Common causes of Bad Breath
- sleeping with your mouth open. Sleeping with your mouth open is a surefire way to dry out your mouth. And a dry mouth will cause halitosis. Often, people who sleep with their mouth open are having trouble breathing through their nose, so addressing any allergy or nasal issues before bed might be a good place to start. You also might find working with a sleep specialist helpful.
- smoke or chew tobacco. Both of these bad habits also are guaranteed to give you bad breath. They decrease the amount of saliva in your mouth. Saliva contains oxygen, which keeps your mouth healthy and fresh. Here, the answer is obvious: Quit!!
- You have a white-coated tongue. This is a predictable sign of bad breath. "That white coating is comprised of sulfur compounds that have risen to the tongue's surface and cause bad breath.
- You have gastric reflux. The churning acid produced by gastric reflux is not only uncomfortable but can also lead to bad breath. "Unfortunately, gastric reflux results in bad breath in a way that's hard to solve.Ask your doctor about prescribing a medication to get this condition under control.
- You eat suspect foods. High-protein foods, coffee, onions and garlic, sugar, acidic foods and drinks, and dairy products all result in worse breath because they create an environment for the bad bacteria to grow. It needs to be balanced with fruits, veggies, and alkalinizing good foods."
- You take certain prescription or OTC medications. A number of medications can cause dry mouth as a side effect, which in turn can lead to bad breath. In these situations, you can ask your doctor if any alternatives exist to your current medications, prescription or over-the-counter, that might help with the problem.
- You need a dental cleaning. Keeping your routine dental cleanings are important. You could have periodontal disease, tooth decay or other issues going on that may only be found during your exams.
How to Tell If You Have Bad Breath
Now that you know the signs, there's a simple trick to test your breath for yourself. "Take a minute and try this easy Bad Breath Self Awareness Test. Wipe the surface of your mouth with a piece of cotton gauze and smell that. If you notice a yellowish stain on the cotton, that's a likely sign that you have an elevated sulfide production level. Now, lick the back of your hand. Let it dry for about 10 seconds, then smell. If you notice an odor, you have a breath disorder because the sulfur salts from your tongue have been transferred to your hand."
Another approach is to get an unbiased opinion. Ask someone you trust who will give you an honest answer or your can ask at you routine dental cleaning with Dr. Freeman as well. Many times people are embarrassed to ask, and others are afraid to tell them. Your mouth is a very personal space — talking about it is not always easy.
Be sure to schedule your next dental exam with Dr. Freeman to make sure you maintain your dental health.