SO, YOU’RE DEALING WITH A NOT SO NICE SMELL? Yes, we get that comment in our office quite frequently. Many times the complaint is not from the offender but from a long-suffering spouse or family member.
There are many causes of bad breath (which we call “halitosis”). Some are serious and some aren’t. And while many people have decided to just hold their breath and live with it, the good news is diagnosing and treating bad breath is something that can easily be done at our office.
We’ve complied a list of a few main causes for that unpleasant smell:
Garlic and onions are very healthy, but they also contain oils which may cause an unhealthy reaction to those around you. Odors like these start in your lungs, and can last for up to 72 hours, making them much harder to cover up. Mints, gum, or mouthwash can be helpful… Or make sure to share your food with everyone around you!
Smoking can also cause bad breath for numerous reasons. Not only does it carry it’s own unpleasant smell, it makes your mouth dried out, which only fuels bad smells.
A dry mouth lets dead cells accumulate on your gums, tongue and cheeks. And while morning breath is a perfectly normal phenomenon due to lowered salivary activity at night – it shouldn’t last all day. Those who snore, take certain medications, or even have lasted into middle age are more likely to deal with dry mouth. Even if these things are the case for you, don’t lose hope, we may have suggestions to help lessen your dry mouth issues.
Colds, sore throats, coughs and sinus infections all cause yucky smelling mucus (or snot, depending on your age), to get trapped in your mouth, throat and nose, which causes foul breath until the illness is taken care of. Of course, if you have one of these highly contagious problems you shouldn’t be that close to someone anyway! If a sinus infection, sore throat , cough or cold doesn’t clear up in a few days to a week, you should probably see your physician to make sure there isn’t something more serious happening.
Chronic Diseases or Conditions
Many serious diseases such as lung infections, kidney failure, diabetes, cancer, GERD, anorexia, bulimia and others can cause very specific types of halitosis. The good news is that these conditions are on the rare side. During your visit with us, let us know if you suspect any of these problems, and we will look into it further for you.
Although we don’t want anyone to have poor hygiene or gum disease, this happens to be the easiest one to treat for bad breath. The important thing to remember is not to wait too long! Gum disease, which usually starts with poor brushing and flossing habits as well as a lack of routine dental visits, can do much more than make your mouth stinky.
In just a short period of time, gum disease can advance and eat away at the gums and bone which hold your teeth in place. The result? Loose, unstable teeth which will eventually be lost if not treated.
Bad breath is not normal!
Visit with Drs. Boswell and Bradley and on a routine basis for your best bet for making sure your teeth and gums stay healthy, your smile stays bright, and your breath doesn’t cause others to run in the opposite direction.
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We look forward to seeing you during your next visit!