It’s fairly common knowledge that bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by bacteria that builds up in your mouth because of poor oral health habits, as well as by eating strong foods like garlic and onion.
But here’s a list of things that can make your breath less-than-pleasant that may really surprise you:
Cocktail time – Bacteria love a dry mouth without its protective saliva, and drinking alcohol can dry out your mouth. Other causes of dry mouth are spicy foods, cigarettes and caffeinated drinks.
Medications that cause dry mouth – many over-the-counter and prescription drugs inhibit the flow of saliva that helps wash away bacteria. Stay hydrated and chew sugarless gum.
Your tongue – everyone’s tongue has bacteria on it, but a thick white or yellowish coating is a sign of excessive bacteria and can cause bad breath. Clean your tongue every day by brushing or using a tongue scraper.
Low-carb diet – when you increase protein intake and eliminate carbs, your body will burn fat for energy and also produce ketones that can cause bad breath. Use sugarless gum to mask bad breath.
A cold – bacteria that cause odor love to feed on the mucus produced respiratory tract infections. Mouth breathing when congested can also dry out your mouth.
An ulcer – a type of bacteria that causes ulcers may also result in bad breath. Your doctor can prescribe an appropriate antibiotic if you test positive for Helicobacter pylori bacteria.
Tonsil stones – sometimes small clusters of hardened bacteria, food particles, mucus and dead cells get trapped on the back of your tongue or in the natural ridges of the tonsils. Your dentist can spot these and recommend gargling with salt water or other treatments for stubborn cases.
GERD – if you have heartburn, your bad breath can result from postnasal drip caused by irritating stomach acid or from undigested food returning to your digestive track. Ask your doctor for help with chronic heartburn.
Don’t Live with Bad Breath – We Can Help!
Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating and educating patients for over twenty-five years. Our office serves the New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury, and Sherman areas of CT and Pawling, Patterson and Putnam Lake of New York. You can call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.