woman with bad breath needing to see a Dentist in La Vergne TN

What Causes Bad Breath?

It’s common for people to have bad breath from time to time, but for some, it’s a persistent issue that they find difficult to fix. Moreover, around 30% of the population experiences bad breath, also known as halitosis.

Some individuals may have halitosis without realizing it until a family member, friend, or coworker informs them. Unfortunately, bad breath can have a detrimental effect on personal relationships and quality of life in severe cases. If you suspect you have bad breath, it’s important to understand the potential causes and possibly turn to a dentist in La Vergne, TN. 

woman checking her breath before seeing a Dentist in La Vergne TN

Top Causes of Bad Breath

Poor Oral Hygiene

If you neglect to clean your teeth and mouth regularly, leftover food particles can linger and bacteria can form a sticky film called plaque on your teeth. Your tongue’s rough surface and tonsils can also trap bacteria and food particles, causing unpleasant odors. Poor oral hygiene can lead to cavities and gum disease, both of which can contribute to bad breath. Maintaining a consistent and thorough oral care routine is the most effective way to prevent bad breath.

Dental Infections and Cavities

Untreated dental infections, such as gum disease and cavities, can produce unpleasant odors. These infections create pockets where bacteria accumulate and release volatile sulfur compounds. Regular dental check-ups and prompt treatment are crucial for preventing these conditions and their associated bad breath.

Strongly-Scented Foods

We are what we eat, and sometimes, what we eat can contribute to bad breath. Foods like garlic, onion, and certain spices contain compounds that are absorbed into the bloodstream and expelled through the lungs, affecting your breath. Although these foods offer various health benefits, practicing good oral hygiene and drinking water can help mitigate their odor effects.

Drinking Coffee

If you love a robust cup of coffee to kickstart your day, you might have experienced bad breath as a side effect. The strong taste of coffee and its impact on saliva production can lead to bad breath. When you consume coffee, the caffeine causes a reduction in saliva production, which results in a build-up of odor-causing bacteria. 

To combat coffee-induced bad breath, try drinking water after your cup of coffee to increase saliva production and wash away any bacteria.

Alcohol Consumption

Frequent alcohol consumption can lead to bad breath. The more you drink, the higher the chances of experiencing it. When you drink alcohol, especially in large amounts, your saliva production decreases. 

This creates an ideal environment for odor-causing bacteria to thrive. To solve this problem, it’s important to stay hydrated while drinking and to practice good oral hygiene, such as brushing your teeth and using mouthwash.

Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

A dry mouth provides an environment in which bacteria can thrive, leading to bad breath. Saliva naturally cleanses the mouth by washing away debris and neutralizing acids. Conditions such as medications, mouth breathing, and certain medical treatments can contribute to dry mouth, making it important to stay hydrated and consider saliva-stimulating products.

High-Sugar and High-Protein Diets

Having a diet that’s rich in sugar and protein can also cause bad breath. High sugar intake can lead to halitosis as the sugars interact with the bacteria present in the mouth. The bacteria feed on the sugars, which then result in unpleasant odors emanating from the mouth. However, maintaining good oral hygiene can kill bad breath-causing bacteria in the mouth. 

a Dentist in La Vergne TN discussing oral health

Do You Need to See a Dentist in La Vergne, TN?

At Mt. View Family Dental, we offer personalized guidance and professional assistance in maintaining excellent oral health. Our experienced dental professionals are committed to providing comprehensive care and helping you achieve a confident smile. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. 

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