15 Nov What Causes Bad Breath?
Bad Breath is something everyone is familiar with and yet many are unaware that they are part of the offending population. Ever talked with a stranger, or worse yet, a good friend and been attacked by the precarious odor emitting from their mouth? It’s hard to tell someone, “Hey, you have bad breath, take care of that would ya!?” But what’s worse? Being on the receiving end or not knowing you’re the culprit? Here are a few easy tips and myths regarding bad breath and how to resolve it.
First we need to know what causes it… Bad breath is caused by odor-producing bacteria that grow in the mouth. When you don’t brush and floss regularly, bacteria accumulate on the bits of food left in your mouth and between your teeth. The sulfur compounds released by these bacteria make your breath smell. Certain foods, especially ones like garlic and onions that contain pungent oils, can contribute to bad breath because the oils are carried to your lungs and out through your mouth. And we all know smoking is also a major cause of bad breath.
- Myth #1 ~ Brushing your teeth will take care of it.
Wrong! Brushing for 30-45 seconds just doesn’t cut it. Time yourself, TWO minutes is what’s needed to get rid of all that pesky bacteria and plaque. Flossing is essential to get to those spaces your brush can’t, and don’t forget your TONGUE! The bacteria love to hang out on the back of your tongue.
- Myth #2 ~ Mouthwash will make bad breath go away.
Mouthwash only gets rid of bad breath temporarily. If you do use mouthwash, look for an antiseptic (kills the germs that cause bad breath) and plaque-reducing one with a seal from the American Dental Association (ADA).
Nope! When you breathe, you don’t use your throat the same way you do when you talk. When you talk, you tend to bring out the odors from the back of your mouth (where bad breath originates), which simply breathing doesn’t do. Also, because we tend to get used to our own smells, it’s hard for a person to tell if he or she has bad breath.
If you’re having concerns and you brush and floss regularly and visit your dentist for regular cleanings but your bad breath persists, you may have gum disease or sinusitis.
If you suspect a problem, contact us at Dental Partners of Fifth Avenue for a consultation.