It is always fun to socialize with family and friends during the holidays, but nothing can put a sour mood on the festivities faster than sour breath. Your Mansfield dentists, Drs. Jones and Harris, discuss the most common causes of halitosis and some solutions to freshen your breath this holiday season.

Common Causes of Halitosis

For most people with bad breath, the top culprit is poor oral hygiene. Bacteria naturally build up in the mouth, taking up residence on the teeth, gums, and the tongue. There, they feed on leftover food particles, and then secrete an acidic by-product. This acid is what causes both tooth decay and gum disease. It is also foul-smelling, and is the leading contributor to bad breath. Another common reason people suffer from poor breath is because of the foods they eat. The pungent smell from a number of foods such as garlic and onions comes from natural oils. When the food is digested, these oils—and the smells they produce—can actually infiltrate the bloodstream and end up in the lungs, where they can become mixed up with breath that is being exhaled. While the poor breath is only temporary, there is not much that can be done to mask the smell until the oils have passed from your body. Sometimes, bad breath is caused by an underlying medical condition. Dry mouth, a common side effect of a number of medications, can lead to bad breath, as well as compromising your overall oral health. Other conditions known to produce bad breath are stomach ulcers, sinus infections, and acid reflux disease. If you think that your halitosis is caused by a medical issue, see your primary care physician.

Sweetening Your Breath

The best way to ensure your breath stays fresh is by practicing good oral hygiene. Make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Doing so removes the bacteria and their acidic by-products, as well as ensuring that tooth decay and gum disease are prevented. Don’t neglect the tongue, since bacteria also can grow there. If you don’t have time to brush, most mouthwashes will work to cover up the odor, though only mouthwashes containing peroxide will kill the bacteria. Because saliva is an important component in maintaining both oral hygiene and fresh breath, drink lots of water or chew a sugarless gum to promote saliva production. Tobacco use is also detrimental to breath. Improving your breath might not be the best reason to quit, but it will be one of the most noticeable.

See Your Mansfield Dentists

Are you concerned about your breath? Is it time for your checkup? Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris can provide comprehensive dental care at our 76063 dentist office. Call (817) 259-1357 to schedule an appointment today. We serve patients from Mansfield, South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, Midlothian, and surrounding communities.