Bad breath (halitosis) is a problem that many people face in their lives. While bad breath is often a topic of humor or ridicule, it is something that should be dealt with. In this report, Dr. Stuart Rich discusses what can cause it and what you should do about it.
Bad breath is so common, we have a lot of euphemisms for it. Even the ancient Greeks and Romans had words for it. Bad breath can be caused by a number of things. Dr. Rich points out that about 80% of the time, the problem is an oral source. Bad breath can be caused by the food we eat (a temporary problem), but it can also be caused by untreated cavities and gum disease. Leaving food particles in the mouth can also be the cause. The other 20% of the problem can be caused by things like diabetes, liver disease, and post nasal drip, and undiagnosed respiratory issues.
Since oral issues are the biggest source of bad breath issues, Dr. Rich suggests that someone who wants to solve the problem should start by examining home care. Are spending two minutes brushing your teeth? Are you flossing? If not, that’s a good place to start. Dr. Rich also suggests using an antibacterial mouthwash.
If none of those things help, a person concerned about bad breath should contact a physician to see if there are physical conditions that could be causing the problem. Dr. Rich also suggests that people with bad breath should drink plenty of water to avoid a dry mouth. Don’t drink too much coffee, alcohol, or smoking, all of which cause stale breath. Another thing to consider is cleaning the tongue. Dr. Rich suggests using a tongue scraper. It can make a big difference.
Dr. Stuart H. Rich, DDS, practices dentistry with Simply Smiles of Auburn, Washington. Dr. Stuart Rich has been rated Top Dentist for the 5th year in a row, including 2014, by a survey of dental specialists, published annually in Seattle Metropolitan magazine. Sleep Better TV is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.