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Causes of Bad Breath

By Eugene D. Stanislaus on November 27, 2011


Bad breath, or halitosis, is often a sign of poor dental hygiene. Most cases are easily treated by improving oral hygiene or changing your diet. Occasionally, bad breath is the result for serious health problems, and in those cases individuals should seek medical attention. When you visit with a Brooklyn cosmetic dentist, he or she will be able to address your dental care needs, including bad breath concerns. Let’s take a moment right now to examine some of the basic causes of bad breath.

Bacteria and Bad Breath

The most common cause of bad breath is bacteria in the mouth, usually around the gums and between the teeth. If you do not brush and floss regularly, food particles may build up in your mouth, promoting the growth of bacteria. These bacteria cause the buildup of plaque on the teeth, which can lead to gum disease and cavities, and release foul smelling sulfur compounds. This can be remedied with improved dental hygiene, such as brushing and flossing regularly as well as general dentistry treatments and periodontal therapies.

Diet and Bad Breath

Certain foods, such as garlic, onion, and cabbage, can cause bad breath. These foods release oils that are absorbed into the bloodstream and make their way to the lungs, giving off an odor for a few days. Extreme fasting and dieting may also cause an unpleasant mouth odor.

Diseases and Bad Breath

While most cases of bad breath originate in the mouth, some come from other diseases and medical conditions. Sinus infections and other conditions that cause a discharge into the throat may cause bad breath. Diabetes may result in an unpleasant fruity breath odor, and acid reflux disease (GERD) may also cause bad breath.

Certain serious illnesses may also cause bad breath. Liver failure can give the breath a fishy odor, and kidney failure may make the breath smell like urine. If you have an unusual and persistent breath odor you should promptly seek medical attention.

Dry Mouth and Bad Breath

Dry mouth, often caused by sleeping with your mouth open and certain drugs, may cause an unpleasant odor in the mouth. Saliva washes away dead cells and neutralizes acids caused by plaque, which can smell if they remain in the mouth. Sometimes dry mouth can exacerbate tooth decay and erosion, which may necessitate the use of Brooklyn dental crowns to restore the strength and appearance of a tooth.

Tobacco and Bad Breath

The use of tobacco products, such as cigarettes and chewing tobacco, also causes bad breath. These products may lead to gum disease, which can increase bad breath.

Treatment for Bad Breath

Improving oral hygiene and regular professional cleanings can treat most cases of bad breath. Flossing once a day and brushing your teeth after each time you eat is the most effective way to prevent bacterial infection and tooth decay, which lead to bad breath. Drinking lots of water and keeping track of the foods you eat can also help.

Contact Our Brooklyn Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry Practice

If you would like to learn more about treating bad breath and other dental care options, be sure to contact our cosmetic dentistry practice serving Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope today. The entire team her looks forward to helping you meet your aesthetic and dental health goals.

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