April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. While oral cancer isn’t a topic that most people…
Everyone has experienced bad breath at one time or another. Sometimes, we’ve very aware of our bad breath, other times, someone close to us has to tell us, or we don’t even notice. Of course, bad breath can be an obvious concern in certain social situations, and it can be caused by something as simple as eating food with a strong flavor or odor, such as garlic. These situations may be embarrassing, but they’re seldom a health concern. If you’re experiencing more chronic bad breath, however, you might want to talk to your Overland Park dentist.
Causes. The most common causes of bad breath include foods and beverages with strong flavors and odors such as garlic, onions, coffee, and sugar as well as habits such as alcohol consumption and smoking or using other tobacco products. Some medications can also produce bad breath indirectly by leading to dry mouth, which in turns leads to bad breath. In fact, dry mouth is a major contributor to bad breath. This is why we tend to notice bad breath first thing in the morning, especially if we sleep with our mouth open. Some call this “morning breath,” and it’s a very real thing. Chronic bad breath may have more serious causes, which we’ll get to in a moment.
Solutions. You can stop most cases of temporary bad breath with simple oral care routines that you should be doing anyway. In the event that you’re experiencing bad breath at work or during a social engagement and can’t brush right away, you can always chew some sugar-free gum or use one of those breath strips. In other situations, however, bad breath can indicate a more serious condition.
Concerns. Chronic bad breath may be an indication that you’re not brushing or flossing as regularly or as well as you should. It can also be an indicator of more serious conditions such as tooth decay, gum disease, acid reflux, or some even more serious diseases including certain types of cancer, diabetes, liver and kidney disease, and others.
If you’re experiencing chronic bad breath, the first thing you should do is to review your lifestyle and habits. Do you brush for at least two minutes twice a day and floss once a day? Are you drinking plenty of water? How’s your diet? Do you smoke or use other tobacco products? If you make these kinds of simple lifestyle changes and still experience bad breath, you’ll want to talk with your Overland Park dentist.
Bad breath may be something simple and easy to address, but it could also be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and your dentist will be able to help you identify and address the cause of the odor.
Of course, at Watts Family Dental, we’re always happy to see you, whether it’s to help address bad breath or simply to perform your biannual exam. Give us a call anytime at (913) 338-3384 to schedule an appointment or chat with a member of our friendly staff!