Do your friends and loved ones complain or make jokes about your breath? Bad breath can creep up on you at any time and rob you of your confidence and kisses from your spouse. There are many reasons for your mouth to go sour. Some are harmless, but you should know when to see a dentist because a professional can spot serious health or dental problems.

Harmless Causes

First, you should see if simple solutions will help your bad breath go away. Many times bad breath is caused by strong smelling or spicy foods. Smoking is a notorious cause and some medications can make you mouth dry, preventing your natural saliva from cleaning your mouth. Or, you may just not be cleaning your teeth well enough. So, the next thing to try is scheduling an appointment with your dentist for a cleaning.

How Your Dentist Can Help

While you are in the dentist’s chair, a professional will also be able to spot any more serious problems. Tooth decay, cavities and abscesses all create bad breath. Gum disease, often indicated by bleeding gums, causes the gums to pull away from the teeth. As this happens, it creates pockets for food and bacteria to get stuck in.

Most cases of bad breath can be resolved by dental treatment, but if it can’t your dentist can give you a referral and information on how to talk to your doctor. Bad breath is sometimes a symptom of illness such as diabetes or gastric reflux but further medical testing can help determine that.

What You Can Do to Prevent Bad Breath

The number one way to care for your teeth on your own is to brush and floss regularly. Your dentist can identify trouble spots and give you a refresher to help you make sure you are resolving your problems. You can also drink more water and chew sugarless gum to help keep your mouth clean during the day. For more information about these and other dental issues, please contact us.