Maybe you’ve been told you have bad breath. Maybe you’re already aware on your own without anyone’s say so. You carry around tick-tacs, breath mints, and chewing gum, but what’s the cause of your bad breath? Believe it or not, it might be a symptom of something much more than a foul odor.
According to at least one Long Island cosmetic dentist, the cause of bad breath is bacterial. It’s not a new discovery. This has actually been known for quite some time. A bacterial overgrowth crowds the mouth, and releases noxious gases. Where does all this bacteria come from?
The Underlying Cause
A lot of bad breath can be traced back to diet and dental hygiene as well as underlying stomach issues (gastrointestinal issues). If you don’t take good care of your teeth (i.e. you don’t brush twice a day, floss, use mouthwash), or if you eat a steady diet of high-sugar and processed foods, you might be creating the ideal conditions for bad breath.
Sugar, and fermentable carbohydrates, can create gas that causes bad breath. The only real way to change this is to change your diet. Eat whole foods and stay away from processed junk food. As far as dental hygiene is concerned, you might think you’re doing a good job brushing, but check with your dentist. Consider buying a sonic toothbrush – you might be surprised and a little bit disgusted by what you discover.
Also, consider buying a tongue scraper. These handy devices will clean your tongue. Often, people discover their mouth isn’t as clean as they thought it was – especially if they’re not used to cleaning their tongue. Brushing your tongue isn’t the same as scraping, by the way. A dedicated tongue scraper physically removes the coating common in most peoples’ mouths. It also scrapes away bacteria that could be contributing to bad breath.
If the root cause of the problem isn’t hygiene, it might be another condition that your doctor can investigate with you. Some bad breath problems originate in the gut. You may have an infection, a bacterial overgrowth, or some other related problem causing the odor. Usually, this is correctable.
What You Can Do About It
If you don’t know where to start, go to your dentist. Often, your dentist can advise you on some basic precautions you can take at home. It might also help to get regular teeth cleaning every 3-4 months.
Speak with a nutritionist. If you’re not very knowledgable about nutrition and fitness, it might help to pay someone to be your coach.
Since many problems are in fact diet-related, changing your diet can do more than just improve bad breath. They can make you healthier on the whole. In general, you should be willing to give diet changes at least a month to take effect. In the meantime, keep popping mints, and stay on top of your oral hygiene. Eventually, things will sort themselves out.
Robert Ander has a passion for dental health. He often blogs about usual problems and possible treatments.