Columbia Smiles understands that bad breath can be a real problem. Not only is it embarrassing, but it can also be an indication of an underlying dental or medical condition. Therefore, we created this blog to cover five of the most common causes of bad breath.
At Columbia Smiles, we want to help you keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible while making your smile look its best. This is why our dental services in Columbia, Maryland, are some of the finest in the area. Our skilled professionals can help you get to the root of your oral health problems and develop a treatment plan that works for you.
If you’re concerned about bad breath, we encourage you to call us at 410.690.4855. We’re here to help you achieve the smile you desire.
What Is Bad Breath?
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a condition that can be caused by several reasons. It can be temporary, like after you eat certain foods, or it can be chronic, lasting for weeks or even months.
Halitosis can be embarrassing and make you self-conscious, but it’s important to remember that bad breath is a common problem, and there are many causes.
Understanding Common Bad Breath Causes
The causes of bad breath can be divided into two categories: those that cause short-term bad breath and those that cause chronic bad breath. Understanding the difference between the two can help you identify the reason for your bad breath and find a solution.
Short-term bad breath causes include things like eating certain foods, drinking coffee, or not brushing your teeth regularly. These are usually easy to fix, and your breath should return to normal once the offending food or behavior is eliminated.
Chronic bad breath, on the other hand, is usually caused by an underlying dental or medical condition. These conditions need to be treated by a professional to mitigate the problem.
Causes of Bad Breath
There are a number of things that can cause bad breath, but the five most common causes are:
1. Poor Oral Hygiene
One of the most common bad breath causes is poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly, food and bacteria can build up in your mouth and cause your breath to smell.
2. Dry Mouth
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a condition that can be caused by a few things, including:
- Medical conditions
- Mouth breathing
It can also be a side effect of radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
Dry mouth occurs when there is not enough saliva in your mouth. Saliva is important as it helps to wash away food and bacteria. When there is not enough saliva, these things can build up and cause bad breath.
3. Gum Disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a condition that affects the gums and bones that support the teeth. It is caused by a build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth. If gum disease is not treated, it can eventually lead to tooth loss and bad breath.
4. Tooth Decay
Tooth decay, also known as cavities, is a condition that occurs when the enamel of the tooth is damaged. This can happen when the tooth is not cleaned properly or when acidic foods and drinks are consumed.
When the tooth decay reaches the pulp of the tooth, it can cause an infection. This infection can lead to an abscess, which is a pocket of pus that can cause bad breath.
Tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco, contain a number of chemicals that can cause bad breath.
In addition to causing bad breath, tobacco use is also a leading cause of gum disease, tooth decay, and cancer. If you use tobacco products, we urge you to quit. Not only will your breath smell better, but you’ll also be improving your overall health.
These are just a few of the most common causes of bad breath. If you’re concerned about your breath, we recommend that you see your dentist for an evaluation. They can help you determine the cause of your bad breath and find a solution that works for you.
Why Do I Have Bad Breath and How to Prevent It?
We get a lot of questions at Columbia Smiles about bad breath. One of the most common is, “Why do I have bad breath, and how can I prevent it?”
Bad breath can be a real problem, but the good news is that it’s usually caused by something that can be fixed.
Make sure to schedule an appointment with us if you think you might have bad breath. Dr. Michael Hsu is an experienced dentist who can help you find the cause of your bad breath and develop a prevention or treatment plan.
Schedule an Appointment at Columbia Smiles Today
If you’re concerned about bad breath, don’t wait to schedule an appointment at Columbia Smiles. We’re here to help you keep your smile looking its best while keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Contact us at 410.690.4855 today to learn more.