Why Does My Breath Stink?
Having bad breath is not only embarrassing, but it could also be a sign of a bigger problem. While an odorous mouth is a completely normal side effect of eating something fragrant (garlic, anyone?), your dentist in Douglasville wants you to know that chronic bad breath is something that warrants a dental visit sooner rather than later. These visits will help diagnose the underlying cause of your bad breath so that you and your dental team can find the best way to cure it. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of bad breath and ways you can make it go away.
- Dry Mouth.
Dry mouth is an annoying problem that many patients quickly dismiss. However, your dentist in Douglasville will be the first to tell you that a dry mouth can lead to a whole host of problems, including bad breath. In a normal, moist mouth, saliva works hard to help neutralize and rinse away acid and bacteria which helps protect your teeth against decay. But when there’s not enough saliva, the mouth can feel dry, bacteria and acid quickly build up, both of which can directly cause decay as well as give off an unpleasant odor.
- What You Can Do for Dry Mouth
Dry mouth can be caused by medications, or it could also be hereditary. Treatment would vary depending on the cause of your dry mouth, but the easiest way to help is to make sure to drink plenty of water every day. Keeping your mouth hydrated is an important step in keeping it healthy. If you suspect medications are causing dry mouth and bad breath, talk with your doctor about other potential solutions.
- Poor Oral Hygiene.
When we don’t practice a good oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing every day, leftover food particles are left behind in our mouths and wedged in between teeth. These food particles fuel mouth bacteria and the combination of foodstuffs and bacteria can release a funky stench. Proper oral hygiene is important for everyone, but those who wear dentures may be at increased risk for bad breath if dentures aren’t cleaned regularly.
- How to Practice Good Oral Hygiene
The best way to protect your breath from the dangers of bacteria is to remove it by brushing and flossing. Make sure to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes and floss at least once a day to remove food particles and bacteria that have built up throughout the day. Of course, seeing your dentist in Douglasville every six months will also help keep your teeth and breath fresh and clean.
- Gum Disease.
Perhaps the most concerning cause of bad breath is gum disease. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, causes deep gum pockets where food and bacteria can easily hide, making them very difficult to remove through regular brushing and flossing. The result is not just bad breath – untreated gum disease has also been linked to increased risk of stroke, heart disease, respiratory complications, and tooth loss.
- How to Combat Gum Disease:
The best way to prevent gum disease and the bad breath that goes with it is again to follow a proper oral hygiene routine and see your dentist regularly. If gum disease is untreated it will get to a point where you will not be able to reverse it.
Nobody should have to live with the embarrassment of bad breath, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. See your dentist as soon as possible if you notice chronic, recurring bad breath.
How Can Oral Health Affect Heart Health?
Every February seems to bring out the love in people, and there are hearts everywhere we look. From heart candy and heart decorations, we’re surrounded by bright, red hearts. But we’re not here to talk about those kinds of hearts. Today, we want to focus on your heart and how your oral health can actually affect heart health.
Heart Health Month
Another holiday that happens in February besides Valentine’s Day is one that’s really important to your dentist in Douglasville. It’s Heart Health Month, which strives to raise awareness of what increases our risk of developing heart disease and what we can do to help lower that risk. But what does this have to do with your dentist? We’re glad you asked.
The Connection Between Oral Health & Heart Health
When we talk about oral health as it relates to heart health, we want to put the focus on gum disease. Even though gum disease is an infection that originates in the mouth, it doesn’t mean that it can’t affect other areas of the body. The truth is, gum disease has been linked to a whole list of health concerns outside of the mouth including diabetic complications, lung conditions, and heart disease. In fact, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), people with gum disease are at increased risk for a heart attack. But how does an infection in the mouth cause problems elsewhere in the body?
As it turns out, our gums have a direct connection to our bloodstream, and when an infection occurs in our gums, it can also easily enter the bloodstream. When this happens, your body produces too much of something called C-Reactive Protein (CRP). Higher than normal levels of CRP can cause:
- inflamed arteries
- blood clots
- heart attacks
Elevated CRP levels can also be a warning sign before you may even know a problem is lurking in your body. The New England Journal of Medicine states that high CRP levels may be a top indicator of someone’s risk of a heart attack — more so than high cholesterol!
Know the Signs to Protect Yourself
Oftentimes symptoms of gum disease go unnoticed or people think they’re normal. However, being able to recognize when there may be a problem can mean the difference between successful treatment and bigger problems. Some common symptoms of gum disease include:
- Swollen, red, or tender gums
- Bleeding while brushing or flossing
- Consistently bad breath
- Chronic bad taste in the mouth
- Loose teeth
- Gums that appear to be pulling away from the teeth
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Douglasville as soon as you can.
The best way to protect yourself against gum disease is to make sure you brush and floss your teeth every single day. Proper at-home oral hygiene will remove plaque and bacteria buildup before it has a chance to infect the gums. It’s also crucial to maintain regular checkups with your dentist in Douglasville at least every six months. Not only do these appointments help remove buildup that regular brushing just can’t get, but they also help your dental team keep an eye on your oral health so any problems are caught and treated early before they have a chance to affect the rest of the body.