General Dentist: What Is Causing My Bad Breath?

general dentist Killeen, TX

If you are worried about bad breath, you should see your general dentist. Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is characterized by an unpleasant strong odor of the mouth. Many aspects can cause bad breath. Your dentist can identify the cause of your bad breath and help develop a treatment plan to eliminate it.

Causes of bad breath

There are many reasons a person may have bad breath. Some causes are usually harmless. But sometimes bad breath can be a sign of other serious health problems. Particular foods, habits and health conditions are known to cause bad breath.

Food

All the food a person eats starts being broken down in the mouth. What a person eats affects the air that is exhaled. Foods with strong odors such as onions and garlic cause bad breath. Brushing and flossing only cover up the odor for a short period. The odor will only go away completely after the foods have passed through the body.

Bacteria

If a person does not brush and floss teeth on a daily basis, food particles can remain in the mouth. This promotes bacterial growth on the tongue, between teeth and around the gums. When someone eats, bacteria feed on the food left in the mouth and leave a foul-smelling product behind. This causes bad breath. Bad breath can also be caused by food particles and odor-causing bacteria if dentures are not cleaned properly.

Gum disease

Persistent bad breath or a constant bad taste in the mouth may be a warning sign of advanced gum disease. Plaque buildup often causes gum disease. Bacteria produce toxins that irritate the gums. If untreated, gum disease can damage the jawbone and the gums. A general dentist can help treat gum disease.

Smoking and tobacco

Smoking or chewing tobacco-based products can cause bad breath. These products also stain teeth and put people at risk for numerous health problems. Smokers may not know how their breath smells because smoking affects the sense of smell. Tobacco reduces the ability to taste and irritates the gums. People who use tobacco are also more likely to suffer from gum disease.

Medical conditions

Dry mouth usually causes bad breath. The mouth should make enough saliva. Saliva helps cleanse the mouth. It washes away dead cells that accumulate on the gums, cheeks and tongue and removes particles that cause bad odors. If they are not removed, these cells can decompose and lead to bad breath. Dry mouth can be caused by salivary gland problems and particular medications.

Mouth infections often cause bad breath. Many other illnesses and diseases can also cause bad breath. These include diabetes, kidney or liver problems, chronic sinus infections and gastric reflux. Seeing a general dentist in such cases is advisable.

Visit your general dentist

Some causes of bad breath are poor dental health habits, specific foods, several medical conditions and unhealthy lifestyle habits. If you are not sure what is causing your bad breath, contact your general dentist. Regular dental visits will allow your dentist to detect problems and to treat them before they become more serious. Your dentist can also give you advice on how to keep bad breath away.

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