Everyone suffers from bad breath from time to time. Most people react by reaching for a breath mint or mouthwash. But a little learning goes a long way, and understanding the causes of bad breath can help you develop habits that keep halitosis – the clinical name for bad breath – at bay.

The exact prevalence of bad breath is difficult to pin down. But researchers agree that oral health plays a significant role in the onset of bad breath, and in getting rid of it. An estimated 85 to 90 percent of cases are linked to dental-related problems.

Causes of Bad Breath

We eat to survive. However, as you chew and prepare to swallow your food, you trigger an increase of bacteria that creates the conditions for bad breath.

Couple that with poor dental habits, which creates problems such as gum disease, and you’re suddenly at risk of making your presence known for all the wrong reasons. 

But there are other causes of bad breath. These include: 

  • Eating certain pungent foods, such as onions, garlic, and spices
  • Smoking, use of chewing tobacco
  • Ill-fitting or poorly cleaned dentures
  • Dry mouth
  • Certain medications
  • Mouth or other infections

Bad Breath and Oral Health

What can you do to fend off problems with bad breath? A lot, and it all involves building improved habits in taking care of your teeth. Do the right things to keep your teeth and gums healthy, and you’ll address the root causes of bad breath. Recommendations include: 

  • Brushing and flossing regularly — at least twice a day.
  • Quitting smoking
  • Using mouthwash — helps to kill odor-causing bacteria
  • Cleaning dentures nightly
  • Choosing foods that require chewing to generate saliva 

Other tips include avoiding smelly foods, brushing your tongue, and replacing your toothbrush regularly.

Probably the most critical step toward prevention is to schedule regular checkups with the dentist. We can help diagnose and treat any gum disease or other oral health problems contributing to your bad breath.

Can Bad Breath Be Something Serious?

At some point, you may come to wonder if the causes of bad breath signal a more severe condition. Most of the time they do not. But experts say that bad breath could also point to problems such as: 

  • Infections of the respiratory tract
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Postnasal drip
  • Sinusitis
  • Gastrointestinal disorder
  • Diabetes

Don’t rely on the Internet and don’t guess. If you feel you have a reason for concern, make sure you discuss it with your medical doctor.

Manage Your Oral Health Today

Because bad breath can indicate other issues, it’s vital to make sure that you’re managing your oral health properly. At South High Dental, we want to help you. When you communicate your concerns about bad breath to us, we can help you to find a solution. One thing that we know is that developing good dental habits is one of the best ways to resolve problems with bad breath. One of those good dental health habits is to see a general dentist at least twice a year. 

South High Dental has more than 30 years of experience in oral health. We strive to empower patients with the information they need to address dental problems proactively. With our services, you can feel confident that you’re getting the best possible care. You can also learn to love your smile again. Our staff provides a full range of services, from everyday dentistry that addresses the causes of bad breath, to dental crown options, emergency dental services, and cosmetic dentistry that restores your smile. Contact us at 614.363.2462 for an appointment or fill out our online form to learn more about the advantages of South High Dental.