Why Do I Have Bad Breath?

Why Do I Have Bad Breath?

With bad breath, or halitosis, affecting 25% of the global population, it is the third most common reason people decide to schedule a dentist appointment.

More often than not, bad breath is highly preventable and once the cause is identified, it can be treated.

A very common oral problem that can lead to surprisingly high levels of distress, addressing bad breath as soon as you become aware of it will improve your quality of life. 

What Is Halitosis? 

The formal term for bad breath, halitosis is an oral health condition mainly defined by foul smelling breath. 

How Do I Know If I Have Bad Breath?

Because it is hard to smell our own breath, other people are usually aware of our bad breath before we are. If you are comfortable doing so, ask a family member or friend if your breath smells bad. 

To conduct your own test, lick the back of wrist and use a spoon to scrape the back of tongue, letting both dry for a few seconds before giving them a good sniff. This will give you a good indication of what your breath smells like. 

For a more concrete answer, here are a few symptoms that may accompany bad breath:

What Could Be Causing My Bad Breath? 

The number one cause of halitosis is poor oral hygiene. 

Not only does food stick between your teeth, it also sticks on your tongue and along your gums, too. This food will rot, leaving behind a smelly odor if you are not brushing and flossing every day. Rotten food also encourages the growth of a type of bacteria that leads to gum disease (gingivitis) – another cause of bad breath.

What Are Common Causes of Bad Breath?

Although the presence of bacteria and food debris on your teeth and tongue are the typical causes of bad breath, it can actually be caused by a number of things, both inside and outside of your mouth.

Rotten food also encourages the growth of a type of bacteria that leads to gum disease

You know the main culprits – onions, garlic – but other foods like spices, radishes and cabbage can cause bad breath as well. These foods can affect your breath until they are expelled from your body

Saliva removes food debris and cleans the mouth, but dry mouth drastically decreases saliva production. Caused by breathing through your mouth (instead of your nose), certain medications or salivary gland disorders, it’s a key contributor to bad breath

A more serious form of gingivitis, immediate dental care is advised to address this issue

Besides producing its own odor, tobacco products increase the risk of gum irritation and periodontal disease, helping bring about bad breath 

Fasting and low-carb diets produce ketones, a chemical that can generate halitosis 

Having a hole in your teeth is not good. If food gets stuck in a hard-to-clean cavity, bad breath may be around the corner 

Less Common Causes of Bad Breath

Have good hygiene, but bad breath? Though much rarer, these are underlying situations that could also lead to foul breath. 

How Do I Get Rid of Bad Breath at Home?

Bad breath remedies are simple and only require a few adjustments. When you integrate these habits into your day-to-day routine, fresh breath is sure to follow.

Should I See a Dentist About My Bad Breath?

At See Me Smile Dental & Orthodontics, 9 times out of 10, bad breath is caused by something mouth related. It may be ill-fitting dentures, dirty mouth guards or misaligned teeth. A dentist will quickly be able to help you determine the cause of your bad breath, which is the biggest factor in treating it.

Along with identifying the cause, our bad breath cures include deep gum cleanings, antibacterial toothpaste and mouthwash and can fill any untreated cavities.

Visiting your dentist regularly will help keep your oral health on the right path. 

Don’t Fall for These Bad Breath Myths!

Mouthwash can cure bad breath. 

Mouthwash is a temporary fix only. It can never resolve bad breath for good. For best results, gargle and swish it in your mouth for a full 30 seconds before spitting out. Do not rinse with water afterwards! 

You can easily tell if you have bad breath. 

Breathing into your hand will not help diagnose bad breath. This is because we use our throats differently when we breathe than when we talk. We are also very nose-blind to our own scents, making the task even more difficult. 

You shouldn’t have bad breath if you brush your teeth daily.

The question here is how long are you brushing your teeth? Teeth must be cleaned daily but it’s incredibly important to ensure they are cleaned thoroughly. 

Teeth must be brushed for two minutes, twice a day, but most people are only brushing for 45 seconds at most – not nearly long enough to maintain high levels of oral care. 

Equally important to proper brushing is proper flossing. It is a crucial part of any sound oral care routine yet is skipped frequently. 

Need a Dentist for Bad Breath in Santa Barbara?

Bad breath can take a surprising toll on both your confidence and relationships, but by committing to simple lifestyle changes, it can often be eliminated. 

If you find, however, that your bad breath continues, it is time to visit us at See Me Smile Dental & Orthodontics to get to the root of the issue.

There’s no need to fight halitosis alone. For fresh breath and dental health solutions, visit See Me Smile Dental & Orthodontics. We have the expert dental care and knowledge needed to make bad breath a thing of the past. Contact us at (805) 600-5329 today to schedule an appointment!