Bad breath is caused by a proliferation of certain oral bacteria that live all over the mouth forming a sticky, slimy layer referred to as biofilm. Not all bacteria in the mouth play a role in the creation of bad breath – it’s the non-oxygen breathing bacteria that makes things stinky and has you running for the mouth rinse and mints. But masking bad breath does nothing to address the underlying cause and may at times make the matter worse by dehydrating oral tissue with excessive use of rinses and washes. What’s really going on with bad breath and how can you get, and keep, fresh breath?
Oral Bacteria Feed On the Food We Eat
The non-oxygen breathing bacteria, or anaerobic bacteria, love to feast on the remnants of food that get trapped between teeth, under gum tissue, on our tongue and in the recesses of the mouth. During their feed-time gases are released as a by-product – and it’s these very gases that cause breath to smell stale not just in the moment but in some cases, for days to come. Knowing that bad breath is primarily the interaction of bacteria and food particles – it only makes sense to acknowledge that the primary cause of stinky breath is poor oral hygiene. Ineffective brushing and flossing creates a smorgasbord of treats for the slimy film of bacteria that is literally waiting to feast on trapped food particles. Brushing after meals and flossing once a day removes trapped food debris that, if left in-place, causes some serious breath issues.
But Maybe it’s Caused by Infection or Failed Dentistry?
For patients who do a great job brushing and flossing daily – you may be wondering ‘why’s my breath started to smell funny’? The truth is – there can be several factors that contribute to breath becoming less than fresh – from medications, certain illnesses such as diabetes, sinus issues, high alcohol intake and day-to-day dehydration – so getting to the cause of bad breath is essential to ensuring that a person’s physical health is not the reason. But dental infections and failed dentistry can be two other common ailments that give patients a weird taste in their mouth. An old crown that may not fit adequately frequently gets food trapped around the margins of the restoration. These trapped particles are really hard to remove and consequently overtime cause a rotten odor to be omitted. The same with a dental infection – not only is the taste nasty but the smell isn’t like stale coffee – it’s an odor that lets you know of poor oral health.
Family Dentists at Apple Dental Group on Elbow Drive want patients to have fresh breath all the time and recommend that any lingering taste or odor be reviewed by a dentist.