Common Causes of Bad Breath

Poor Dental Habits Cause Halitosis

What are the causes of bad breath? Flossing and brushing your teeth daily will prevent food particles from becoming lodged between teeth and gums. Without complete oral hygiene, the food debris left behind will start to attract bacteria and decompose in your mouth, creating a foul odor. Additionally, scraping your tongue is vital to removing the bacteria deposits that collect on the taste buds on back of your tongue. You can use a tongue scraper or the bristles of your toothbrush to scrub your tongue. Most modern toothbrushes come with a tongue scraper on the back side of the brush.

Tooth Decay Causes Mouth Odors

While poor dental habits will cause initial bad breath, they can also lead to prolonged foul odors due to dental caries. Tooth decay is often a result of poor oral hygiene. When bacteria collects in the mouth it can form plaque which combines with saliva to create acid. Tooth enamel erodes with acid formation, creating an environment for cavities and tooth decay. Often, bad breath will be an indicator of decaying material and bacteria attacking your tooth.

Bad Breath is Caused by Dry Mouth

The scientific name for dry mouth is xerostomia. Dry mouth is sometimes a result of salivary  gland conditions, a side effect of certain medications, or continued mouth breathing. Your saliva is vital to keeping the mouth hydrated, balancing the acid levels in your mouth, and washing away dead cells. Decomposing dead cells that collect on the soft tissues of your mouth create a foul odor. You can treat your dry mouth condition by changing certain medications which cause dry mouth or drinking water frequently.

Infection Can Cause Halitosis

Illnesses like pneumonia, bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, diabetes, post-nasal drip, acid reflux, and kidney and liver problems are all contributors to bad breath. Often, bad breath is a sign that you have a health complication. Do not ignore chronic bad breath, but ask your Chicago area dentist what may be causing your specific condition.

Treating Bad Breath in Chicago

Dr. James Fondriest looks forward to improving your confidence by giving you a fresh healthy smile. If you suffer from halitosis, do not ignore the symptoms. Call our Chicago dentist office today at 847.234.0517 to schedule an appointment or dental consultation.


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