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Bad Breath: Is Your Body Trying to Tell You Something?

Bad Breath: Is Your Body Trying to Tell You Something?
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The wondering and not knowing is stressful. The sudden unexpected confirmation is humiliating. And trying to cover it up feels futile.

Bad breath — we all suffer from it at some point in our lives, but why? What does it mean? And how do we get rid of it? Often it comes on without warning, and it’s identified with a grimace and a turn of the head during close conversation, when a spouse or partner rejects a kiss, or worse yet, when your beloved child publicly announces, “Your breath stinks!” at the tippy top of their tiny but strong lungs.

The following are four common causes and remedies for bad breath, as well as an important “Did you know?” that you won’t want to miss. (Hint: Bad breath may be your body’s way of sending out an SOS.)

Causes of Bad Breath

Dry Mouth: Prolonged sleep, dehydration, and some medications can lead to dry mouth. When the mouth becomes dry, bacteria begin to break down dead cells on the tongue — a process that emits a foul odor.

Insufficient Oral Hygiene: Though bad breath is usually caused by bacteria on the tongue, if bits of food get stuck in your teeth, the same bacteria that attack dead cells on your tongue will build up on your teeth and create an unpleasant scent.

Crash Diets and Fasting: Fasting and diets that cause the body to break down fats rapidly will release ketones, causing a condition called ketoacidosis, which can create an unpleasant, fruity odor that is carried on the breath.

Food Choices: Onion and garlic are two foods that are well-known causes of bad breath. What most people don’t realize is that the foul smell is caused by the sulfur compounds in these foods. Once absorbed by the body, their odor is carried on the breath for hours.

Remedies for Bad Breath

Clean Your Whole Mouth: Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once is key to avoiding bad breath, but something is missing from this routine: your tongue. Bacteria that grow in your mouth are the most common cause of bad breath, and your tongue is a big part of your mouth. Make sure to brush and clean it twice daily if you want to stay fresh.

Drink Water: Drinking lots of water keeps you hydrated and stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth. Saliva helps wash away food particles and works to keep your mouth clean. The more you drink, the fresher your breath will taste and smell, and the healthier you will feel overall.

Adjust Your Diet: Avoiding food that causes bad breath, like the aforementioned garlic and onions, only helps your breath so much. Filling your plate with foods packed with vitamin C will take you to the next level of fresh by creating an environment that is inhospitable to mouth bacteria. Some of the crunchier vegetables and fruits will also act as nature’s toothbrush and knock particles of food off your teeth, keeping them extra clean.

Did You Know?

If you have a case of halitosis you just can’t seem to get rid of, it may be your body’s way of telling you that something serious is going on. Several health conditions that are associated with bad breath and require immediate attention from a health professional include:

  • Severe periodontal disease
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Serious lung conditions

If you have recurring bad breath or are struggling with a difficult case of halitosis, we can help you identify the cause. Give Douglas B. Weber, DDS a call at (661) 952-7865 to set up a quick consultation. A good cleaning might be all you need to refresh your smile and your confidence.