How Do I Know if I Have Bad Breath?
We all get bad breath from time to time, like when we first wake up in the morning, but bad breath can be a concern if it becomes a persistent problem.
If you are not sure whether you have bad breath, you can try to find out by asking a close friend, or by looking at or smelling your floss after you use it. If you see blood or smell a nasty odor, then you probably have bad breath.
What are the Causes of Bad Breath?
Bad breath occurs when there is a buildup of bacteria in your mouth which creates an inflammation response, giving off nasty and noxious odors in your mouth.
Here are the most common causes of having a bad breath:
- Poor Oral Hygiene: if you don't brush and floss your teeth well, this can leave a lot of plaque, which are sticky deposits of millions of bacteria, behind in your mouth. Make sure to brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day and floss once a day for good oral hygiene. Also don't forget to gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria, doing this can go a long way in fighting bad breath. If your tooth brush does not include a tongue cleaner at the back, you can buy a separate tongue cleaner/tongue brush at your local drug store.
- Oral Problems: These include cavities, gum disease, a cracked filling, dentures that have not been cleaned well, etc. Any oral problems can be dealt with by consulting your dentist and getting it fixed.
- Diet: What you consume can easily affect the smell of your breath because the food has been directly in your mouth and is often leftover in your mouth. Foods and drinks that cause bad breath include garlic, onions, alcohol, and coffee.
- Smoking: When you smoke, tar, nicotine, and hundreds of chemicals are deposited in your mouth and within your lungs, making it inevitable for your breath to smell bad. Gum and breath mints cannot really get rid of bad breath from smoking. The only way to do so is to quit smoking.
- Internal Medical Conditions: A medical condition can cause the smell of your breath to deteriorate very quickly. These include diabetes, respiratory track infections, liver disease, etc. Other health issues like acid reflux or chronic dried mouth (xerostomia) can also lead to bad breath. If none of the above causes or causing your bad breath, and you feel you might have an underlying medical condition, do speak with your doctor and see what could be wrong.
By removing any underlying causes, you should be able to get rid of your bad breath. If the problem persists, don't be afraid to speak to your dentist and see what else there is you can do.