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Long list of causes for bad breath

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Rochester: Long list of causes for bad breath
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"I know a lot of people lie to me about how frequently they floss," said Dr. Christian Mathiesen, dentist.

If you have not flossed in the last couple of days, you likely already have bad breath. It is caused by food and plaque that gets caught between your teeth.

Dr. Mathiesen said, "Plaque is the biggest offender. Plaque is basically bacteria so we are talking about a bacterial infection in the mouth."

If you bleed when you floss, it's time to floss often.

"The bleeding is a sign of infection and inflammation. It's the area of the teeth that is not self cleaning that requires intervention and that is why flossing is so important," explained Dr. Mathiesen.

Serious conditions that cause odor can include gingivitis and periodentitius. Other common reasons for bad breath are cavities.

"A simple thing some people do, they don't brush their tongue. It's important to brush the tongue to get all the debris and plaque off the tongue," noted Dr. Mathiesen.

And when it comes to choosing a tooth brush, choose soft bristles. They have more bristles, and are able to get in between the teeth to clean. It is also important to floss. If you don't like regular floss, the Go Between brushes are also a great alternative.

"The Go Between brushes are great, they are like very, very small bottle brushes and go in between teeth which is very helpful for older patients who may have recession and wider spaces in between their teeth," said Dr. Mathiesen.

Bad breath isn't always caused by your mouth.

"Sinus issues cause bad breath. Some gastric problems can cause bad breath," noted Dr. Mathiesen.

If you are pregnant, heed the warning, hormones can impact your oral health and fresh breath.

"The soft tissue tends to react more severely with plaque build up, so we see things like pregnancy gingivitis, which is basically an over reaction of soft tissue of plaque build up," added Dr. Mathiesen.

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