We at Dental Care South are proud to be more than just your standard Tuscaloosa, AL cosmetic dentist – we’re here to go above and beyond in giving you all of the dental care necessary for any of your oral problems. While we’re glad to provide fillings, crowns, and dental implants in Tuscaloosa, AL in order to help patients attain healthier smiles, we’re also capable of helping with the treatment of bad breath. Bad breath, sometimes referred to as halitosis, is a condition that typically originates from the tongue and gums and can affect over 80 million people.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Bad breath can be caused by a variety of different reasons. Here are some of the more common causes:
- Dry Mouth – One of the most frequent causes of bad breath is dry mouth. Saliva has an important task of cleansing your mouth by washing away any odor-causing bacteria. If your mouth isn’t producing enough saliva, you likely won’t be washing away these leftover food particles and neutralizing acid in your mouth. This will lead to bad breath. It’s not uncommon for a person’s mouth to become dry while sleeping, which is why people frequently have ‘morning breath. Dry mouth most commonly occurs as a side effect of medications that cause decreased saliva production, including high blood pressure medications, antihistamines, antidepressants, diuretics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, narcotics, and many others. There are over 400 commonly used medications that can cause dry mouth.
- Certain Foods – If leftover food particles linger in your mouth, they can lead to bad breath. Having said that, there are some types of foods that are more likely to cause bad breath. Some of these foods include onions, garlic, curry, cabbage, and coffee.
- Gum Disease – The bacteria on your teeth and gums can cause gum disease. When you have gum disease, you may suffer from persistent bad breath and even a bad taste in the mouth.
- Smoking – This one is obvious – smoking (or even chewing tobacco) will cause your breath to stink and its odor will even linger long after you put your cigarette out.
- Uncleaned Mouth Appliances – Appliances for your mouth, such as braces and dentures, need to be cleaned regularly. Not doing so can lead to bad breath.
How You Can Treat Bad Breath
Here are a few of the simple ways that you can help treat and prevent bad breath:
- Drink plenty of water to both rinse your mouth and help stimulate the production of saliva.
- Also, if you’re trying to boost your saliva production, you should chew on sugarless gum.
- Brush your tongue and, if necessary, use a tongue scraper to clean off any leftover food.
- Avoid eating foods that can cause bad breath.
- Quit smoking or chewing tobacco.
- Ask us about effective mouth rinses; most over-the-counter mouthwashes will only mask bad breath for a short amount of time.
Visit Your Tuscaloosa, AL Cosmetic Dentist!
However, the first thing you should do if you suffer from bad breath is get in touch with your dentist to schedule a professional hygiene appointment. Most dental insurances will pay 100 percent of the coverage for semiannual dental cleanings. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with us, you can do so by phone at (205) 752-1929 or through our website by clicking on the ‘Appointment Request’ icon at the top-right of your screen. We’re looking forward to seeing you!