If you find that you're constantly dealing with bad breath, it might not just be because of that fresh garlic in your salad at lunch. Rather, many causes of bad breath relate to oral hygiene, which means that if bad breath is occurring regularly, it's a good idea to schedule an appointment with your family dentist. While there's a chance that the bad breath may simply be a result of dehydration, which you can easily address on your own, you want your dentist to ensure that your issue isn't symptomatic of a serious dental problem. Here are some dental issues that may lead to bad breath.

Gum Disease

Gum disease can be detrimental for a host of reasons, including increasing your eventual risk of tooth loss. However, in the interim, you may find that gum disease — even if it's in its early stages — may be contributing to your bad breath. Your dentist will be able to assess your gums to discern if you're indeed dealing with gum disease, and can then help you successfully deal with it. Solutions can include changes to your brushing habits, more dental floss usage, frequent cleanings at the dental clinic, and rinsing with mouthwash multiple times per day.

Stuck Food Particles

In some cases, food particles that get stuck between your teeth can begin to rot, releasing bacteria that results in bad breath. Although you may be able to clean the food out with your toothbrush and some dental floss, it's a concern if this problem occurs in the same spot after each meal. Over time, rotting food may harm the quality of your tooth enamel and your gum health in the affected area. In addition to thoroughly cleaning the location for you, your dentist may advocate a veneer or other cosmetic procedure to fill in the problematic gap.

Smoking-Related Issues

If you smoke, your dentist will likely be able to see sign of your habit, which may include stained teeth. However, smoking can often also contribute to bad breath, and while you might not necessarily need to visit your dentist to learn that your smoking is contributing to the issue, it's worthwhile. When you speak to your dentist about smoking, you'll get an honest answer as to the issues that this habit can lead to, including gum disease, tooth loss, and other serious concerns. Armed with this information, you may be tempted to quit the habit.

For more information, contact a business such as Guerschon de Laurent DDS.