Bad breath, or halitosis, occurs when an unpleasant odor comes from your mouth. With so many different things that cause bad breath, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. However, halitosis is usually indicative of an underlying oral problem, such as gum disease or tooth decay. It can also be caused by dry mouth or a condition like diabetes.
An odor that comes from the mouth may be a sign of an underlying problem. Many things can cause bad breath, including:
Brushing and flossing at least twice a day and using an antibacterial mouthwash can help prevent food particles from getting stuck between your teeth. This can help eliminate bad breath. If food particles are left in the mouth, they break down and cause bad breath. Brushing your teeth also helps remove plaque and bacteria from the mouth.
While brushing and flossing are important, it’s also crucial to brush your tongue! A tongue scraper or toothbrush can be used to reach the back of your tongue, where odor-causing bacteria can hide.
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a serious problem that should be addressed immediately. Your dentist can help you identify the potential causes of your bad breath and provide the required treatments. A variety of treatment options are available, including professional in-office treatments, at-home treatments, and dietary changes.
If you’re dehydrated, it can cause bad breath. Drinking water keeps your mouth clean and eliminates bad breath by increasing saliva production in the mouth that washes away odor-causing bacteria.
Did you know that smoking and chewing tobacco can cause dry mouth? A dry mouth can cause bad breath. If you smoke or chew tobacco, talk to your dentist about how to quit. He or she may be able to suggest products, such as nicotine gum that can help reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Bad breath can indicate an underlying health condition. The dentist will likely ask questions about your medical history and examine your teeth, mouth, and gums. If the dentist suspects that you have a systemic disease such as diabetes, chronic stress, liver disease, or kidney failure, they may refer you to a physician for further testing.
Mouthwashes come in two types: cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwashes are meant to freshen breath, but they don’t specifically target bad breath. Therapeutic mouthwashes, on the other hand, will reduce bad breath by killing the bacteria that cause it. They’re also used to treat gum disease.
To get the best results, choose a therapeutic mouthwash that contains an antiseptic ingredient, such as chlorhexidine.
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