What Should I Do If I Have Bad Breath?

Bad breath is one of the most embarrassing health conditions to have — and unfortunately, it’s quite common. If your breath is sour or smelly, you need the help of a trusted dentist like Dr. Amy Farmer, who can identify the source of the problem and select the most appropriate course of treatment.

Common Causes of Bad Breath

Bad breath can be caused by a variety of factors. One of the most common causes of bad breath is food particles and bacteria that get trapped in the tiny nooks and crannies of the mouth and aren’t removed with brushing or flossing. The tongue in particular can collect debris that leads to malodor.

Cigarettes and certain foods — particularly garlic and onions — can cause smelly, sour breath. Not eating frequently enough can trigger bad breath, too.

Another common cause of bad breath is dry mouth. Saliva plays an important part by cleaning the mouth and removing odor-causing particles. Without enough saliva, the breath can sour. Certain medications indirectly cause bad breath because they lead to dry mouth; others release chemicals as they break down that cause foul breath.

Other common causes of bad breath include medical conditions like tonsil stones, inflammation of the nose or sinuses, metabolic disorders and some cancers. Oral infections and diseases such as periodontal (gum) disease can also cause noxious breath.

How to Get Rid of Bad Breath

If you notice your breath is sour, first try tweaking your oral hygiene habits. Be diligent about brushing your teeth and tongue after eating, and floss once a day. Drinking more water and cutting out onions and garlicky foods can also help.

If you still experience bad breath, you should see a dentist for a check-up, as the odor could be caused by something serious. Your dentist will perform a comprehensive examination and ask you questions about your diet, health and lifestyle in order to pinpoint the cause of your bad breath.

Depending on the cause, treatment could include using a medicated mouthrinse or toothpaste to kill bacteria. Or, if the cause is something more serious like gum disease, your dentist will recommend the best approach to treatment.

Book an Appointment with Dr. Farmer

If you have excellent oral hygiene habits but persistent bad breath, Dr. Farmer encourages you to book an appointment to have your mouth checked. Please call or email our practice today to schedule your visit.

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