Bad breath, or halitosis, is more than just an embarrassing problem – it can impact your self-esteem, relationships, and overall quality of life.
Though it's natural for breath to be less than fresh at times, chronic bad breath may indicate a more serious underlying problem. In some cases, it may simply mean you are in dire need of
thorough teeth cleaning.
Whatever the cause, at Livwell Dentistry in San Francisco and San Ramon, California, Dr. Wenli Loo and Dr. Steve Deng understand the importance of addressing bad breath and helping you restore your oral health and confidence.
In this article, we explore the possible causes of bad breath, steps you can take to improve it, and when to seek professional help.
What are the root causes of bad breath?
To effectively address bad breath, it's essential to understand what might be causing it. Some common causes include:
- Poor oral hygiene: Inadequate brushing and flossing can lead to a buildup of food particles and bacteria, resulting in bad breath.
- Gum disease: Persistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease caused by plaque buildup around your gum.
- Dry mouth: Saliva plays a crucial role in keeping your mouth clean and neutralizing acids produced by bacteria. A dry mouth can result in bad breath.
- Smoking: Besides its many other health risks, smoking can contribute to bad breath and other oral health issues.
Other lesser-known factors that can contribute to bad breath include certain medications, acid reflux, and allergies.
How can I get rid of bad breath?
A consistent oral hygiene routine is the key to fresh breath. To keep your breath smelling fresh, it's best to adopt healthy oral habits.
Brush at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste and brush for at least two minutes, paying close attention to the tongue, where odor-causing bacteria can accumulate
Use a tongue scraper or your toothbrush to remove bacteria from the surface of your tongue. And remember to floss. Flossing removes food particles and plaque from between your teeth, helping to prevent bad breath.
Finally, an underrated way to maintain fresh breath is by staying hydrated. Drinking water throughout the day helps to wash away food particles and bacteria.
When should you seek professional help?
If your bad breath persists despite your best efforts and is accompanied by other symptoms, such as tooth pain, bleeding gums, or a persistent bad taste, it's time to visit your dentist.
Although self-care strategies are essential, regular dental checkups and cleanings are crucial in managing chronic bad breath.
We can help:
- Identify any hidden issues: A thorough dental examination can uncover underlying problems that may be contributing to your bad breath, such as gum disease or tooth decay.
- Perform professional cleanings: Regular dental cleanings remove plaque and tartar buildup, which can hold odor-causing bacteria, and leave your mouth fresh and clean.
- Treat gum disease: If your bad breath is caused by gum disease, we may recommend treatments to address the issue.
- Dental restorations: Damaged or poorly fitting dental restorations, such as crowns or bridges, can house bacteria and cause bad breath. Repairing or replacing these restorations will improve your breath.
Bad breath doesn't have to be an enduring issue. By understanding the potential causes, improving your oral hygiene routine, and seeking professional help, you can enjoy fresher breath and boost your self-esteem.
At LivWell Dentistry, we are committed to helping you address your bad breath concerns and restoring your oral health. Book an appointment online for a consultation, or call 415-477-3700 and take the first step toward a fresh and healthy smile.