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What Causes Bad Breath and How to Get Rid of It?

Posted on March 14, 2021 by drbraverman

Bad breath is the third most common reason that a patient seeks the treatment of a dental professional. It is estimated that one in four patients suffers from it, also known as halitosis, regularly. Because it may indicate an underlying issue, it is crucial to seek both dental and medical treatment if you have it.

Bad breath is embarrassing and destroys far more than just a patient’s self-image. It wreaks havoc on the patient’s quality of life, self-esteem, and relationships. We will explore the symptoms, causes, and treatment options that are available if you are worried that you may have bad breath. We will also explore preventative measures to ensure that you do not experience it regularly.

Symptoms of Bad Breath

Woman checking if she has bad breath

Bad breath is a sensitive subject for the majority of patients. It is not an easy issue to discuss, and the mentioning of it can embarrass an individual. Some people suffer from bad breath and are not even aware of the issue. So how do you know if you have it?

Evaluate your own dental hygiene. If you are not brushing and flossing properly and regularly then it is likely that you may have bad breath. Gingivitis, the leading cause of gum disease in adults, displays itself through the swelling of the gums and plaque build-up. If your gums are inflamed, hurt, or you have cavities or an evident display of tooth decay it is likely that your breath is unpleasant.

Causes of Bad Breath

Bad Breath and Dry Mouth

It is crucial that you identify what is causing you to experience bad breath in order to correct the issue. Poor dental hygiene, health ailments, and even your diet can alter your breath negatively. Using mints and gum will mask it, but will not solve the problem. This temporary solution only further delays seeking dental or medical help that is needed to correct the issue. The following are the most common causes of bad breath:

  • Poor dental health, cavities, gum disease (Gingivitis)
  • Medications
  • Food like garlic, onions, etc.
  • Dry mouth
  • Tobacco use
  • Dieting, see Keto Breath
  • Oral infection
  • Illnesses, cancers, metabolic disorders, acid reflux

You should also discuss this issue with your primary medical doctor so that regular screenings and bloodwork can identify any potentially serious health issues.

Consequences of Bad Breath

Woman avoiding a kiss because of bad breath

Having bad breath destroys more than just your self-esteem. It can cause devastating effects that infiltrate all areas of your life. Unpleasant breath can lead to both personal and professional issues, including:

  • Relationships: unpleasant breath destroys relationships between family, friends, and romantic endeavors.
  • Self-Confidence: it is an embarrassing and often awkward issue. This can lead a patient to seclude themselves from the social activities that they once enjoyed.
  • Depression/Mental Health: self-seclusion resulting from embarrassment can lead to mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and other ailments.
  • Dental Costs: poor dental health can result in excessive costs of dental treatment and procedures.

These are only a few of the countless consequences that our patients suffer as a result of their bad breath.

Tips for the Prevention of Bad Breath

Father and daughter brushing their teeth to get rid of bad breath

There are several dental hygiene habits that you should practice that are effective at reducing the risk and occurrence of bad breath. These simple measures are necessary for the prevention of dental disease, including cavities and gum disease, which will result in less dental work in the future.

There also other preventative measures such as carrying an extra toothbrush when outside the home and using mouthwash solutions that encourage the production of saliva.

How to Get Rid of Your Bad Breath

Dentist doing cleaning

Practicing good dental hygiene is the key to having a healthy mouth and fresh breath. You should visit your dental professional regularly. See both your dental professional and primary physician to ensure that you stay healthy. There are several products and services the dentist can recommend and help you access, including antibacterial mouthwashes, toothbrushes, and flossing systems, that may solve your issue.

Seek the Care of a Dental Professional

Getting your mouth healthy is the first step to curing your bad breath. If dental disease is the underlying cause of the odor, then this can be corrected. Professional cleaning is often all that a patient needs to remove the bacteria that the mouth has collected.

Prepare yourself for your dental visit by recording any questions or issues you may so that you can remember to ask the professional. Also, write down all current medications and be prepared to give information about your health history.

Advice to Try at Home to Alleviate Bad Breath

There are several OTC remedies that you can try at home to combat bad breath:

  • Use baking soda or toothpaste that contains baking soda, to brush your teeth.
  • Rinse your mouth with saltwater.
  • Apple cider vinegar is shown to restore the PH levels in your mouth.
  • Fennel seeds
  • Lemon juice encourages the production of saliva.

These methods are successful through the elimination of bacteria in the mouth and/or saliva production that may be to blame.

Contact New York Cosmetic Dentistry Today

Bad breath is a common ailment suffered by millions. At New York City Cosmetic Dentistry Center we want our patients to feel comfortable and confident when addressing this issue. Our team understands the emotional and physical toll that our patients suffer due to dental issues. Contact Dr. Braverman’s team of dental professionals to receive board-certified state-of-the-art care that you deserve and eliminate bad breath once and for all. We are accepting new patients and look forward to serving you.

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