Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What is Your Bad Breath Telling You?

            It doesn’t matter if you call it bad breath or halitosis, worrying about your breath can make you feel anxious and uncomfortable. There are a number of different causes for bad breath, and we will talk about some of the potential reasons and the solutions in making you feel more comfortable in any setting.

            The first potential reason for bad breath is the most obvious: the foods we eat. Garlic, onions, and some others can linger for extended periods of time if we are not diligent about brushing and flossing daily. But even when we don’t eat foods that have a potent aroma, bacteria from any food can stay around in your mouth after eating. The bacteria that remain produce compounds that smell and the only solution to remove the bacteria is diligent home care.

            Dry mouth can also lead to bad breath and we commonly see patients on new medications develop dry mouth. Our saliva helps clean and protect our teeth and gums, and a decrease can lead to more leftover bacteria, which then creates bad breath. There are different rinses, gels and toothpastes that can help with dry mouth, and we also recommend sugar free gum and candy to stimulate saliva flow.

            Persistent bad breath could be a sign of gum disease if changes at home do not improve your issues. A deeper cleaning, referred to as root planning, may be recommended to remove bacteria and buildup that have grown underneath the gums.

            If none of the options above seem to be the answer to your bad breath, it is possible there is a more serious medical disorder. There are some systemic conditions, including diabetes, liver and kidney diseases that can produce symptoms related to bad breath.

            While there are a number of potential reasons for bad breath, an easy first step is to maintain excellent homecare and visit your dentist. You can work together to find solutions that work for your situation. And in more challenging situations, your physician is a great resource in diagnosing any hidden medical problems.

For more information, visit us at


Lee T. Brown, DDS

Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc.

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