Why does my breath smell bad even after I’ve brushed and flossed?

We all know smoking and foods like garlic, onion, and coffee can make your breath stink. But bad breath can have a variety of causes; some linked to underlying diseases.

The leading cause of bad breath is periodontal disease, which is an infection of the gum tissue. Make sure you are brushing after every meal and flossing at least once a day. Also, make sure you are maintaining regular dental cleanings at least twice a year.

Areas in the mouth, like deep under the gum tissue, where bacteria can live even with good oral hygiene- may actually be missed when flossing, causing bad breath.  Many mouth rinses will help wash away bacteria from those hard to reach places.

Stinky breath can also be caused by foul-smelling tonsil stones or chronically infected tonsils. Tonsil stones are a hardened build-up of food or saliva and formed in the pockets of the tonsils.

Certain diseases or conditions like Sjogren syndrome or ketoacidosis can cause dry mouth. Dry mouth a.k.a xerostomia can also be a side effect of some medications. Check with your doctor about the medications you’re taking if you think you have dry mouth.

Mark M. Davis, DDS General and Cosmetic Dentist in Tulsa since 1982

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