Have you noticed lately that people tend to keep their distance when you talk to them? Do your friends seem to be offering gum or breath mints more frequently? Maybe you do the breath test (you know, the scientifically-proven method of blowing into your palm and staking a sniff) and are shocked by the odor?
Chronic bad breath can really do a number on your social life, and it may not have anything to do with those onion rings you had for lunch. The causes of bad breath (aka halitosis) are much more complex than you might imagine, and understanding what causes these unpleasant mouth odors can help you avoid them.
Where did this Funky Smell come From?
We tend to think of bad breath as something that smelly foods like garlic and onions cause, which can happen to anyone. But if you have chronic funky breath, there are probably other contributing factors.
Improper oral hygiene: The most common cause of halitosis is improper oral hygiene. Food particles can get trapped in your teeth and gums and collect bacteria that smell bad. In addition, those food particles can begin to rot. Really gross, we know, but now you have another really good reason to brush and floss your teeth regularly and schedule regular dental cleanings at our Wilmington dental office.
Skipping meals: Infrequent eating can cause bad breath because it leads to reduced saliva production in the mouth. The production of saliva is necessary to help wash away and eliminate bacteria. Low carb diets commonly cause bad breath as certain chemicals called ketones are released in the breath as the body burns fat. Sometimes it seems like you just can’t win, doesn’t it?
Stress: You already know that stress does nothing good for your psyche or your body. To make things worse, it can also lead to bad breath. Anxiety can cause dry mouth, which also leads to a decrease in saliva production, which in turn leads to a buildup of the bacteria that create odors.
Diet: Not surprisingly, the food you eat affects how your breath smells. This is partly because food particles that remain in your mouth continue to smell – garlic and onions are the primary culprits - and partly because the foods you eat are absorbed into your bloodstream, transferred to the lungs and released when you exhale. Mouthwash is purely cosmetic because the odors will not go away fully until your body has processed and expelled the odiferous foods.
As you can see, bad breath can occur for any number of reasons. But the best way to head off those stinky smells in your mouth is to follow a sensible diet, stay hydrated if you’re feeling stressed, brush and floss your teeth conscientiously and schedule regular dental cleanings at Deep River Dentistry.