Bad Breath: What Causes It And What To Do About It
Almost all of us experience bad breath once in a while. But for some, bad breath is a daily problem for which they struggle to come up with a solution. Almost 25% of the population is affected by some kind of bad breath.
Halitosis is the Latin term for “bad breath”. The most common cause of foul breath is poor oral hygiene. Other reasons behind temporary halitosis include beverages, such as coffee or alcoholic drinks, and smoking. In this article, we will take you through all the potential causes, how to diagnose, and treatment options.
Common Causes Of Bad Breath
Halitosis is a common problem – one in every four individuals suffers from this condition. Halitosis is the third-most common reason why people see a dentist.
While halitosis can be caused by several different oral diseases, its most common cause remains poor oral hygiene. After eating, the food particles that remain behind in your mouth start producing sulfur, the main cause of bad breath.
This is why dentists recommend regular brushing and flossing teeth and staying hydrated. Quitting smoking will also help. But, if the problem has lasted more than days and months, definitely consult a dentist.
Other Potential Causes Of Bad Breath
Dry Mouth: Saliva cleans the mouth. If the mouth becomes dry, it results in foul breath.
Tobacco Consumption: Tobacco products increase the chances of gum diseases, which lead to foul breath.
Drugs: Many drugs reduce saliva production, which leads to dry mouth and halitosis. On the other hand, many other drugs break down and release chemicals that lead to bad breath. Those who take vitamin supplements, nitrates, or chemotherapy chemicals are more likely to develop offensive breath.
Crash Diets: Crash dieting, especially low-carb diets, forces fats to breakdown. When the fats break down, they release ketones, which lead to a bad oral odor.
Diseases: Diseases like metabolic disorders, cancer, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and liver disorders either release stomach acids or chemicals, which lead to bad breath.
Bronchiectasis: This is a medical condition that leads to mucus build-up within the body airways, resulting in halitosis.
Ketoacidosis: Diabetic patients tend to have a low insulin level. Their body reacts by using fat for energy. The fat breakdown causes ketone build-up, which causes bad breath.
Bowel Obstruction: This often forces people to vomit, leading to bad breath.
How to Tell If You’ve Got Bad Breath
If you think you suffer from bad breath, ask a close friend or a family member you are comfortable with. If you are still hesitant, you can try this: Lick your wrist and leave it to dry for about five minutes. After about five minutes, smell the part where you’d licked. If your wrist is also smelling bad, then you are most likely suffering from halitosis.
Tips To Improve Bad Breath
The best way to treat halitosis is to practice good oral hygiene, including the following
- Don’t skip brushing and flossing your teeth
- Avoid smoking tobacco and tobacco-based products
- Visit the dentist twice annually
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash or gel per your doctor’s suggestions
If you are experiencing bad breath due to any disease, discuss the issue with your doctor and undergo treatment.
There you have it! Contact Paul Mansky Dental today! We are located in Troy, Michigan and can be reached at (248) 689-5508 and we hope to hear from you soon!