Have you ever wondered whether you have bad breath? Do you know what can cause it? Statistics show that one out of four people have this problem with some studies reporting that half of the adult population is suffering with it. Some of the main causes are eating certain foods, compromised health conditions and having certain habits. Most of the time, you can treat the problem with proper oral hygiene. But if you’ve been diligently practicing good dental hygiene by brushing better and flossing more and still don’t see any change, you should make an appointment with your Santa Monica dentist or doctor to eliminate other serious causes of your condition.
External Causes: You can have external and internal sources for your odor. External sources can be certain foods in your meal, especially if you like spicy or strong foods (such as cooking spices, onions, garlic, and even tuna). If you think the smell in your breath may be caused by this reason, you’ll want to make a food log and record what you’re eating and when the problem appears. If you use tobacco or alcohol, you can also develop bad breath.
Internal Sources: Internal sources can develop in your mouth and affect your entire body. Your tongue is the perfect breeding environment for bacteria to stay and grow. Odor producing bacteria emit a chemical called volatile sulfur compound (VSC’s). Hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptain are the main elements to cause odor. These odor producing bacteria can be found in the back area of your tongue. Some Santa Monica dentists specialize in treating bad breath and use special equipment designed to measure the level of VSC’s in your breath.
Other Sources: There can be several sources that lead to odor formation in your mouth including: Poor denture hygiene can lead to food and plaque accumulation causing odors to develop; Dental problems such as poor dental hygiene, gingivitis and gum disease; Infections of the throat and sinus; Dry mouth due to poor saliva flow, especially when caused by medications or radiation therapy for cancer; Dieting; and having systemic diseases such as GI conditions, diabetes, kidney/liver failure, and lung infections or abscesses.
If you’ve tried to be diligent with your daily dental hygiene and the bad breath still persists, make an appointment to have your Santa Monica dentist find out the cause of the problem. He or she may carry mouthwashes designed to eliminate the VSC’s in your mouth. Continue with your efforts to improve your dental cleaning techniques by brushing with a flouridated toothpaste, flossing, and using other over the counter aids such as an interproximal brush cleaner and a tongue scraper.