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What Causes Bad Breath and How Can I Treat It?

drednarcisi Sep 1, 2015

A woman using a tongue scraperPatients can count on Dr. Edward Narcisi to provide expert dental care. One of the leading dentists in the Pittsburgh area, he offers advanced restorative dentistry as well as comprehensive general dentistry services.

Part of being a good dentist is providing patients with the info they need about various aspects of dental health. With that in mind, let's take a moment to consider some of the common causes of bad breath and how it can be successfully prevented and treated.

Common Causes of Bad Breath

Some of the most common causes of bad breath include the following:

  • Tooth Decay – When your teeth are badly decayed, this can cause your breath to be particularly unpleasant.

  • Gum Disease – Like tooth decay, an unappealing side effect of gum disease is bad breath.

  • Tobacco Products – Smoking and using smokeless tobacco are bad for your general health and wellness, and tobacco products don't do your breath any favors either.

  • Alcoholic Beverages – Alcoholic beverages often have sharp and distinct odors about them, and it can lead to really unpleasant breath when imbibed in excess.

  • Certain Foods and Beverages – We all know that certain foods and beverages can lead to strong breath and smells. Be wary when it comes to coffee, onions, garlic, fish, spicy foods, and certain cheeses.

  • Dry Mouth – When your mouth is dry, it's an ideal environment for oral bacteria to feed on food particles and dead skin cells.

  • Systemic Diseases and Health Problems – Bad isn't just a sign of something wrong in the mouth. It may also be a sign of a major health or wellness issue affecting the throat, sinuses, lungs, or digestive tract.

Of course, combinations of any of the above are possible as well.

Basic Tips to Keep Bad Breath Under Control

The best way to keep bad breath at bay is to brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss your teeth every night, and visit your dentist twice a year. Since a lot of oral bacteria and food particles can remain on your tongue, it's not a bad idea to consider a tongue scraper, which helps keep your tongue clean.

It's also a good idea to keep hydrated, to avoid drinking sugary sodas and eating sugary foods, and to have sugar-free chewing gum and breath mints to mask unpleasant breath.

Professional Treatments to Treat Bad Breath

There are many different dental care treatments around to treat tooth decay and gum disease. This might also include the use of special antiseptic rinses or antibiotics to help keep oral bacteria under control. All of these matters can be discussed with your dentist during a consultation.

As for bad breath related to systemic conditions, these can be properly addressed by a medical specialist who is trained at treating such problems. Your doctor may work in concert with your dentist in some cases depending on the nature of your condition.

Contact the Center for Dental Excellence

To learn more about the common causes of bad breath and what can be done to successfully treat the problem, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Edward Narcisi and the entire team at the practice look forward to your visit and helping you have a healthy and beautiful smile.

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