Bad breath is one of those social faux pas we all secretly fear. Because, or so we're led to believe, most people who have bad breath are unaware of it. That means other people either have to suffer through, or be put in the unenviable position of telling us our breath is terrible. The good news is that, if you follow your dentist's instructions, chances are good your breath is fine. Even if your breath isn't fine, there is probably a root cause you can attack.
Possibility #1: Bad Dental Hygiene
The most common answer to why do I have bad breath? is that you haven't been doing what your dentist told you to. Are your brushing twice a day? When you do, do you brush your tongue as well? Bacteria can have a field day on your tongue overnight, and the best way to get rid of them is to give that taste muscle a thorough scrubbing before you spit and rinse. Additionally, if you're not flossing, then than smell you're noticing might be coming from the decomposing slivers of dinner you've had between your teeth for the past few days. A good flossing is key to a clean mouth.
Lastly, if you have problems with your teeth or gum health, then that can cause bad breath. A tooth with a gaping cavity, for instance, is full of decomposing material, and that can make your mouth smell like a fridge full of bad food. Which is no surprise, since that's the same process that's happening. Regular visits to the dentist can clear this up.
Possibility #2: Your Diet and Habits
Another cause of bad breath is your habits, including your diet. For example, if you eat a lot of food with strong scents, then those smells are going to combine and linger. Garlic might be delicious, but it doesn't leave a positive impression after you've finished enjoying it. If you're a smoker, then that can dry out your mouth, and leave a lot of toxic residue sitting around on your gums and tongue. The same is true if you chew tobacco instead of smoking it. Anything you put in your mouth, whether it's coffee or peppers, leaves its mark on your breath.
Something a lot of us don't consider when it comes to bad breath is that it tends to happen more when we get dehydrated. Increasing your water intake can help your mouth stay cleaner, and moist, which can cut down on bad breath.
Possibility #3: An Underlying Condition
If there's nothing wrong with your diet, or your oral hygiene, but your still have bad breath, then you might be suffering from another condition. Bad breath can be a symptom of stomach problems, for example, or of a sickness in the throat. It could also be the result of medication you're taking for an unrelated illness or condition. If, after changing your diet, drinking water, brushing and flossing, your breath still smells, then it might be time to go to the doctor instead of your dentist.
It's important to remember that every person is different; what gives one person bad breath might not affect someone else in the same way. So, if you're looking for more ways to combat bad breath, and to make sure you make the best impression possible on people when you're trying to hold a conversation with them, all you have to do is contact your dentist today!
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