Everyone knows that onions and garlic will give you bad breath, but stinky foods aren't the only things that can cause this problem. A wide variety of dental problems can be the root cause of bad breath, and you need more than mouthwash and mints to fix them. Here are five dental conditions that might be the real cause of your bad breath.
Gum disease is caused by poor oral hygiene. When you don't brush twice a day and floss once a day, plaque and food are allowed to accumulate on your teeth and along your gum line. The bacteria in the plaque and food irritate your gum tissue and lead to gum disease.
In the milder form of gum disease, gingivitis, your gums will be red and swollen, and may bleed when you brush or floss. In the more serious form, periodontitis, your gum tissue will pull away from your teeth, and pus will fill the pockets between your teeth and gums. This infection attacks both your gums and the nearby tissues, and leads to bad breath.
Tooth decay occurs when plaque and food particles are left on your teeth. Bacteria in your mouth feed on your plaque and food, and when they feed, they release acids. These acids are very harmful to your tooth enamel, and will eventually eat right into your teeth. This process doesn't smell very good, but once your tooth decay is treated, your breath should be fresh again.
Infections inside your mouth are another possible cause of bad breath. When tooth decay isn't treated promptly, it progresses into the center of the tooth, the pulp. The pulp becomes infected, and a pocket of pus forms at the base of your tooth. This pocket is called an abscess, and if any of the pus drains into your mouth, your breath will smell terrible. This condition is a dental emergency, so see your dentist right away if you think this might be the cause of your bad breath.
Even something as simple as a dry mouth can cause bad breath. Saliva helps to rinse food particles off of your teeth and keep bacteria in your mouth under control, so without enough of it, you can end up with bad breath. There are lots of things that can lead to dry mouth, such smoking cigarettes, not drinking enough water, or taking certain medications. Your dentist can help you restore your flow of saliva, and if that doesn't work, you may need to use artificial saliva.
Bad breath is also one of the major symptoms of oral cancer. Oral cancer can develop anywhere inside your mouth, such as your tongue, the insides of your cheeks, your gums, or the roof of your mouth. Oral cancer usually causes either a visible sore or a red or white patch inside your mouth, but these lesions can be hard to see when you examine your mouth in a mirror. Your dentist will be able to see places that you can't, and will be able to tell you if this is the cause of your bad breath. Fortunately, this condition is very treatable if it's caught early.
Many of your favorite foods can cause bad breath, but foods aren't the only culprits. There are many dental conditions, some of them serious, that can cause bad breath. If you have persistent bad breath, you need to see your dentist right away for a checkup. If your dentist discovers that your bad breath is the result of one of these dental problems, he or she will treat the problem, and your breath will smell fresh again. For more help, look at sites like http://www.silveradofamilydental.com.