Have you ever been talking with a friend and you leaned over to tell them something in confidence, and your friend gave you a funny look? Well, maybe you shouldn’t have had those onions on your sandwich when you had lunch with friends in Hendricks County.
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can make you uncomfortable if you’re around someone who has it. Or, it can make you feel embarrassed if you’re the one with it. Just remember, we’ve all experienced bad breath at some point in our lives.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Three common causes of halitosis are:
1. Foods and beverages
Garlic, onions, cheese, meat, orange juice, soda and coffee are some foods and beverages that can cause bad breath.
When food or beverage particles are allowed to linger in your mouth, any food can briefly cause an odor. When you eat, food is broken down in mouth. If food particles remain there, they decay. Bacteria living in your mouth feast on this decay, which in turn, produces a sulfur compound that causes an unpleasant odor.
Spicy or strong-flavored foods can cause bad breath even after digestion. As food digests, it’s absorbed by your stomach and passes into your bloodstream. Eventually, the odor is carried to your lungs where it’s expelled through your breath.
2. Poor dental hygiene
By not brushing your teeth or flossing regularly, food particles can remain between your teeth and around your gums. Plaque can also build up on your teeth. Bacteria love to live in plaque; and, as mentioned above, bacteria feed on decaying food particles, which produces a bad smell.
3. Smoking / tobacco use
Smoking leaves smoke particles in your throat and lungs, which can be dispersed back out when you breathe. This stale scent is often known as smoker’s breath.
Chemicals found in tobacco products can create an awful smell. These chemicals can be produced as the tobacco is burned; or they may be additives to the tobacco products. These chemicals also create a film within the mouth. The hot gasses from burning tobacco cause the mouth to dry out. Bacteria thrive in this dry, chemical-filled environment within your mouth, leading to an unpleasant odor.
How Do You Prevent Bad Breath?
To stop bad breath, brush your teeth twice a day to remove food particles and plaque. Also, floss your teeth at least once a day to get rid of food particles wedged between your teeth.
If you still have bad breath, despite your best efforts, call Danville Family Dentistry. Dr. Erickson can examine your mouth to determine if the odor is originating from there or if it’s due to another issue.