Bad breath affects everyone at least once in a lifetime and it’s completely normal. But it doesn’t make it any less embarrassing or worrisome. At our Hickory dental office, we hear a lot of questions about bad breath – what causes it? How do you cure it? Is it serious? – so we’d like to talk about some common causes of bad breath and ways to cure it.
Cause #1: Dry Mouth.
Some medications, mouth breathing, or lack of proper water intake can cause dry mouth, and a dry mouth is a great place for bacteria to hide. Dry mouth creates the perfect situation for bacteria to create bad odors..
Cure: One of the easiest ways to avoid bad breath caused by a dry mouth is to drink plenty of water every day. A well-hydrated mouth keeps saliva flowing and removes lingering bacteria. The water itself can also neutralize acid the mouth and flush out even more bacteria.
Cause #2: Delicious, Yet Oh So Stinky, Food.
Garlic, spicy dishes, onions, oh my! Plenty of our favorite foods taste so good, but leave an unpleasant odor in their wake. Most of the time, this isn’t a medical concern, but may cause insecurity. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to squash the stench and replace it with a little freshness. Here’s how.
Cure: Following such a meal, a quick and easy way to relieve bad breath is by chewing a piece of sugarless gum. Not only does the sticky texture pull lingering food particles off your teeth, it typically has a nice, minty, fresh smell. No gum handy? Fruits and veggies high in fiber and that require a lot of chewing, like apples, can help clean teeth and the vitamin C kills bacteria.
Cause #3: Gum Disease.
Bad breath that doesn’t go away is one of the earliest and most common signs of gum disease, which is a serious problem that has been shown to cause oral health, and whole-body health, concerns. If untreated, gum disease may lead to tooth loss, sensitivity, and receding gums. It may also increase the risk of stroke or heart attack. That’s the bad news.
Cure: The good news is, it’s treatable. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all cure for gum disease, but we strongly encourage you to visit your dentist in Hickory as soon as you can. Gum disease is serious and the earlier we catch it, the better. Each gum disease treatment is different, so work with your dentist to determine which is best for you.
If your bad breath lingers day after day, or if you notice it more often than just after a meal or post-coffee, call our dental office in Hickory. We will help find the cause of your bad breath and work with you to cure it. We don’t judge our patients and are here to help get their mouths, and bodies, healthy. Call for your appointment today.