Do you find yourself using sprays, mints, gum, or mouthwash to cover up your bad breath? If so, we have good news! By taking the time to understand what’s causing your bad breath, you can take steps to prevent it.
At Avalon Dental, we help our patients in San Ramon, California, by offering comprehensive oral health care services. Dr. Cliff Broschinsky and our entire team work hard to ensure you feel good about your mouth — including your breath!
What causes my bad breath?
About 25% of Americans are regularly affected by bad breath, or halitosis. There are many reasons you may have bad breath, since it has various causes. Here’s a look at some of the common causes of bad breath:
What you eat
Bits and pieces of food trapped between your teeth or the bacteria that collect on your tongue and teeth after eating can cause bad breath. Some foods, such as onions or garlic, can also play a role in stinky breath. It’s also important to note that diets extremely low in carbohydrates and crash diets are known to cause halitosis.
Chronic dry mouth
In addition to keeping your mouth moist, saliva helps your mouth stay clean. When your saliva production decreases, it can cause bad breath. Chronic dry mouth can be the result of an issue with your salivary glands or another underlying disease.
Some medications have the side effect of causing halitosis. For example, allergy medication with antihistamines and diuretics cause dry mouth, which can lead to bad breath. Before you take any medications, talk to your prescriber about any potential side effects.
Smoking and tobacco use
Smoking cigarettes and using tobacco are famous for causing bad breath. Tobacco use also puts you at a higher risk of developing gum disease. Gum disease, which can cause serious damage to your oral health, is another contributing factor of bad breath.
Other underlying causes
Bad breath can result when you have an infection in your mouth, tonsils, sinuses, or throat. Some diseases, such as various cancers, metabolic disorders, and gastroesophageal reflux, can also cause bad breath.
How can I prevent bad breath?
Now that you understand some of the causes of bad breath, you can take steps to prevent it from forming in the first place! Here are some top tips for preventing bad breath.
Practice good oral hygiene
Be sure to brush your teeth after you eat, and don't forget to brush your tongue. Bacteria rest on the surface of your tongue as well as the surface of your teeth. Don’t forget to change your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Floss at least once a day, and properly clean your dentures or dental appliances if you have one.
Keep dry mouth at bay
When you reach for something to wet your whistle, be sure to avoid coffee, sodas, and alcoholic beverages. These can dry out your mouth, so avoid them. Instead, drink plenty of water throughout the day, and consider chewing sugar-free gum to increase saliva production and avoid bad breath.
Stop smoking and avoid tobacco
If you smoke, it’s time to quit. Also be sure to avoid using other tobacco products, like chewing tobacco. Not only will your breath improve, but you’ll also reduce your risk of gum disease and keep your teeth whiter.
See your dentist regularly
Maintaining regular dental cleanings and having routine care helps prevent bad breath. Seeing Dr. Broschinsky regularly keeps him apprised of any changes in your dental health, like early signs of gum disease, so they can be treated and help stop halitosis.
At Avalon Dental, we also provide professional recommendations for mouthwash and/or toothpaste that prevent bacteria buildup and reduce the risk of bad breath..
If you want more information about preventing bad breath, the team at Avalon Dental can help. Contact our San Ramon office to book an appointment with Dr. Broschinsky or book online now!