Halitosis, or bad breath, can be a real embarrassment. The last impression that you want to leave of yourself is as someone with stinky breath, especially if you have to meet with an employer, teacher, or romantic interest. Usually, you can avoid bad breath just by brushing and flossing your teeth conscientiously. But if you find that you still have bad breath even with frequent brushing, it could be a sign of a different problem. Take a look at some of the things that your bad breath may be trying to tell you.
You May Be Using the Wrong Mouthwash
Mouthwash might be the first thing that you reach for if you think that you have a halitosis problem. But you might be surprised to learn that mouthwash could be contributing to the problem. Many commercial types of mouthwash have antibacterial properties, meaning that they kill bacteria in your mouth. But there are many different kinds of bacteria, and not all of them are bad. You also have good bacteria that help keep the bad bacteria – the kind that cause odors – in check. When you use an antibacterial mouthwash, it kills all the bacteria, both good and bad. The elimination of good bacteria means that the faster-growing, odor-causing bacteria can quickly proliferate, causing bad breath.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t use mouthwash, but you should consult your dentist about what kind of mouthwash you need. Your dentist will let you know whether antibacterial mouthwash is right for you and can suggest alternatives if you’re struggling with bad breath.
You May Have A Throat Infection
Have you ever noticed that bad breath seems to go hand-in-hand with a sore throat? That’s because the bacteria causing the throat infection can also give off an odor that’s expelled from your mouth when you breathe. Because the bacteria is in your throat, no amount of toothbrushing can get rid of the odor. You may need an antibiotic to kill the bacteria that’s causing the throat infection. Gargling with warm salt water can help reduce the bacteria in your throat and soothe the soreness as well.
Intractable bad breath could also be a sign of tonsil stones. These are small calcium deposits that build up and harden in your tonsils. While these stones are usually harmless and often unnoticeable, they can sometimes cause symptoms like bad breath or throat irritation. You may be able to see them – they look like small bumps on your tonsils. If they occur frequently or cause problems, you may want to consider having your tonsils removed.
You Could Be Developing Gum Disease
You know that bacteria is at the root of your bad breath. But bacteria also causes other problems as well. Problems like gum disease. If you’re battling bad breath that never seems to go away, you may also notice that your gums are inflamed, swollen, or bleed when you brush. These are good signs that you are developing gum disease, a serious dental condition that is caused by bacteria and can lead to tooth loss.
Gum disease is not only bad for your breath and your dental health, it’s also linked to other serious conditions, like heart disease and strokes. In a way, your bad breath could be an early indicator that you’re at risk for heart disease. Taking care of your gums as soon as you notice a problem can stop gum disease in its tracks and help ward off more serious problems as well.
If you can’t seem to get a handle on your halitosis, a visit to the dentist is in order. Contact us to find an office.