Bad Breath: What Is Behind It?

Bad breath is not just an embarrassing social problem. If you have bad breath, it's important to speak to your dentist so that they can identify the underlying cause and treat it. Read on and find out what is causing your bad breath and what you should do to remedy things.

Your Diet 

Certain foods that taste wonderful when you eat them can leave behind less-than-pleasant odors. Garlic, salsa, and other highly spiced foods and drinks will leave a lingering odor that others can detect. In many cases, the issue is food particles that are stuck between your teeth or elsewhere in your mouth. To alleviate this, brush and floss after consuming garlicky foods, onions, and more. You might want to invest in a tongue scraper as well. Bacteria, which can carry odors, can cling to your tongue even after brushing. Mouthwash works well for some, but it might only give you a temporary reprieve from bad breath. Ask your dentist about using antibacterial rinses as well.


Those who wear dentures (partials and bridges too) could find themselves plagued with bad breath. If you have added some teeth using dentures and the like, you might be missing areas that are hiding bacteria, which can cause odors. Removable appliances should be cleaned nightly, but you might also want to speak to your dentist about fit issues. When something doesn't fit well, it allows more hiding spots for food particles and bacteria to grow. See if you need to have your dentures or partials adjusted to eliminate that problem. If you are fitted with a bridge, you may need to take special care when brushing and flossing to clean around it. It's easy for food to get stuck behind the wires or between the false tooth and your natural teeth. After eating, try to rinse your mouth with water even if you cannot remove your dentures for cleaning at the time.

Dry Mouth

This dental situation can happen because of several issues. For some, just getting a bit older means you have less saliva production than before. Since it's been said that saliva is nature's own mouthwash, your mouth may not be as clean as it should which causes bad breath. Medications are also a big cause of dry mouth issues, and it might not be possible to switch to one that has less of an effect on your saliva levels. The obvious remedy is to increase your intake of water, but you may need to do more than that to offset the problems with a dry mouth. Other fixes include moisture rinses and sugar-free mints or gum.

Speak to your dentist to learn more.