Finding out you have really bad breath after you’ve been talking to someone for a while is completely embarrassing. We all dread that fateful moment when our significant other looks our way while scrunching their face and waving their hand in front of their nose. Or, when the person you’re talking to tries to very slyly offer you a breath mint…so embarrassing!
While we may feel humiliated in that moment, determining the causes of bad breath can actually give us clues into our health.
5 Causes of Bad Breath and How Dr. Westman, Dentist in Racine, WI Can Help Diagnose
There are 5 basic causes of bad breath. If you’re dealing with this issue Dr. Westman can help you get a diagnosis.
We eat some pretty delicious foods that have very pungent smells. Some of the worst offenders are:
- Milk products
Bad breath caused by foods is a short-lived, albeit an unpleasant, problem.
2. Gum Disease
People with gum disease have bad breath. Even in the early stages, called gingivitis, a patient can start experiencing changes in their breath. The worse the disease gets the worse the breath gets.
3. Tooth Decay
A decaying tooth can have a foul odor as well. Interestingly enough, your dentist in Racine, WI, Dr. Westman can often tell whether you have tooth decay or gum disease based on the smell of your breath. Both scents are quite distinctive.
4. Nose, Throat and Lung Issues
If you have a cold or sinus infection, the sinus drainage will give you bad breath. So, too, can a tonsil infection or bronchitis and pneumonia.
5. Infection or Disease of the Intestinal Tract
When a person experiences persistent bad breath but they’re doing everything right from a dental perspective, they could have a digestive disorder. The problem can be anywhere – from the esophagus to the colon. According to a Huffington Post article by Dr. Thomas P. Connelly, gut problems contributing to bad breath include:
- Acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- A bowel obstruction
- Leaky gut syndrome
Bad Breath Cures—Steps You Can Take to Banish Bad Breath for Good
Now that we know what causes bad breath, it’s about time we consider some bad breath cures.
After eating pungent foods, thoroughly brush, floss and rinse with an antibacterial mouth rinse. That may not totally get rid of the bad breath, but it can certainly reduce its potency.
Follow a good home care regimen—brushing after every meal, flossing at least once a day and getting dental cleanings and checkups every six months. Doing so will prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
For nose and throat inflections, your doctor will probably prescribe antibiotics. Once the infection is cleared up, the bad breath should be too. In the meantime, you can try gargling with warm salt water to neutralize some of the bad breath germs.
If you suspect your bad breath is caused by a stomach issue, talk to your doctor. You could have a food allergy, and infection or something more serious. Getting to the bottom of things will help clear up your bad breath and ensure you’re living the healthiest life possible.
Protecting You From More Than Embarrassment
If you’re plagued by bad breath, schedule an appointment with a general dentist in Racine, WI. Dr. Westman is one such dentist who can discuss some of the most effective bad breath cures available and evaluate you for more serious conditions. Call our office today at 262-639-7000 to schedule a consultation.