Known professionally as halitosis, bad breath plagues many people every day. It can be caused by something as simple as eating too much garlic, and easily remedied by efficiently brushing your teeth. In some cases it can be chronic or recurring, warranting a visit to the dentist.
What causes bad breath?
Bad breath can be embarrassing – especially if you are regularly face to face with other people. Some of the most common causes of bad breath include dry mouth, certain medications, tobacco, poor dental hygiene, dental infections and dental diseases. In rare cases, bad breath may be a sign of diseases like cancer or gastroesophageal reflux.
What can you do to improve it?
If bad breath is a source of embarrassment for you, try to keep breath fresheners on-hand at all times. Sleeping with your mouth closed can prevent dry mouth and help tame morning breath. Eliminate odor-causing foods from your diet, such as garlic and onions, and make an effort to brush your teeth and tongue thoroughly every morning and night… and floss every night.
When home remedies don’t work…
Short-term remedies like gum, breath mints, and mouthwash may temporarily freshen your breath, but they may not provide a solution to the underlying problem. If your bad breath does not improve despite self-care techniques, such as dietary adjustments and thorough brushing, you may need to see a dentist for a professional opinion. Your first check-up visit may begin with an examination and questions about your daily habits, such as the types of foods you eat and the medications you take. Your dentist may then inspect your mouth for signs of decay, infection or gum disease that could be the cause. To maintain results, be sure to visit your dentist for professional cleanings at least twice each year to remove the built-up plaque and tartar that causes bad breath.