I Brush and I Floss, but I Still Have Bad Breath!
By Mina Levi, DDS, 09/18/2015
Bad breath is not something that anyone wants to suffer from, but sometimes no matter how often you brush and floss your teeth, your breath is still bad. In this week’s article, San Francisco Dentist Mina Levi, DDS discusses causes of bad breath, what bad breath could mean, and how we can treat it.
What are some of the causes of bad breath?
1. Food particles in the mouth. The first cause is simple, which is a buildup of old food/drink residue still left on the teeth. If you are brushing and flossing well every day, this shouldn’t be the problem causing the bad breath for you.
2. Bacteria build up on the tongue. While brushing and flossing your teeth is great and definitely necessary to clean the bacteria and food debris from the teeth, sometimes the tongue is ignored and can be a place where bacteria builds up into a film over the tongue and can cause bad breath.
3. Using tobacco. Smoking or chewing tobacco-based products can cause bad breath and stain the teeth.
4. Something’s wrong somewhere else in the body. Bad breath can be a sign that there is something going wrong or needs attention from somewhere else in the body, no matter how clean your mouth is. For instance, diabetes and acid reflux tend to have a specific breath odor associated with them.
What health problems are associated with bad breath?
1. Gum disease. Bad breath could mean that you are in the beginning stages of gum disease. Gum disease is caused by build up of plaque and bacteria in between the teeth and gums. If the gum disease goes untreated, it will advance to periodontitis and can cause tooth loss and jaw bone damage.
2. Dental decay. Decay of the teeth and especially the roots of the teeth can cause bad breath.
3. Dry mouth. Dry mouth is an underproduction of saliva, a necessary substance in the mouth to moisten and neutralize acids. Dry mouth can cause bad breath when dead cells are not washed away and the acids in the mouth build up.
4. Disease. Pneumonia, sinus infections, diabetes, acid reflux and liver or kidney failure all have associated bad breath odors.
What can we do to treat bad breath?
1. Brush your tongue too!
2. Drink lots of water
3. Quit using tobacco products
4. See the dentist and general health practitioner regularly
If you have concerns about your bad breath, visit Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi, DDS on the web at www.minalevidds.com or give us a call at (415) 513-5066.