• Michael Hendrickson

Bad Breath: Is There a Cure?

Updated: Dec 30, 2020

Are you constantly wondering where bad breath comes from? Thinking, “I just brushed my teeth before falling asleep, how can I have such bad breath in the morning?” Well you’re not alone. Everyone suffers from some sort of halitosis.

Our mouths are full of bacteria, both good and bad. They feed off of food that is not removed from the mouth by thorough brushing and flossing, and as the bacteria breaks down the food, they release foul-smelling gases. In some people, health conditions and poor hygiene habits can also cause bad breath.

Where Does It Come From?

Morning Mouth

Bad breath when you wake up is normal. This happens because the saliva that regularly washes away decaying food and odors during the day diminishes at night when you sleep. Your mouth becomes dry and dead cells stick to your tongue and inside your cheek. Bacteria uses these cells as a food source and expel foul-smelling gases.

Nasty Bacteria and Gum Disease

Gum disease can be a contributing factor to bad breath. Gum disease that is detected early enough is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is an inflammatory response to a build-up of bacteria found in plaque that has not been properly removed from the teeth, because of poor brushing and flossing. Once plaque is established, it can only be removed by a dentist or hygienist.

Culprits: Food Offenders, Smoking, Alcohol and Medicines

Coffee, fish, onions, and garlic are obvious causes of bad breath, as well as beverages that dry out your mouth, like alcohol, because they reduce levels of saliva that’s needed to wash away odor-causing bacteria. Regularly drinking water, especially at meal times, chewing sugar-free gum after meals, and adding a squeeze of lemon on fish dishes can help reduce food odors.

Cigarettes and Cigars

Smoking is also a huge factor causing bad breath. Smoke particles remain in the lungs long after you have finished the cigarette or cigar, making your breath smell pungent and stale. Smoking also dries out your mouth, contributing to gum disease.

Furthermore, there are many medications that are associated with bad breath because they dry out your mouth.

So How Do You Get Rid of Bad Breath?

Good oral hygiene is the key to fresh breath. The best treatment you can give yourself comes from within your mouth.

Brush your teeth twice a day, every day. Make sure you’re spending two minutes to get those hard to reach places. Also try to pay extra attention to the areas where the tooth reaches the gums.

Make flossing your best friend. We recommend at least once a day. The goal with flossing is to clean the areas where your toothbrush cannot reach and to clear the spaces in between your teeth.

Keep your mouth moist by drinking plenty of water. A swish of water after eating can loosen food particles. It also helps with keeping a constant saliva flow.

Most importantly, make sure you’re keeping up to speed with your routine check-ups and cleanings. With seeing your dentist at least twice a year will help minimize the amount of plaque and build-up your teeth and gums may form.