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Why Do I Have Bad Breath?

Dental Hygiene

A coworker stops you in the hall and then takes two steps back. Your partner leans in for a kiss and doesn’t linger. Your kids cringe when you stoop down to tell them something. Sound familiar? You probably have bad breath, and if you’re wondering why, we may have the answer.

Food and Drink
Food and drinks like coffee, alcohol, garlic, and onions can linger on your breath for hours after consuming them. Avoiding these foods before meetings, dates, and one-on-one time with another person can significantly reduce bad breath and embarrassing situations.

All food in general may cause bad breath as well. As the bacteria that live in your mouth break down the food particles stuck in your teeth, unpleasant smelling gasses may be released. Our Kelowna dentists recommend brushing your teeth after meals and flossing daily—these will be the first step in preventing serious dragon breath.

Since dentures work the same way as teeth, the same rules apply to dentures as they do to teeth. Food particles can become lodged between dentures and your gums, giving off an unpleasant odour. Cleaning your dentures and gently brushing the gums after meals will significantly reduce unpleasant odours.

Medical Illnesses
Sometimes illnesses such as a sinus infection or allergies can lead to smelly breath. As the mucus from your nasal cavity drips down the back of your throat, you may notice your mouth could use a breath mint—stat!

Cotton Mouth (AKA Xerostomia)
Mouth dryness may play a role in halitosis. Saliva in the mouth can be considered a natural mouthwash. It bathes and cleanses the inside of your mouth with bacteria that break down food particles. If your mouth is dry, a lack of saliva can lead to speaking with your hand in front of your mouth for the rest of the day. Sipping water or concentrating on breathing through your nose will help keep your mouth moist and fresh.

Not only does smoking cause your breath to smell like an ashtray, it also stops the flow of saliva and causes dry mouth, which as you now know, leads to bad breath.

Gum Disease
The build up of plaque, which often results from poor oral hygiene, is a warning sign of gum disease. Where gum disease is present, you can bet bad breath will make an appearance as well.

Visiting your dentist twice a year, as well as maintaining a brushing and flossing regime, will be the biggest help in the prevention of gum disease and bad breath.

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