Sometimes masking unpleasant breath isn’t enough. Here, Naperville Cosmetic Dentists explain the potential causes of bad breath beyond poor oral hygiene and when it’s time to see your dentist.
Q: Aside from not brushing enough, what are some of the most common reasons for bad breath in adults?
Naperville Cosmetic Dentists: There are dozens of causes of oral malodor. Some are behavioral, including use of tobacco, alcohol, or eating certain types of food. Others are cause for more concern. Bad breath is the signature of many chronic conditions including diabetes, some respiratory illnesses, and gastrointestinal disturbances.
Q: Can a dentist diagnose any of these conditions?
Naperville Cosmetic Dentists: While your dentist can rule out dental issues like a faulty crown or food impaction, a primary healthcare provider should be consulted if dental treatment isn’t viable. Many people are alerted to unknown health conditions by seeing their doctor at the recommendation of their oral care professionals, including dentists and hygienists.
Q: How are medical conditions and oral health related?
Naperville Cosmetic Dentists: Certain medical problems first present with symptoms that affect the mouth. The most notable of these is dry mouth. A decreased production in saliva makes it harder for the mouth to naturally wash away food particles and bacteria. Food particles that remain in the mouth decay, resulting in halitosis – the medical name for bad breath.
Q: What are some other ways to treat bad breath?
Naperville Cosmetic Dentists: Avoid foods that can linger on the breath, like garlic and onions. Drink plenty of water and forgo sugary beverages, which not only lead to cavities but also contribute to mouth odor. Many people find that switching to baking soda-based toothpaste and using antibacterial mouth rinse also help combat oral odor. Don’t forget the tongue, which requires brushing or scraping to remove bacterial residue.