Do you find that you're often popping gum or mints in your mouth to try and hide a case of bad breath? Unless it's garlic breath you're trying to hide, you might be doing more harm than good by simply camouflaging the issue rather than digging a bit deeper to discover the root cause. Bad breath is often caused by something more sinister, such as:
Gum disease is essentially a bacterial infection. Bacteria invade your gum tissue, causing symptoms that start off as quite minor – bleeding when flossing and a little redness – but eventually progress to pockets in the gums and loose teeth. These bacteria release stinky compounds as they feed on any sugar in your mouth. So, if you are experiencing gum soreness, bleeding, or redness along with your bad breath, it's important to take steps to eliminate gum disease. Start brushing and flossing more thoroughly, and use an antiseptic mouthwash twice per day. If this does not take care of your symptoms, see your dentist, who may recommend an antibiotic to stop gum disease (and your bad breath) in its tracks.
The same bacteria that cause gum disease also cause tooth decay, so cavities and decay can give off a stench, too. Don't assume that just because you can't see a cavity, you don't have one. Decay very often begins between the teeth where you can't see it. If your teeth are sensitive to hot and cold or to pressure, these are signs of tooth decay, too. See your dentist sooner rather than later, so hopefully the prescribed treatment will be just a filling and not a root canal or tooth extraction!
Do you often experience a cotton-mouth feeling? Do you have trouble eating drier foods without sipping water at the same time? You may be suffering from dry mouth. When your mouth is dry, it's usually because your salivary glands are not producing enough saliva. As a result, oral bacteria are allowed to proliferate instead of being washed away, and they give off a nasty smell. Dry mouth may just be annoying in the beginning, but it can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease if you don't do anything to treat it. Your dentist can recommend a rinse or gel especially for those with low saliva production. This should help alleviate your symptoms, including the bad breath.
Many medications, such as asthma medications and corticosteroids, reduce saliva production. If your dentist feels a medication you're taking may be making your dry mouth and bad breath worse, he or she may work with your doctor to find a different medication you can take that does not cause this issue.
Bad breath is not just annoying. It's an indication that you're suffering from tooth decay, gum disease, dry mouth, or a combination of these issues. Heed the warning, and seek treatment soon from a local expert, like a specialist in periodontal surgery Lakeland, FL offers.