When someone tells you that your breath stinks, your first reaction may be to intensify your oral hygiene routine. Many times, brushing more often, flossing regularly, and using mouthwash does cure a case of bad breath – but what if it doesn't? If you have been caring for your teeth properly but still have stinky breath, it's possible that there's another underlying condition contributing to the problem. By identifying that condition, you can take the proper steps to rid yourself of bad breath.
When your mouth is dry, it is very appealing to oral bacteria that cause bad breath. Your breath might clear up for a little while after brushing your teeth, but them become stinky again just a short time later. People don't always notice that their mouths are dry until they seriously think about it. If your mouth often feels sticky, you feel the urge to sip water all of the time, or you have trouble chewing and swallowing dry foods like crackers, you're probably suffering from dry mouth.
To fight dry mouth, ask your dentist about a special rinse you can use to increase saliva production. Chewing on sugar-free gum throughout the day can also help. If you are taking prescription drugs, talk to your doctor, as dry mouth is a side effect of many drugs including hormone replacement medications, diabetes medications and anti-depressants.
Pieces of food, mucous and bacteria can become caught in your tonsils, forming little white stones. You might be able to see them if you open wide and look in the mirror, or you may notice that you cough them up every once in a while. These little stones are quite stinky, and they can cause bad breath. If you suspect that your bad breath may be due to tonsil stones, having your dentist or doctor extract them is a good short-term solution. Having your tonsils removed can permanently fix this problem if it becomes an on-going issue.
Even with proper oral hygiene, sometimes teeth begin to decay. Tooth decay can cause bad breath. If it has been a while since you've been to the dentist, there is a chance that one or more of your teeth are beginning to develop decay, and that this is contributing to your bad breath. Do not assume that since you cannot see the decay, it is not there. Often, the areas between your teeth begin to decay first, and you cannot see any physical symptoms. Your dentist will look for decayed areas and treat them with fillings or crowns; the smell should disappear after this.
For more information, contact Arrowhead Family Dentistry or a similar location.