Don't Be Afraid to Make an Emergency Dental Appointment

« Back to Home

Bad Breath? Don't Reach For A Mint, Reach For Your Dentist

Posted on

There are few things more embarrassing than bad breath. Experts estimate that Americans spend over $10 billion dollars on products that are designed to mask their bad breath. While mints, mouthwash, and toothpaste might provide temporary relief, if you suffer from chronic bad breath it may be time to schedule an appointment with your dentist.

Here are three dental conditions that could be contributing to your bad breath.

1. Bad breath could be a sign that you have tooth decay.

Many people will experience a cavity at some point during their lifetime, but serious bad breath could be a sign that advanced tooth decay is occurring inside your mouth. The bacteria found in your mouth play an important role in digestion, but when sugars from the foods you eat remain on the surface of your teeth for too long these bacteria can binge on the sugar.

As bacteria feed on sugar in your mouth, they begin to form an acid that erodes your tooth's enamel. This erosion is commonly referred to as tooth decay. Decaying enamel can emit an odor, so visiting your dentist to have any cavities filled could be a simple way to reduce your bad breath in the future.

2. Bad breath could mean it's time for a routine cleaning.

Anaerobic bacteria (or those types of bacteria that can survive without oxygen) are responsible for contributing to bad breath. When your teeth are overdue for a cleaning, you could experience a buildup of dental film over the surface of your teeth.

A layer of dental film as thin as 0.1 to 0.2 millimeters (which is roughly the thickness of a dollar bill) can create an oxygen-free environment inside your mouth. Anaerobic bacteria flourish, and your breath will begin to smell. Having your dentist regularly remove dental film from the surface of your teeth will help you prevent bad breath from being a problem in the future.

3. Bad breath could be a sign that you have periodontal disease.

It's estimated that 47.2% of American adults suffer from periodontal disease. If you have noticed an increase in your bad breath levels, you may want to consult with your dentist to rule out periodontal disease. If left unchecked, periodontal disease will cause your jawbone to erode.

This erosion leads to loose teeth that can fall out as you grow older. Treating periodontal disease early will help you mitigate your risks, so knowing that bad breath is a symptom of periodontal disease will help you determine when it's time to schedule an exploratory appointment with your dentist.

Bad breath is a common symptom of many dental problems. When you have chronic bad breath, reach for your phone and call a dentist like rather than reaching for mints that will only mask a potentially serious problem.