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The truth about the stink

Bad breath. Halitosis. Mal odor. All are related words that none of us want to think or hear too much about. But, the truth is, it’s very common. Does having bad breath mean you’re a bad brusher? Not necessarily. Bad breath is caused by a few different reasons, only one of which is poor dental hygiene.

Everyone has bad breath sometimes. So what gives? The foods you eat are a factor. For example, garlic and onions top the list for items that cause bad breath. The smelly sulfur compounds found in garlic and onions will linger in your mouth, flow into your bloodstream, and omit an odor upon your exhales (including when you get a little too close to your neighbor when talking). Ever notice someone with coffee breath? That’s right, drinks like coffee and alcohol also may serve up a case of halitosis due to their drying effect on the palette.

To counter the bad breath blues from food and drinks, make sure to drink plenty of water, try chewing sugarless gum to loosen up the foods that may be stuck in your teeth, and consider eating raw, crunchy, produce like broccoli, which create an unwelcoming environment in your mouth for bacteria.

Additional factors that could be causing bad breath include underlying health issues that contribute to sources of bacteria in the mouth. Xerostomia (dry mouth), periodontal disease (gum disease), respiratory infections (like pneumonia and bronchitis), diabetes, liver or kidney disorder, and gastrointestinal disorders (stomach conditions) are all causes of bad breath that need additional care beyond the tooth brush.

One interesting tip for testing your breath quality is to take your clean index finger and swipe it from the back of your tongue to the front of the mouth. Swipe your saliva swabbed index finger on the back of the opposite hand and let it dry. Then, smell the back of your hand. If it smells unfriendly, chances are, you may benefit from a breath freshener.

If you have any questions or concerns about healthy habits for your mouth, we invite you to call our personable staff today at 239-936-0597 or visit our website to make an appointment.

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