The Merry Month Of May And Bad Breath

bad breathIf you’ve seen the movie Camelot, you may remember the celebration of May Day–May 1st. Although we are past May Day, the month of May used to be synonymous with dating and romance. You might wonder how they kept their breath fresh back in medieval times. The fact is, although they probably didn’t know exactly what caused bad breath, they were aware of it and had ways to combat it, including chewing herbs, and rinsing their mouth with wine. Today we are aware of many factors that cause bad breath. If you are experiencing chronic bad breath, or halitosis, your Pella dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Allen, can evaluate your condition and suggest treatment to help manage the problem.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Most of us are aware that strong foods like onions, garlic, coffee, and habits like smoking can cause bad breath. Whereas most adults suffer bad breath on occasion, persistent bad breath can be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition. Bad breath is usually the result of oral bacteria breaking down the proteins in your mouth. This is often due to dry mouth or gum disease. Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection of the gum tissue around your teeth. Bacteria present in your mouth feed on sugars and starches from foods and beverages creating plaque, a sticky film that, if not removed in a timely manner, hardens into tartar. This causes the gum tissue to swell and bleed and can result in halitosis.
However, there are other conditions that can cause bad breath, some due to the oral cavity, sinuses, the esophagus, and stomach. Some of these conditions include:

  • Lack of oral care
  • Post nasal drip
  • Sinus infection
  • Tonsil infection
  • Polyps
  • Gastric reflux
  • Gastritis
  • Brush twice a day for two minutes and floss daily.
  • Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash.
  • Brush your tongue or use a tongue cleaner.
  • Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.

How To Treat Bad Breath

If bad breath is still persistent, it may be due to gum disease, for which your dentist will apply appropriate treatment, such as scaling and polishing your teeth.

About Dr. Jeffrey Allen

Dr. Jeffrey Allen provides comfortable dental care to patients of all ages. Call (641) 628-1121 today to schedule a checkup and cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or second-opinion visit. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella, IA. Please see the map for directions.