Occasional bad breath that can be traced to that garlic you had for lunch or just having rolled out of bed is no cause for concern. But when you find yourself sucking on breath mints constantly and can’t even enjoy the fresh Pike’s Peak air because of your bad breath, you may begin to wonder if something more troubling is going on. Your dentist in Colorado Springs can identify if there are serious reasons for your bad breath that warrant investigating.
What causes bad breath?
Before you get alarmed, be aware that the most common causes of bad breath include:
- Foods with garlic, onion, fish or spices
- Dry mouth
- Poor oral hygiene
- Infections in your mouth
Any or all of these can worsen if allowed to go unchecked. The best approach for optimum oral hygiene?
- Brushing twice daily for at least two minutes each time
- Flossing once a day and using threaders under bridges
- Rinsing your mouth out with water or a minty mouthwash after consuming the worst offenders (anything sugary or known for leaving a tell-tale odor)
- Making sure to replace your toothbrush every 3 months
- Staying on top of preventive dental care
But let’s look deeper at the bad breath culprits that could require more than good hygiene.
Why should I be concerned about dry mouth?
Saliva helps keep your mouth clean. If your saliva production is too low, it can make sense to explore why this is happening. Reasons for dry mouth can include:
- Stress or anxiety
- Cancer therapy
- Illnesses such as Sjorgen’s Syndrome
- Over 400 medications, including pain relievers, antibiotics, antidepressants and decongestants
Try drinking more water, chewing sugar-free gum, eating soft, room-temperature foods that can help you produce more saliva, and of course, exploring ways to reduce your stress and anxiety.
If medication is the culprit, these tactics can help, as well. In addition, your doctor may be able to lower your dosage, prescribe an alternative, or recommend an over-the-counter oral moisturizing rinse or gel.
It’s very important to address your dry mouth issue because it can increase your risk of gum disease, tooth decay and mouth infections like thrush. Not to mention, it’s just plain uncomfortable!
How can I know if my bad breath is something more serious?
If you smell a particularly foul odor, infection may be the offender. It could be that a piece of food has been lodged under the gumline of a crown or under a bridge for too long. Or you could have a mouth sore or serious decay in a tooth.
Dentists are experts at discovering the causes of bad breath. If the odor persists after all your attempts to eliminate it, see your dentist as soon as you can.
About the Author
At Aesthetic Dentistry by Design, Dr. Kenneth Gasper has created a dental spa to enhance the astounding array of dental services and breakthrough treatments he offers. His associate, Dr. James Orban, specializes in helping patients with complex dental issues. Call 719-599-0700 to find out why even children love the delightful atmosphere, friendly staff, and the “fine art of dentistry” at Aesthetic Dentistry by Design.