You’re leaning in for a kiss with your favorite someone, but suddenly the chemistry between you seems to have plummeted. What went wrong?
Bad breath happened!
You may not know you have bad breath. This phenomenon is because odor-detecting cells in the nose eventually become accustomed to the constant flow of bad smells from the mouth. As your source for a Bellevue orthodontist, we wish we had a miracle cure for bad breath, but the best way to eliminate it is through your own personal routine.
Surprising Causes of Bad Breath
It’s not simply just a matter of avoiding onion and garlic. The following factors may intensify bad breath:
- Stress can decrease your salivation production and allow smelly bacteria to flourish.
- Dieting that cuts outs carbohydrates can generate molecules called “ketones,” which smell similar to rotten fruit on your breath.
- Age-related bad breath can be from false teeth, bridges, and dentures that aren’t cleaned regularly. Bacteria then collect and emit a sulfurous compound, packing a pungent odor.
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy, menopause or menstruation, can lead to less-than-pleasant breath. An increase in the production of the hormones progesterone and estrogen can cause elevated protein in your saliva with its stinky sulfuric smell.
- Dry mouth: A lack of saliva production and is often a side-effect of certain medications. Without a constant flow of saliva to flush away oral bacteria, dead cells stick to your tongue and the inside of your cheeks. Bacteria use these cells for food and expel compounds that have a toxic odor.
- Infections or diseases: Gum disease, throat, sinus, lung infections, and systemic illnesses (diabetes, liver or kidney failure) can contribute to bad breath.
- Poor dental hygiene habits: Infrequent or improper brushing and flossing can leave food particles to decay inside the mouth.
Make the Smell Go Away!
Here are 4 tips that will help keep your breath fresh, whether you’re talking with a friend, or being a little more romantic.
1. Lots of Water! Plenty of water goes a long way in flushing bacteria and food particles before they grow in smell and quantity!
2. Chew Sugar-Free Gum. Notoriously smelly foods (onion, garlic, fish) can be detected on your breath for up to 72 hours! If you’re not willing to give them up, increase your saliva flow by chewing sugar-free gum to help wash away odor.
3. Natural Breath Fresheners. These include mint, parsley, cloves, cinnamon, fennel seeds, raw carrots, and celery. Of course, you could always take a shot of minty mouthwash too.
4. Practice Good Oral Hygiene! Brushing twice a day for two minutes (include your tongue!) and flossing once a day will go far in keeping bacteria levels low. Regular dental checkups with the dentist will help remove what you may have missed and prevent gum disease from getting out of hand.
Freshen Your Kiss
Bad breath can significantly impact you personally and socially. If you have trouble identifying the source of your bad breath, we can help out and offer practical solutions. Your lips were made for more than smiling!
Contact us today and give yourself an incentive to smile and pucker up, knowing your breath is behaving itself as it should!
When you encounter someone with bad breath, do you tell them about it, or leave if for someone else to do it?