Most of us have had bad breath at one time or another in our lives. Bad breath results from eating foods with strong odors, or from having post-nasal drip, or infections such as lung, or sinus infections, or diseases such as diabetes or liver disease. Bad breath can also result from having poor dental hygiene. Certain lifestyles such as drinking or smoking can also contribute to bad breath. Knowing what causes bad breath can help you to prevent or treat bad breath.
If poor dental hygiene can cause bad breath preventing or treating it might involve improving your dental hygiene. You can speak with your dentist or dental hygienist and ask to see a demonstration of proper teeth brushing and flossing so that you can be sure that you are taking proper care of your mouth, gums and teeth and thus preventing bad breath. If you have poor dental habits asking for a demonstration will illustrate what you are doing wrong and helping you to understand how to brush and floss properly. Your dental team can also show you the proper way to brush or scrape your teeth to help prevent bad breath.
If smoking or drinking is contributing to your bad breath you can decrease the occurrence of these habits or quit all together. Your dentist can give you tips on how to quit successfully.
If you have dry mouth and that is the reason you have bad breath there are several things you can do to correct the problem such as making sure that you begin the habit of drinking at least 8 – 8 oz. glasses of water everyday. It will take about 2 weeks for your body to get used to drinking that much water but once you get used to it you will actually start to notice that you crave water. You can prevent or treat dry mouth by chewing sugarless gum or by sucking on sugarless hard candy.
If you are having trouble isolating the cause of your bad breath you can try keeping a journal of all the foods you eat and any medications you take. Bring a journal of at least one month to your doctor or dentist and ask to have them check to see if there are any foods or medications that could be contributing to your bad breath.
If you have any medical conditions or diseases that you suspect may be adding to your bad breath speak with your medical professional about your suspicions so that they can be confirmed or dismissed. If confirmed ask if there is anything you can do to decrease the bad breath or avoid it (like changing medications).
Persistent bad breath should signal a need to make an appointment with your dentist to see if you have any cavities, mouth infections or gum disease that may be causing your bad breath. If you do have a dental problem you dentist can correct the problem, which should treat your bad breath.