Bad breath is an embarrassing problem. It can make you uncomfortable in front of others, even avoiding standing too close to someone else so they won’t notice the issue. If you deal with bad breath constantly, you might even choose not to see the dentist because you don’t want to deal with the problem.
Unfortunately, chronic bad breath can signal that something else is going wrong. And if you don’t seek help, you might experience more severe symptoms before long.
Downtown Dental Studio offers general and cosmetic dentistry in the Financial District. Fadi Beydoun, DMD, MS, Alexander Kimon, DMD, and Karina Zaygermakher, DMD, want you to get the care you need, including any treatments that can manage the underlying cause of your bad breath.
Seven reasons your breath smells bad
There are two kinds of bad breath: real and delusional. With the latter, some psychological issues might be at work, but if you’ve asked others about your breath and they’ve confirmed the malodor, it’s time to consider some of these possible causes.
1. Poor oral hygiene
Not taking care of your oral hygiene could cause your bad breath. Yes, you should visit the dentist every six months or so for a cleaning, but if you’re not brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash regularly at home, you might start to notice a bad odor.
Another good rule of thumb many people don’t consider is that it helps to brush your tongue. This reduces plaque buildup and bad odor, so when you brush, don’t forget to give your tongue the once-over, too.
2. Gum disease
Gum disease is another common culprit of bad breath. This occurs when plaque hardens into tartar, which erodes the gumline and causes infections. Signs of gum disease are bleeding gums, difficulty chewing, receding gums, and, yes, bad breath.
3. Dry mouth
A condition like dry mouth can cause bad breath because the mouth does not produce enough saliva. Saliva helps to flush out the bacteria in the mouth that causes bad breath. Often, dry mouth is a symptom of another condition or a side effect of certain medications.
Cavities also occur when oral hygiene isn’t properly implemented. Bacteria builds up in the mouth, forming holes in the tooth enamel. This can also happen as a result of eating sugary snacks or drinks. Bad breath, pain when you bite down, and sensitivity to hot and cold on the infected tooth are signs of a cavity.
5. Failing to clean dentures properly
Like natural teeth, you must often clean your dentures to avoid problems. If you have dentures you don’t clean, bacteria can build up on them, just like with natural teeth, leading to many symptoms, including bad breath.
6. Sinus infection
Sometimes, bad breath can result from a condition your dentist can’t treat. Sinusitis, or a sinus infection, is one such condition. Symptoms include head and facial aches, fatigue, and loss of smell. Bad breath is also a frequent symptom.
Smoking cigarettes can be an indicator of bad breath. Many smokers try to cover this up by chewing gum, but it can be hard to hide the distinct odor of cigarette smoke. If you’re struggling with the bad breath caused by this habit, it might be time to consider quitting.
Is my bad breath a problem?
Getting to the bottom of what’s behind your bad breath is essential. That way, you can know if it’s a simple fix or a more serious issue. And one of the best ways to do so is to visit our office in New York City. Call 212-964-3337 for regular cleaning, and we can discuss the possible issues behind your bad breath.