What Causes Bad Breath & How Do You Treat It

What Causes Bad Breath & How Do You Treat It

A common concern among people is how their smile looks. Many people look into cosmetic and orthodontic solutions to improve the look of their smile. But second to that, another common thing dentists hear from their patients, is “how do I handle bad breath”. Bad breath has many causes and while often bad breath is temporary, it can be embarrassing to know that your breath smells. You may have seen a way to test how your breath smells by scraping the back of your tongue, or by smelling something after you dip it in your saliva. If you are concerned about the smell of your breath, consider talking to your family dentist about it. In this article, we will cover the common causes of bad breath & some at-home solutions. 

What Foods Cause Bad Breath?

One of the first assumptions people make about bad breath is that it must be something you ate. And this is actually true to an extent. Food can often cause temporary bad breath. Foods with strong aromas or foods that are likely to get stuck in your mouth for long periods can quickly cause bad breath, this includes: 

  • Onions/Garlic: It is a very famous trope in media that you shouldn’t eat certain foods on a first date. Onions and garlic have strong aromas that will likely affect how your mouth smells for a few hours or two. 
  • Fish: Many people do not like the smell of sea food, and like many other meats, seafood can often get stuck between back molars leading to the smell lingering for a longer period of time.
That said, most bad breath symptoms caused by bad breath are immediately solvable by brushing & flossing and potentially using a mouth wash. Another common solution to bad breath caused by food is to simply chew scented gum or use a breath mint. A larger issue is if your breath smells consistently regardless of what you eat. 

What Else Causes Bad Breath?

Food isn’t the only thing that causes bad breath. Many different things can factor into the way you smell, and some of them can be very difficult to control. 

  • Dry Mouth: If you have a dry mouth, this can cause bad breath. Dry mouth is often related to taking specific medications as well as your genetics. In many cases, if you have issues with dry mouth, your dentist might be able to recommend a medication that can help.
  • Smoking: Tabacco products have many negative effects. Aside from the variety of life-threatening effects, it can stain your teeth and cause bad breath. Stopping smoking, chewing tobacco or other tobacco products will help.  

How Do I Fix Bad Breath At Home?

First and foremost, flossing and brushing your teeth as well as using mouthwash can prevent bad breath especially in the morning. Often the food we eat at dinner can stay in our mouths overnight leading to bad breath. Taking care of your teeth and gums can prevent not only bad breath but tooth decay as well. Additionally, brushing your tongue can remove the bacteria that often contributes to bad breath. 

Family Dentist in Southern Maine

If you live in the Lisbon Maine area and need a friendly dental office for your kids and family, we would be happy to help. Give us a call or click below for more information. 

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