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We’ve all had our brushes with bad breath at the worst possible times: on a date, in a meeting with the boss, you name it. While bad breath is never pleasant, most of the time it’s caused by foods we eat such as garlic, onions, and dairy. It can also be caused by certain medications. But chronic bad breath may be a warning sign that something is wrong with your health.
Here are a few of the things that recurring bad breath may be warning you about, and some tips from your Overland Park dentist about what to do about it:
1. Your oral hygiene habits may be lacking. If you’re experiencing bad breath on the regular, the first thing to consider is whether you’re really doing the job you should be doing when you brush and floss. Brushing twice a day and flossing every day helps to keep your teeth healthy and remove the food particles that can lead to bad breath and other problems including plaque and periodontitis.
2. You may have gum disease. It sounds scary – and it’s definitely a serious concern – but a recent CDC report confirms that nearly half of all adults have some form of periodontal disease. This can lead to chronic bad breath. Fortunately, brushing and flossing regularly and making regular trips to your Overland Park dentist help to decrease your risk of gum disease and its attendant bad breath.
3. You may be suffering from dry mouth. You know how you usually have bad breath when you wake up in the morning? That’s because your mouth naturally dries out as you sleep. Saliva is your mouth’s first line of defense against bacteria, and it also helps to clean out food particles that can lead to bad breath. Unfortunately, you can also suffer from chronic dry mouth, which can be caused by some medications and other conditions and can lead to bad breath.
4. You need to quit the tobacco habit. Look, tobacco – in pretty much all of its forms – is bad for your teeth, your oral health, and your well-being overall. It stains your teeth, causes you to lose the ability to taste foods, and leads to irritation of the gums. Plus, it increases your likelihood of gum disease. On top of all that, yeah, it can also cause bad breath.
5. Your tongue may need a cleaning. Wait, what? You read that right. Bacteria that builds up on the back of the tongue can interact with certain foods to produce sulfur compounds. And sulfur, as you know, doesn’t smell all that great. Fortunately, you can brush your tongue when you’re brushing your teeth, and also rinse your mouth thoroughly with antibacterial mouthwash to help keep your tongue squeaky clean.
6. You may need to see your primary care physician. Not to frighten anyone, but there are some diseases and other serious conditions that have bad breath as a side effect. They range from bronchitis and chronic reflux to diabetes and certain types of cancer. It may not be anything serious, but if you’re experiencing chronic bad breath, it’s always a good idea to mention it to your doctor and your Overland Park dentist.
Whether you’re currently concerned about chronic bad breath or just want to keep bad breath at bay, call Watts Family Dental today at (913) 338-3384 to schedule an appointment or ask a member of our friendly staff.