Most of the time when you have bad breath, brushing your teeth and swishing around a little mouthwash takes care of the issue. But what about when it doesn't? If brushing and using mouthwash does not alleviate your stinky breath, you shouldn't just steer clear of breathing on others and otherwise ignore the issue. Ongoing bad breath is usually a sign of a dental health problem that requires treatment by your dentist. Here's a look at the most likely culprits.
Does your mouth feel a little cottony? Do you feel like you need to take a sip of water whenever you chew something dry like a cracker? You're probably suffering from dry mouth. When there's not enough saliva in the mouth, oral bacteria doesn't get rinsed away like they should. Instead, they breed in larger quantities and release their smelly byproducts, which is what gives you bad breath. It's important not to ignore dry mouth since it can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Your dentist can confirm your diagnosis and then recommend a treatment for your dry mouth. This may include:
Gum disease is caused by oral bacteria; it is essentially an infection of the gums. These oral bacteria, as mentioned above, release smelly substances. If your gums are at all red, sore, or sensitive to touch, you probably have the beginnings of gum disease.
In many cases, kicking your brushing, flossing and mouthwash routine into high gear will clear up gum disease. However, your dentist may also recommend a deep-cleaning procedure known as dental scaling to remove the bacteria from beneath your gumline and jumpstart your healing. You may also be given an antibiotic cream to apply to your gums for several days. Gum soreness and redness may seem like a minor issue, but don't ignore it. If left untreated, the infection can spread into the ligaments that anchor your teeth into your jawbone, leading to loose and lost teeth.
If your breath stays smelly even after you brush your teeth, chances are good that you either have dry mouth, gum disease, or both. Always check in with your dentist, like Port Orchard Dental Care Center, for an accurate diagnosis so that the issue gets treated properly.
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