The Surprising Causes of Bad Breath

The Surprising Causes of Bad Breath

Your family dentist in Eugene understands that everyone occasionally suffers from bad breath. However, if you have a habit of popping breath mints like aspirin on New Year’s Day, you might be doing a few things wrong. While a meal full of pickled liverwurst, onions and garlic can certainly have an impact on your breath, you may also be practicing a number of bad daily habits that can transform your breath from fresh to sour.

Paying attention to these habits, whether oral or otherwise, can make a significant difference in the natural scent of your mouth. As an added plus, you’ll no longer need to worry about getting too close to the person you’re talking with at the water cooler, or need to keep a secret stash of mouthwash at your desk.

Bad breath has a variety of causes, but the most common culprit is foul-smelling bacteria. These bacteria can originate from the stomach, nose or throat. Due to its many causes, bad breath isn’t exactly rare, as it’s estimated that half of the adult population in the U.S. suffers from the condition, according to Colgate. Where bad breath originates is what differs in each individual, but picking out the right habits to avoid can help you prevent dealing with daily dragon’s breath.

If you suffer from frequent bouts of bad breath, you might want to think about ditching some of these surprising habits that can make your breath smell less than its best.

  • Alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol dehydrates the body and causes you to experience dry mouth. The less saliva your mouth produces, the more sour-smelling bacteria builds up.
  • Overusing mouthwash. While it may seem like a solution, mouthwash simply masks bad breath, and doesn’t actually eliminate the cause. Most brands of mouthwash contain alcohol that can kill too many types of bacteria in the mouth, which causes your mouth to overcompensate by spawning more bad breath-causing bacteria than before.
  • Popping too many mints. Mints offer temporary refreshment, but they can actually present a problem in the long run. A study conducted by the American Chemical Society found that the sugar in mints can actually feed the bacteria that cause bad breath, helping it reproduce at a much faster rate than normal.
  • Mouth breathing. When you frequently breathe through your mouth, you increase the likelihood of developing dry mouth and foul-smelling breath. It’s much better for the health of your mouth if you make an effort to breathe through your nose instead. Mouth breathing, especially during sleep, dries out the mouth and tongue which allows odorous bacteria to form in excess.
  • Failing to floss. Flossing not only plays a vital role in protecting the health of your teeth and gums, it also helps to protect the freshness of your breath as well. Stinky bacteria collect between your teeth and below the gum line, as do food particles that linger in the mouth after eating. If you’ve ever walked by a dumpster on a hot summer day, you know what decaying food can smell like. Removing these substances from your mouth can go a long way toward improving your breath on a daily basis.
  • Not drinking enough water. Drinking plenty of water helps to keep your mouth hydrated. The more hydrated your mouth, the less you need to worry about dry mouth and its symptoms. Drinking plenty of water also helps to flush odorous bacteria and food particles from the mouth.
  • Smoking. The worst habit you can possibly have when it comes to your long-term oral and overall health is smoking. Smoking stimulates the increased growth of odorous bacteria. If that wasn’t bad enough, it also stains your teeth so your smile not only stinks, it becomes discolored as well.

If you have any questions about the best practices for beating bad breath, make sure to ask your family dentist in Eugene during your next appointment at Feldmanis Family Dentistry.

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