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The ABCs of Bad Breath: 10 Common Causes and Possible Cures

Posted Tuesday, January 20th, 2015


how to handle bad breath

Photo Credit: lets.book CC BY

Everyone has their own personal quirks that they are self-conscious about. But if there’s one thing almost everyone gets anxious about, it’s probably bad breath. Now for some, this is just plain paranoia, or maybe something they ate. For others, it’s a serious problem they can’t seem to shake.

There are hundreds of possible causes of Halitosis, both big and small. However, some are more common and persistent than others.

  1. Alcohol: We’re not just talking about beer breath, we’re talking about the mouthwash you use. The large amount of alcohol (up to 40% in some products) dries out your palate almost instantly. This in turn causes bad breath. How ironic!
  2. Allergies: Nasal allergies often cause post-nasal drip. With mucus running down the back of your throat constantly, it can cause Halitosis.
  3. Food & Beverage Choice: There are numerous foods and drinks that’ll cause less than pleasant breath. Garlic, perhaps the most infamous cause of bad breath, is only temporary as your body absorbs it into the bloodstream. Coffee breath on the other hand requires some more work. Diligent brushing and flossing after your cup of joe can help.
  4. Geographic Tongue: If you have deep grooves on your tongue’s surface, you’ll want to pay extra care when brushing. The shape of your tongue makes you all the more susceptible to bad breath causing bacteria. Investing in a tongue scraper is a great idea.
  5. Gum Disease: Even the most mild cases can cause Halitosis. All the more reason to brush often and brush thoroughly! Oh, and floss, floss, floss!
  6. Infection: If you and your dentist cannot find any particular cause for your bad breath, even after tests, there may be another underlying condition at work. You should visit your doctor to try and determine the cause. This Halitosis could be caused by a range of issues, from bronchitis to liver or kidney problems. Definitely do not ignore the issue!
  7. Mouth Breathing: This problem usually persists at night. Sleeping with your mouth wide open dries out your mouth. Without saliva, a dry tongue allows bacteria to run amok, leading to a serious case of morning breath.
  8. Periodontal Disease: This awful oral disease occurs when the plaque and bacteria have made their way down into the roots of teeth. From there, gums become bright red and pull away, teeth loosen and rot, which can lead to tooth loss. Not only does it cause breath that wreaks, periodontal disease can increase the possibility of pregnancy complications and heart disease. If you see any of the signs, get to a dentist immediately!
  9. Tobacco Use: Smoking and/or dipping is dangerous and problematic on a lot of levels. No wonder it’s also the source of seriously rank breath. The best thing you can do for your overall health is to quit.
  10. Tonsils: If you experience tonsil issues, like food trapped by them or you’ve been coughing up tonsil stones, definitely get in touch with your dentist and doctor.

No matter the cause of your Halitosis, there are five things you can always do to better your situation:

  1. Drink plenty of water to flush out bad bacteria and keep saliva flowing.
  2. Eat foods to boost oral health.
  3. Invest in a tongue scraper.
  4. Brush often and brush for the recommended amount of time.
  5. Floss!

If you need help reigning in your Halitosis from a Top Philadelphia dentist, be sure to come in for your six month checkup or a regular appointment! Call to make an appointment today (215) 564-1025!

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