(AscendHealthy.com) – Bad breath can be embarrassing, but it can also be an indication that something’s going wrong with a person’s health. Before you reach for the mouthwash and cut back on the onions, take a look at some surprising reasons that bad breath might be plaguing you.
How Clean is Your Tongue?
When people brush and floss, they do so to get rid of food particles and harmful bacteria that can damage the teeth and gums. But if they aren’t brushing their tongue, too, they’re missing out on an area of the mouth that may also harbor plenty of bacteria. To help reduce the potential for bad breath, brushing the tongue — or using a tongue scraper — is a good idea. Clean the tongue gently and from back to front, for the best results at keeping it clean and healthy while reducing the chances of bad breath.
A Dry Mouth Can Mean Bad Breath
If your mouth is chronically dry, it may lead to problems with bad breath. That’s because saliva is needed to wash away particles of food, bacteria, and acids that can damage tooth enamel. The volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) that cause bad breath don’t like saliva, because it’s not a good environment for them to live in. Drinking water throughout the day helps, but a condition called xerostomia (dry mouth) can mean that just drinking liquids isn’t enough. Fortunately, there are both prescription and over-the-counter products that can help with dry mouth issues.
Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep
If you don’t get a lot of sleep, or your sleep is broken up through snoring and waking up throughout the night, bad breath may be a result. That’s partially because people who snore are breathing through their mouth. When they do that, their mouth dries out and the saliva that would take away bacteria and VSCs isn’t around to do its job. Saliva production is naturally lower during the night, and snoring only adds to the problem. Snoring may be the result of medical conditions and have serious health consequences, so it’s important to find out if bad breath is caused by snoring at night.
Could Bad Breath Be Something More Serious?
While it’s not as common, there are times when bad breath might be the result of a more serious medical problem. Oral infections and gum disease may cause bad breath, as might kidney disease, diabetes, and a few other medical conditions. You don’t want to put off treatment for a significant medical issue.
Bad breath can be embarrassing, but it can also be an indicator that medical treatment is needed. If you’ve ruled out the obvious causes and are still dealing with the problem, check with your healthcare provider. It may be the right choice for ongoing good health.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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