Garlic or other strong smelling foods are not always the cause of bad breath. Here are 4 other common causes to be aware of:
- Poor oral hygiene: Factors that contribute to inadequate oral hygiene include things like infrequent brushing/flossing, chronic dry mouth, oral infections, smoking or chewing tobacco.
- Sinus infections: The sinuses are air filled passages in our heads. When fluid becomes trapped in the sinuses, bacteria and excess mucus can collect and this may lead to infection. Symptoms of a sinus infection may include post nasal drip, poor sense of smell, facial pain and pressure, fever, and runny nose. Viruses cause most sinus infections, and symptoms usually resolve on their own with rest and fluids. If you are experiencing chronic sinus infections, you should speak with your physician to see if there might be an underlying cause.
- Reflux or GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease): Frequent acid reflux can cause bad breath as well. Symptoms of GERD include heartburn, difficulty swallowing, feeling like something is caught in your throat, as well as dental caries and tooth erosion.
- Abscessed tooth: An abscessed tooth occurs when bacteria invades the pulp or nerve tissue inside the tooth. This leads to bacterial infection and can result in pain, swelling, bad breath and/or taste.
Once the above causes have been ruled out or treated, here are some tips to keep your breath smelling fresh:
- Brush and floss your teeth a minimum of twice daily
- Brush your tongue twice daily
- Consider adding a Waterpik to your oral hygiene routine (https://eauclaireparkdental.ca/what-is-a-waterpik/)
- Use a neutral pH mouthrinse twice daily (like SmartMouth) – which prevents and eliminates bacterial production of sulfur gas
- Drink plenty of water each day (8 glasses minimum) and eat a healthy well balanced diet