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Restorative Dentistry

The Causes of Bad Breath and How It Can Be Treated

By December 3, 2014No Comments

182076506-xsDr. Maurry Leas and Dr. Jonathan Siegel have helped patients throughout Philadelphia with dental problems great and small. Their practice offers advanced cosmetic and restorative dentistry procedures that treat dental problems and beautify smiles. An issue that we have helped many patients treat over the years is bad breath. Let’s take a look at this issue right now.

What is bad breath?

Also known as halitosis, bad breath simply refers to unpleasant odors that emanate from the mouth. The odor may not originate in the mouth per se (more on that below), but it winds up being noticeable when a person is speaking, smiling, or has his or her mouth open.

Common Causes of Bad Breath

Some common causes of bad breath include the following:

  • Oral Bacteria – Oral bacteria is the most common cause of many cases of bad breath. The bacteria feeds on food particles and produces foul odors in the process.
  • Tooth Decay and Gum Disease – Bad breath is a common side effect of problems affecting your teeth as well as your gums.
  • Tobacco Products – Cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco have many negatives, and among them is the ability to make your breath awful.
  • Dry Mouth – The lack of saliva in your mouth allows food particles and dead cells to fester, making bad breath even worse.
  • Mouth Breathing – Breathing through your mouth dries it out and can lead to bad breath in the manner mentioned above.

Foods and Beverages That Can Cause Bad Breath

In addition to the common causes above, there are some foods and beverages that are common culprits of bad breath. These include the following:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Coffee
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Fish
  • Red meat
  • Dairy products
  • Sugary foods
  • Acidic foods

Bad Breath as a Sign of a Medical Health Issue

In addition to being caused by the various conditions, actions, and substances we’ve discussed, bad breath is sometimes a symptom of various medical conditions. This includes problems with the sinuses, the throat, the lungs, and the digestive tract. Be sure to get chronic or persistent bad breath checked by your dentist to determine if you have a medical problem that needs to be treated.

Treatment Options for Bad Breath

Treating bad breath means targeting the cause of the problem. In a number of cases, that means helping address tooth decay and gum disease through general treatments as well as restorative procedures. Bad breath related to smoking can be addressed by quitting, and your dentist or physician can provide you with tips and information to help make this happen.

During your consultation at the practice, we will be more than happy to go over all treatment options in detail so that you can speak, smile, and laugh without being so self-conscious about your breath.

Bad Breath Prevention Tips

The following tips will help you prevent bad breath from ruining your day:

  • Avoid smoking and using any other kind of tobacco products
  • Avoid breathing through your mouth
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day with water
  • Use sugar-free gum or mints to mask bad odors
  • Reduce your consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Floss your teeth every night
  • Visit your dentist for regular checkups

Learn More About Your Dental Care Options

For more information about treating and preventing bad breath as well as other topics related to overall dental health and wellness, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry practicetoday. The entire team here at Dentistry at 1818 Market St. looks forward to your visit and helping you have a beautiful smile.