All of us want to avoid bad breath. No one wants others shying away from us because we have halitosis.
But in order to prevent it, you have to know what can cause bad breath.
In fact there are many causes. And some are beyond our control and may require medical help. For instance:
Several internal medical conditions also can cause your breath to go downhill fast. They include diabetes, liver disease, respiratory tract infections, and chronic bronchitis. You’ll want to see your doctor to rule out things like acid reflux, postnasal drip, and other causes of chronic dry mouth (xerostomia).
But about 80% of all bad breath problems can be traced to an oral source. And most of those are indeed within our control. Things like cavities or gum disease can lead to bad breath, as can tonsils that have trapped food particles; cracked fillings, and less-than-clean dentures. Many of those problems can be solved by good oral hygiene and regular dental care.
Bad breath is often caused by a buildup of bacteria in your mouth that causes inflammation and gives off noxious odors or gases that smell like sulfur — or worse.
So how do you know if you may have a breath problem?
One way is to “check your floss.”
If you see blood on your dental floss or it has an odor, then you’re likely to have bad breath.
I know, a little gross, but certainly true.
How do you improve on that? Well, ideally you should brush and floss after every meal to help reduce the odor-causing bacteria in your mouth. Sometimes that’s not possible. So at a minimum, you should at least brush and floss twice a day. And while a regular brush is good, an electronic tooth brush, such as Sonicare, is better.
First, because many electric toothbrushes have timers on them and the majority of people do not brush their teeth for the right length of time. And secondly, because electric toothbrushes distribute a uniform motion, which helps remove plaque more efficiently than when using manual toothbrushes.
If you’ll combine that advice with regular visits to the dentist you’ll find that as your oral health and hygiene improve, your breath problems can become a thing of the past.