So, you’re finally going on that first date with the girl from work that you’ve had a crush on forever. You take her out to dinner, have great conversation and even manage to make her laugh a few times. As you drop her off at the end of the evening, you go to give her a goodnight kiss, but she dodges and kisses your cheek instead. You can’t help but wonder… did you have bad breath? If you’ve ever been in this situation, you probably want to be sure that you never miss a special moment again because of something as simple as bad breath. But what causes it, and how can it be prevented? A Dentist in Tomball talks more about this potentially embarrassing problem that can affect anyone.
What Causes Bad Breath?
There are multiple reasons that you may develop bad breath, also known as halitosis. Here are the most common causes of this embarrassing problem:
- Diet – If you love to eat certain foods such as garlic or onions, or even enjoy a morning coffee every day, you’re bound to have bad breath for at least a little while.
- Plaque and Bacteria – By not effectively removing plaque, bacteria and food debris from your teeth (and tongue!) on a daily basis, you’re creating the perfect environment for halitosis.
- Gum Disease – If you have gum disease, even consistent brushing and flossing won’t alleviate mouth odor, which is coming from deep under the gumline where your toothbrush and floss can’t reach.
- Dry Mouth – This explains why nearly everyone gets “morning breath” – salivary flow decreases while you sleep and contributes to that initial blast of bad breath in the morning. If you have chronic dry mouth, you’re at a higher risk for developing an offensive odor during the daytime as well.
- Medical Conditions – Acid reflux, liver or kidney disorders, sinus conditions and diabetes are all possible contributors to bad breath.
How Can You Get Rid of Bad Breath Once and For All?
The good news is that you can treat this condition with a few simple steps. First, having a checkup and cleaning is a great way to start out with a “clean slate”. Your dentist and dental hygienist will screen for gum disease at this visit and educate you about the best ways to clean your teeth and gums, in addition to ruling out any health issues that may be contributing factors.
Of course, brushing both your teeth and tongue twice a day is crucial. And since brushing alone only removes about 2/3 of the bacteria in your mouth, you must clean in between your teeth with floss or another tool to remove the other 1/3.
Finally, if you have dry mouth or just need a temporary fix, sugar-free gum and mints stimulate salivary flow and will help to freshen the breath.
Now that you know a bit more about where bad breath comes from and have a few tips and tricks to prevent it, you’ll never have to wonder if bad breath has affected your social life again!
About the Author
Dr. Geer has been a general, cosmetic and restorative dentist in Tomball for over 40 years. Returning to work after retirement because of popular demand, he is dedicated to helping his patients have healthy smiles and the self-confidence that goes with them. He also loves to educate his patients on how to prevent and treat any oral health problem, including bad breath. He can be contacted with questions via his website, or at (281) 357-4337.