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Top 4 Causes of Bad Breath

Bad breath, also known clinically as halitosis, is embarrassing. But you don’t have to be self-conscious of your breath if you can identify what may be causing it, and work with your St. Joseph dentist to fix it. So what may be contributing to your bad breath? Let’s check out the top four causes.

The Foods You Eat

This cause is less likely to cause chronic bad breath, but it’s still a viable culprit. Some stinky foods like onions, garlic, and coffee can leave an unpleasant stench behind, even after brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash. Die-hard dieters may also experience bad breath from not eating often enough.

The Foods That Linger Around

The main cause of bad breath is food particles that get left behind. These pesky pieces usually get wedged in between teeth and up under the gum line and can be removed through proper brushing and flossing. But when food isn’t completely eliminated from the mouth, bacteria accumulates and results in bad breath.

Dry Mouth

Saliva helps rinse away bad breath causing bacteria and neutralizes damaging acid, which protects teeth from decay. When the mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, it’s left unprotected and more vulnerable to acid attacks and bad breath.

Tobacco Use

Tobacco use can not only cause stinky breath, it can also lead to some really serious health issues. Your chance for oral cancer is greatly increased, the likelihood of losing teeth nearly doubles, and your body’s ability to fight off infection is reduced. And it’s not just smokers who are at risk. Smokeless tobacco users are 50 times more likely to suffer from oral cancer than non-tobacco users. If you currently use tobacco, ask your doctor or dental team for tips that can help you quit.

It’s Not Just a Mouth Problem

Bad breath isn’t something that only affects the mouth. It may be a sign of a larger, whole-body concern. In fact, bad breath is a symptom of liver disease, diabetes, and even kidney failure. This is why the team at my dental office in St. Joseph encourages all of our patients to take bad breath seriously, and to talk with us if it’s a chronic problem.

If you’re self-conscious about your breath or concerned for your dental and overall health, call my St. Joseph dental office to schedule an appointment today. We’ll review your health history, habits, and perform a thorough exam. Together, we’ll find a treatment that’s appropriate for you.

Welcoming patients from St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, South Bend and beyond. 

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