Bad breath can be an extremely embarrassing problem, yet it is quite common. In many cases it is a byproduct of deficient oral hygiene. People often think that brushing and rinsing with mouthwash is enough to combat the issue. However, skipping out on flossing actually leaves 1/3 of odor-causing bacteria in your mouth. In many instances, bad breath (halitosis) can be eliminated by improving your oral care regimen.

If you have concerns about your breath, share them with Dr. Jolene Dague or a member of her staff at Dague Dental Solutions. Without any judgement, they will determine the source of your problem and offer appropriate solutions. Learn more about the basics of bad breath below:

Symptom: Bad Breath

Bad breath can be caused by what you eat, not cleaning your mouth, dry mouth, smoking or other medical conditions. Persistent bad breath can also be one of the warning signs of gum disease. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily are essential to reducing bad breath and preventing gum disease. Brushing your tongue can help too. If you’re concerned about what’s causing your bad breath, see your dentist. They can determine the cause and treatment plan.

How Can I Keep Bad Breath Away?

Brush and Floss
Brush twice a day and clean between your teeth daily with floss to get rid of all that bacteria that’s causing your bad breath.

Take Care of Your Tongue
Don’t forget about your tongue when you’re taking care of your teeth. If you stick out your tongue and look way back, you’ll see a white or brown coating. That’s where most of bad breath bacteria can be found. Use a toothbrush or a tongue scraper to clear them out.

Mouthwash
Over-the-counter mouthwashes can help kill bacteria or neutralize and temporarily mask bad breath. It’s only a temporary solution, however. The longer you wait to brush and floss away food in your mouth, the more likely your breath will offend.

Clean Your Dentures
If you wear removable dentures, take them out at night, and clean them thoroughly before using them again the next morning.

Keep That Saliva Flowing
To get more saliva moving in your mouth, try eating healthy foods that require a lot of chewing, like carrots or apples. You can also try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free candies. Your dentist may also recommend artificial saliva. Read more at Mouth Healthy

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Some Ailments Cause Bad Breath

There are a variety of medical conditions that can affect your breath. Individuals with certain stomach conditions, for example, may experience a decline in their oral health that results in halitosis. If you are maintaining proper oral care with brushing, flossing and swishing and getting regular dental checkups, but experiencing breath odor, be sure to tell Dr. Dague or your hygienist. Learn more about some common health problems that can lead to bad breath:

Diabetes

Indeed, there’s a link between unstable blood sugar levels and chronic bad breath. Doctors often associate a notable fruity-acidic odor on the breath to a condition called, ketoacidosis, which is common in diabetics. When insulin levels are inadequate, the body will often excrete “offensive” acidic ketones. If untreated, ketoacidosis can lead to diabetic coma and death.

Obesity

Studies draw a direct association between bad breath and being overweight due to diets high in protein and dairy, which causes an overgrowth of foul-smelling bacteria due to excessive amino acids.

Acid Reflux

Digestive issues and other stomach conditions commonly cause halitosis. In fact, a plethora of digestive woes—including acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) obstruct efficiently digestion, causing it to remain and begin it’s decay in your gut, leaving you with regurgitation, acid indigestion, and smelly breath. Read more at Active Beat

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Dry Mouth and Medication Side Effects

In addition to the health concerns that can affect your breath, so too can some medications. The problem often stems from the fact that many common medications create dry mouth. A decrease in saliva production can result in increased bacteria and subsequent bad breath. The following article examines this drug-related cycle and more:

Medications: Many medications, including antihistamines to treat allergies and diuretics, can cause dry mouth (see above), which can cause bad breath. Other medications that may lead to bad breath may include triamterene (Dyrenium) and paraldehyde.

“Morning breath”: Bad breath in the morning is very common. Saliva production nearly stops during sleep, allowing odour-causing bacteria to grow, causing bad breath.

Allergies: Many medications used to treat allergies can cause dry mouth, another cause of halitosis. In addition, post-nasal drip is a common allergy symptom that can result in bad breath. Sinus congestion due to allergies can also cause people to breathe from their mouths, causing dry mouth. Continue reading at Medicine Net

If you are unhappy with the quality of your breath or your smile for any reason, schedule a comprehensive dental exam with Dr. Dague. She will listen to your concerns and provide compassionate care to correct the issues. Call (563) 386-9770 or use the contact form on our website to set your appointment.