For most, bad breath is a temporary, infrequent problem. For others, it can be caused by health issues, making breath smell unpleasant often. If you’re from either camp, the holidays are some of the worst times to experience bad breath. Being close to family and friends may be the ultimate goal this time of year, but the embarrassment of bad breath may keep you distant. Don’t let your breath stand between you and your loved ones this season. Pella general dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Allen, explains causes of bad breath and what to do to treat it.
Bad Breath from Food
While most of us understand that food can cause bad breath, not everyone knows how that happens or how long it can last. We actually carry odors from foods until it has completely left the body. Food absorbed into the bloodstream during digestion is carried to the lungs. The food odors we smell from breath comes from food molecules being breathed out. There are other causes of bad breath, however. Poor oral hygiene allows plaque to build up and bacteria to grow in the mouth. For those with gum disease, bad breath could become persistent as microbes settle beneath gums and away from areas where they can be rinsed out. Other health problems could be signaled by constant bad breath, like diabetes or bronchitis. Since nobody has time for these health problems during the holidays, talk to your dentist about how to keep bad breath from complicating your life.
Keep Your Breath Fresh
Bad breath caused by food usually won’t last long, and can be covered by mints, mouthwash, or breath spray. Chewing gum can also mask bad breath, as well as prevent it from occurring later. Chewing brings saliva that helps clean food particles and bacteria out of the mouth. For those with dry mouth (xerostomia), gum may help produce more saliva and stop bad breath. Regular, thorough oral care can prevent plaque and bacteria from building up. Maintaining a schedule with your dentist aids in keeping your mouth clean and your breath fresh.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Pella Dentist
Dr. Jeffrey Allen provides comfortable dental care to patients of all ages. Call (641) 628-1121 today to schedule a checkup and cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or second-opinion visit. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella, IA. Please see the map for directions.