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Have you ever been in a conversation, listening intently but trying to keep your eyes from watering from the odor coming from the oral cavity of the person you’re talking with? Ever been on a date and break a little nervous sweat wondering if you’re about to offend your date with a wrath of halitosis (For you laymen out there the American Dental Association (ADA) defines halitosis as chronic bad breath)? Is it chronic or garlic? Inquiring minds want to know.
According to WebMD, there are a number of causes for this silent killer of conversation and romance:
- You smell like what you eat: Yep, enjoy that garlic and sardine sandwich but don’t get up close and personal because the odor from foods will stay with you and your breath until you process them out of your body. You can brush and use mouthwash but this only temporarily covers up what lies beneath!
- Bad habits add to bad breath: Remember how we in the dental care community ask you to brush and floss daily? Well, in addition to keeping your teeth and mouth clean and healthy, food particles, without good oral hygiene will take residence under your gum line and between your teeth. Those food particles will generate bacteria which is not only bad for your dental health, it’s also bad for your breath.
- Tobacco: Where to start here. It is not the 1950’s anymore. Cigarettes aren’t cool anymore, as the days of James Dean have long since passed and in addition to other bad health impacts, tobacco will stain your teeth and give you a terribly unpleasant oral odor that you can’t brush away or cover up with mouthwash.
- There are other factors of general medical or dental health and these can be serious including but not limited to:
- Chronic dry mouth. If you have issues generating saliva which help to clean your mouth you may be a victim of bad breath.
- Gum disease which has varying levels of severity can be a contributing factor and can cause long-term dental problems.
- Acid reflux could be turning your breath sour and anti-acids won’t cure this. Just like the food you eat, if it is in your stomach, there’s a good chance it is on your breath.
- Respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus infection and even a runny nose could introduce odor-causing bacteria to your breath and,
- More serious internal issues with your liver or kidneys could be adding to this issue
- If you fear you have any of these factors you should be in touch with your doctor and/or dentist immediately as none of them get better with time unaddressed.
We all want a nice white smile and breath that doesn’t force the people nearby to avoid your general proximity. While there are many things you can do to with regular daily maintenance and diet, underlying issues cannot be ignored. Get your annual physical and keep your regular dental appointments, brush, and floss and if you’re going to have a garlic and sardine sandwich, make sure your date does too.
If you’d like to learn more about your dental health, please call us to schedule an appointment with McBride Dental today! We would love to help you to maintain your healthy smile!