out with water can be a big help.
Sometimes Dry Mouth Causes Bad Breath
Having a dry mouth is a sure-fire way to also have bad breath. When your mouth is fully hydrated, it’s full of saliva. This saliva helps remove odor-filled bacteria from your mouth, leaving you at a lower risk for bad breath and tooth decay. Take away this saliva, and you’re left with terrible breath.
If you breath through your mouth during your daily exercise, you may suffer from dry mouth. Regularly breathing out of your mouth for any reason evaporates saliva from your mouth. Smoking cigarettes or using an e-cigarette can also leave your mouth dry, as can taking different medications.
No matter what is causing your dry mouth, there’s one step you should always take to correct it. Drink water. Water is the most effective way to rehydrate your whole body, including your mouth. Water is also useful for rinsing away existing bacteria from your mouth, without leaving the additional bacteria left by sugared drinks.
You may even want to consider drinking tap water. The vast-majority of public supplies of water contain trace amounts of fluoride. Fluoride is an excellent tool for preventing tooth decay and strengthening your teeth.
You can also chew sugar-free gum in between meals to prevent dry mouth. Sugar-free gum helps prevent snacking, and also increases the flow of saliva around your mouth.
Sometimes Tooth Decay and Oral Diseases Cause Bad Breath
Unfortunately, more than just food and dry mouth cause bad breath. If you suffer from bad breath multiple times a month, you should schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible. Tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer are all potentially causes of your bad breath.
Tooth decay happens whenever deposits of tartar and plaque buildup on your enamel. These deposits both give off an odor, and dissolve away your enamel. This can leave you with painful cavities, in addition to bad breath.
The only effective way to remove tartar deposits is through a teeth cleaning. Brushing and flossing alone won’t cut it. By getting your teeth cleaned every six months, you can prevent tooth decay and keep your breath smelling fresh.
It’s also important to be screened for oral cancer and gum disease, as these are other potential causes of bad breath. These diseases are easily treatable when detected early, which is why we screen for them during every dental exam.
Get on the road to fresh breath. Click here to schedule an appointment with the office of Andrew Dine, DDS, in Fairfield, OH.