Bad Breath Triggers and Tips

Everyone gets cosmetic dentistry sometimes. It’s an embarrassing problem that affects many people and can even sometimes be a “deal breaker” in both social and business situations. Thankfully, there are ways to combat this issue. There are many different types of causes for bad breath which is why it’s important to seek advice from a dentist or doctor if you’re unsure what type of treatment might work best for you. Learn which bad breath triggers to avoid and some tips for fixing your bad breath problem.

Food Triggers

There are a number of foods that can trigger bad breath, including garlic, onions, coffee, sugary drinks, and certain sulfurous veggies such as cabbage. Sometimes, even brushing isn’t enough to get rid of the odor left behind by these bad breath food triggers. That’s because your body absorbs the chemicals in these foods as a part of the digestive process.

One way to combat the odor left behind in your mouth from these food triggers is to eat foods that will keep your mouth clean and fresh. Foods like yogurt, green veggies, or anything with cinnamon are all good choices because they can help coat the bad bacteria in your mouth.

If you’re not a fan of those foods, you can always opt for breath mints or chewing gum. Chewing sugar-free gum will help remove food particles that trigger bad breath and give your mouth the moisture it needs to prevent further bacterial growth and reduce bad breath triggers.

Smoking Trigger

Cigarettes are made with over 4,000 chemicals, at least 200 of which are toxic. Smoking is a major contributing factor to gum disease, which in turn leads to bad breath. Stopping smoking is the best way to avoid this bad breath trigger. Nicotine is a major player when it comes to bad breath, so even smokeless tobacco options like chewing tobacco can still trigger bad breath.

Dry Mouth Trigger

Any product that causes xerostomia, or “dry mouth” can directly cause bad breath. This condition reduces saliva production. A healthy production of saliva is key to a healthy mouth. Saliva washes away food particles and remineralizes your teeth. If you have decreased saliva production due to smoking, medications, or any other reason, then you lose out on the cleansing effects of saliva. Food debris will stay behind and feed bacteria, which then results in unpleasant breath.

While dry mouth is most commonly caused by prescription medications, this doesn’t mean that people can’t get dry mouth from other sources such as allergies, menopause, diabetes, reflux disease and gum disease. It’s important to be able to identify this trigger and address it or you may experience bad breath and tooth decay. Talk to both your dentist and your physician if you are experiencing dry mouth.

Poor Oral Hygiene Trigger

Poor oral hygiene is a trigger for bad breath. It can be a problem that affects many people, but there are ways to combat this issue. Keeping your mouth clean is one way to combat bad breath caused by poor oral hygiene. Any decaying food particles left in your mouth feed your oral bacteria. Then, when you speak or breathe, the odor from both the decomposing food and the bacteria can smell pretty foul. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day or between meals can help improve your oral hygiene as well as your bad breath. Your dental hygienist can show you the best technique for brushing and flossing at your next dental checkup.

Oral Disease Triggers

Oral disease can trigger bad breath. Oral disease causes over 70% of the population to experience chronic halitosis, or bad breath that lasts more than 2 days. There are numerous risks for oral disease that trigger bad breath, including periodontitis, which is an inflammation of the gums. If not treated, this inflammation can eventually lead to tooth loss and other complications. Cavities, or decay in teeth due to bacteria can also trigger bad breath if left untreated.

Although oral disease is a trigger for bad breath, it’s important to realize that just because you have halitosis doesn’t mean you have oral disease. If you have chronic bad breath and you don’t know why, consult your dentist or physician immediately.

Medical Condition Triggers

There are a variety of medical conditions that can contribute to bad breath. Irritated or infected tonsils will trigger bad breath. Irritation of the tonsils can be caused by a cold or allergies. Sinus infections, diabetes, and kidney failure can all cause changes to the smell of your breath as well. If you practice good oral hygiene but still have bad breath, then it’s a good idea to speak to your physician to find out if there’s an underlying medical condition.

Tackling Your Bad Breath Problem

The best weapon against bad breath is brushing and flossing regularly. It’s also a good idea to invest in a tongue scraper and to use it daily. This will help control the bacteria throughout your mouth.

Regular visits to your dentist for professional cleanings will also ensure a clean, healthy mouth. Those who visit the dentist regularly are less likely to suffer from chronic halitosis. You can also make lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and the use of any other tobacco products. You can also be more aware of the foods and drinks you consume that could be contributing to your bad breath.

Learn what you can do about your bad breath from these triggers and tips and you can work toward being less insecure about the smell of your breath.
Please contact Frederick dentist Dr. Jeffrey W. Cross, D.D.S., F.A.G.D at (301) 662-0300 today to schedule your next appointment. Clean, shiny teeth and fresh breath are just a phone call away.

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