It’s only natural for people to experience bad breath early in the morning or after consuming a particularly potent food or drink, but what does it mean when you constantly experience bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth?
Continual bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth despite brushing, flossing, rinsing with mouthwash, and chewing minty gum can be an indication of a serious dental or health problem and should be examined by your dentist ASAP.
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, has many causes including:
- Dry mouth: Saliva can help wash away the acids created by plaque and dead cells found in your mouth – both of which result in bad breath.
- Diseases and illnesses: There are many diseases (such as diabetes) which can contribute to bad breath making it important to seek medical advice soon, to avoid any serious complications.
- Poor diet: Foods high in sugar and acid can cause your teeth’s enamel to erode leaving it more susceptible to plaque which can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Consuming excessive amounts of potent foods such as garlic can also lead to having constant bad breath.
- Poor oral hygiene: Not cleaning your mouth properly can result in plaque and dirt building up and lead to disease and bad breath.
- Gum Disease: The bacteria that cause this disease can contribute to decay which leads to infection and bad breath.
Gum disease occurs when food particles, dirt, plaque, and tartar are allowed to accumulate in between your teeth and on your gum line (between the tooth and gum). If not properly cleaned out, this dirt and debris will slowly begin to rot, causing bacteria to grow and attack your healthy teeth and gums.
The plaque in your mouth uses the foods you eat to grow and produce acids which slowly erode the enamel on your teeth and can cause an infection of the gums. The longer the plaque is left in your mouth untreated, the better its chances of turning into tartar and causing more damage and decay in your mouth.
Gum disease causes inflammation to the gum line and it can work its way to the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. As gum disease progresses, and the plaque spreads further, pain, discomfort, and tooth loss can occur.
Can Gum Disease Cause Bad Breath?
One of the main symptoms of gum disease is persistent bad breath. The active bacteria (plaque) form toxins in the mouth which will irritate your gums causing redness, swelling, and even bleeding. Unhealthy gums are a great breeding ground for odour-causing bacteria and if left untreated, the bacteria can multiply causing decay in your teeth, gums, and other areas of your mouth, and result in constant bad breath.
The longer accumulated plaque and food particles remain on the gum line, the more chance they have to damage your gums and the stronger your bad breath becomes. Gum damage is not always visible to you, so if you notice you suddenly have bad breath it could be an indication of gum disease and you should visit your dentist for a check-up immediately.
How to Avoid Bad Breath
- Practice good oral hygiene: Do this by brushing at least twice a day and flossing every night before bed. Ask your dentist if a mouthwash could be of any benefit in your circumstances.
- Chew gum: Try to chew sugarless, dental gums to stimulate the production of saliva which is instrumental in washing away stuck food particles and bacteria which would otherwise cause bad breath.
- Stay hydrated: Make sure you drink lots of water to help keep your mouth moist and assist in the washing away of dirt and debris from your mouth.
Visit your dentist regularly: Regular dental visits are key in maintaining good oral health. The professional