Suffer from bad breath? Bad breath could be your body’s way of telling you something isn’t quite right. If you brush and floss regularly, but chronic bad breath continues to haunt you, check out the list below and see if any of the following applies to you:
1. Diets. Have you changed your diet regimen lately? If you eat a low-carb diet, or practice fasting, your breath could be less than fresh. Basically, what you eat, or in this case, what you don’t eat affects your breath. As you eat, nutrients are absorbed into your bloodstream, and then are exhaled through the lungs. Detox diets, fasting and cleanses can cause bad-smelling breath which makes a good case for eating a proper balanced diet that includes whole fruits and vegetables. Not only do fruits and vegetables hold the vitamins and minerals your body needs, but is water-based and can help rid your mouth of food debris.
2. Postnasal drip (sinus). You could have a perfect dental check-up every time, yet still have bad breath. How? Well, postnasal drip occurs when your body makes more mucus than it can handle and this overproduction causes it to run down your nose. But it can also run down the back of your nose to the throat, and that is called postnasal drip. Besides flu and colds, post nasal drip can be from a deviated septum, sinus infections or allergies.
3. Acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when acid from the stomach splashes up and into the esophagus. Some symptoms of acid reflux can be hoarseness, sore throat, trouble swallowing and coughing. When acid splashes from the stomach into the esophagus it can make its way up to the back of the throat and you may experience a bitter taste, and a bit of bad breath.
4. Medications can cause bad breath. Antidepressants and antihistamines have dry mouth as a side effect. Studies as far back as 1995 revealed that some antidepressants caused a reduction in salivary flow, which contributes to dry mouth. Without saliva present to help with digestion and the breakdown of food, bacteria and food debris does not easily flush away and clear the mouth.
5. Dry mouth. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, dry mouth or, xerostomia, is prevalent among older adults. Older adults are also more likely to be on medication that causes dry mouth.
6. Poorly fitted dentures or other appliances. You may not even think about how certain oral appliances might affect your breath. If dentures, a bridge, mouth guard, c-pap mask or any other dental or oral appliance you use fits poorly, it can affect the quality of your breath. For instance, if you have sleep apnea and are using a CPAP machine, you may be experiencing dry mouth (xerostomia) which is a decrease in the amount of saliva your mouth produces. When saliva isn’t present to wash away bacteria, it can build up and cause cavities and bad breath. Also badly fitted dentures and bridges can cause bits of food to become trapped, and creates an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. Have a talk with your dentist or health professional about your concerns and have your appliance checked for fit.
7. Alcohol, tobacco, and coffee. Some foods, like garlic and onions, are not the only things to cause bad breath. Tobacco, alcohol and even coffee in excess can be bad breath culprits too.
8. Gingivitis or gum disease. If you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease in its early stages known as ‘gingivitis’, you may be experiencing a bit of bad breath, but persistent bad breath can be a symptom of gum or periodontal disease requiring a deeper cleaning.
Obviously, if you have regular dental check-ups, brush and floss as you should, persistent bad breath won’t be a problem for you.