Bad breath often results from poor dental health, specific types of food, and many other lifestyle choices. Through it can be embarrassing in public, there are many quick mouthwashes you can buy to temporarily relieve smelly breath; however, these measures are only short-term. To have long-lasting fresh breath and fight halitosis, you need to know what’s causing your bad breath and what you can do to fix it! And sometimes, having an emergency dentist in Greenville, SC, does that trick.
It’s great to know that you have a reliable dental clinic on your side to help you with these types of issues.
Understanding Bad Breath
How Food Affects Your Dental Health
Most cases of bad breath start in the mouth. This is because the mouth is the first step of the digestive process. On top of this, the nutrients in your food are also absorbed in your bloodstream and move to your lungs. Therefore, foods with strong odors, such as those with plenty of garlic or onions, can leave quite a pronounced smell.
Without proper brushing and daily flossing, food particles stuck in your mouth can encourage bacteria to grow. This can also lead to gingivitis (swelling of the gums), which can also contribute to strong odors.
Bad breath can also occur if you wear dentures and they aren’t regularly cleaned. Without regular rinsing, leftover food and saliva can an active breeding ground for bacteria.
Other causes of bad breath, aside from poor diet and unhealthy hygiene, include the following:
- Dry mouth – Without saliva to moisten the mouth, dead cells and accumulated plaque can decompose on the tongue, gums, and cheeks, and cause bad breath.
- Yeast infection – The candida yeast is one that normally lives in the human body, and can cause an infection called “thrush” if it spreads in the mouth or throat.
- Ill-fitting dentures – Ill-fitting dentures may put any unnecessary pressure on the teeth, making them harder to remove, and yet easier for stray food particles to get stuck between the gaps.
Types of Bad Breath
Whether it’s just because you woke up or had a meal with plenty of onions in it, everyone experienced bad breath at some point. However, it’s not always simple causes – In fact, you’d be surprised at the different types of bad breath that are out there.
These usually arise from the different metabolic processes happening in your body, aside from your digestive system.
These are the most common types of bad breath smells:
- Rotten or fetid (e.g. garbage) – This can be caused by rotting tissue, such as possible abscesses or infections in your mouth.
- Sour – When the muscle (sphincter) between your esophagus and stomach doesn’t close properly, the result is that the acid in your stomach can travel back up your esophagus into your throat and mouth, which is the case with gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD).
- Musty – People whose breath has a musty smell are often suffering from liver diseases, which are produced by volatile compounds that can build up in a person’s body.
- Fishy – This can be caused by an enzyme disorder called “trimethylaminuria”– when your body is unable to naturally break down the organic compound trimethylamine. However, if this is the case, your sweat and bodily fluids will also have a fishy smell.
Because there are many causes of bad breath, it’s important to take care of your hygiene and shift to a healthier lifestyle and diet. Taking small steps to improve your dental health can go a long way.
How Do I Treat Bad Breath?
Most issues with bad breath can be resolved with a few lifestyle changes and basic improvements to one’s dental hygiene. Brushing twice a day and flossing ensures that all food particles are cleaned out, so bacteria won’t grow as quickly.
Using mouthwash also helps clean out any lingering bacteria that brushing and flossing weren’t able to reach.
Other habits, such as staying hydrated to avoid a dry mouth and eating fresh fruits and vegetables, can also work well in improving your gut flora aside from your overall health. So does quitting smoking, which can leave a smell that lingers even after brushing your teeth.
Bad breath is all the more reason you should quit smoking if you haven’t already. Tobacco products tend to leave a distinct smell that won’t just go away on its own, and the result can lead to embarrassing situations if you’re not careful.
Should I See an Emergency Dentist in Greenville, SC?
Don’t wait around for anything serious to come up before visiting your dentist. In the case that an underlying health condition is causing your bad breath, there’s a good chance you’re also experiencing other symptoms.
Ideally, you should visit your dentist at least twice a year. Not only will they give you an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning, but they can also check if you have any underlying diseases that need to be addressed right away.
At Pelham Links Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we make sure to give you the full suite of dental services that the best emergency dentist Greenville SC has to offer, so you’ll rest assured that your mouth is as healthy as can be.