Have you ever woken up in the morning and realized you've got bad-smelling breath? Do you find that you sometimes have trouble making it go away? For many people, morning breath isn't just an unfortunate side effect of a good night's sleep. Chronic bad breath can last throughout the day and leave your friends and loved ones covering their noses. It can be an embarrassing topic for those who suffer from it.

Bad breath can be caused by several different factors, but the most common one is a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. Mouths have a great deal of bacteria in them naturally. It's what causes cavities to form on your teeth when you eat sugary foods. But too much bacteria can lead to oral health problems, including bad breath. To find out if you have bad breath, try licking the back of your hand, waiting for the saliva to dry, and then smelling it. Your saliva should smell about the same as your breath, so if it smells foul, your breath may stink as well.

The best solution for eliminating bad breath is to remove the bacteria in your mouth. Proper oral hygiene is a simple way to handle it. By brushing and flossing regularly, you'll be ridding your mouth of most of the bad breath-causing bacteria.

If you've been brushing regularly, but still suffer from bad breath, you may have dry mouth syndrome or a more serious condition of diabetes. Bad breath can also be caused by certain medications. Some people try to use mouthwash to kill off the bacteria that causes bad breath. While this can help, certain mouthwashes will actually make it worse. Many brands of mouthwash contain alcohol, which can dry up your mouth and make it even more vulnerable to the type of bacteria that causes bad breath. You can safely use mouthwash if you find one that is alcohol-free.

For more information about ways to combat bad breath, call our office for an appointment and ask our dentists. We'll be glad to help.