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Bad Breath: A dentist’s explanation and prevention tips

No one likes to be around someone with bad breath.  And even worse is to be the one WITH the bad breath.  It can be downright embarrassing!

Bad breath, also known as Halitosis, is caused by bad oral habits, the types of foods we eat, and other unhealthy habits.

Raise your hand if you have NEVER had bad breath.

I don’t see any hands raised.  And that’s because we have ALL had bad breath at one time or another.  When we wake up in the morning or have eaten something like onions or garlic, we have bad breath.  But if you have bad breath consistently, then there is a bigger issue.

Studies show that 80% of bad breath comes from an oral source. For example: Cavities, gum disease, dirty appliances, and broken fillings or teeth. Other sources can be medical conditions like acid reflux. Even smoking or chewing tobacco can cause bad breath and irritate the gums.

At this point you may be wondering, what I can do to prevent bad breath?

We at Montgomery Dentist recommend the following prevention tips:

1) Brush and floss twice a day. 

2) Maintain your six-month cleanings with your hygienist.  I promise we aren’t just saying this to stay in business!  We are able to find problems before they get out of hand and perform deep cleanings of your teeth that your average toothbrush isn’t able to do. 

3) Scrape your tongue every time you brush. 

4) Make sure all decay is removed and all restorations are complete. 

5) Try and avoid foods that sour your breath. 

6) “Kick the habit” if you smoke or dip tobacco.

If you still have a problem with bad breath, give us a call.  We can review your medical history and discuss your current medical conditions that may be playing a role.

For those of you that still have questions about your breath, ask us at your next cleaning or call us 334-279-0760.  We are here to help and keep you smiling!

Photo Credit: Jackson Lewchuk​

About the Author

  • Dr. Jay L. Robertson

    Dr. Jay L. Robertson

    Dr. Jay Robertson joined our practice in July 2008. He is from Montgomery and is a graduate of Saint James School, Birmingham-Southern College, and the University of Alabama, Birmingham School of Dentistry. He is a member of the American Dental Association, the Alabama Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry.

    Dr. Robertson and his wife Jennifer have four children, John Campbell, Julian, Lowe, and Ansley.

    Dr. Robertson serves on the board of the Montgomery Quarterback Club and is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Montgomery. When not at work, Dr. Robertson enjoys all things sports, including Auburn, golf, and his children’s various sports.

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