Halitosis is the medical term dentists use for bad breath, and if you’ve ever suffered from it, you are not alone. Approximately 20% of the general population suffers from halitosis.
While bad breath is worrisome for the social stigma it brings, the causes of bad breath are usually simple and preventable. Knowing the specific causes of bad breath can help suggest treatments and identify which cases are serious.
At DentArana we suggest that if your bad can’t be dealt with at home, or lasts longer than a few weeks, it may be evidence of a deeper problem. In any case, your first stop for treatment of halitosis/bad breath should be your DentArana office!
Causes Of Bad Breath
General oral health. Most bad breath is related to poor oral hygiene. If you don’t clean your teeth and mouth regularly, food particles cause plaque to form on your teeth. The uneven surfaces in the mouth can trap food particles and bacteria, which produce bad breath odour. Poor oral hygiene also causes other oral health conditions such as cavities and gum disease, and these also cause bad breath.
Flavoured food & drink. Some foods, even healthy ones, like onions, garlic, certain vegetables and spices flood your blood stream with odour-causing particles that reach the lungs. Once in the lungs they affect the odour of your breath each time you exhale.
Coffee. Coffee can cause bad breath due its intense flavor. Also, the caffeine in coffee decreases saliva production. Less saliva means an increase in odour-causing bacteria.
Alcohol. Alcohol causes dehydration, drying out the mouth. Without enough saliva, bad breath germs have the capability to multiply rapidly, causing bad breath.
High-sugar diets. The bacteria that exist in your mouth feed on sugars turning sweet treats in to sour smells.
High-protein or low-carb diets. When the body doesn’t get enough carbs, changes to your body’s metabolism occur, which can lead to bad breath.
High-protein foods can be difficult for your body to digest and can release sulfurous gases when they don’t metabolize.
Smoking. Tobacco products—cigarettes, chew, pipe, it doesn’t matter—cause bad breath and worse.
Digestive issues. Poor digestion, constipation, or bowel ailments can cause odour on the breath. Acid reflux, allows the odours from recently consumed foods to make their way back up the esophagus and out the mouth, causing bad breath.
Dry Mouth. Saliva helps keep your mouth clean by removing food particles that lead to bad breath. When the production of saliva slows or stops, a condition known as xerostomia, bad breath is likely to follow. This happens naturally while you sleep, thus the expression “morning breath”. But if the problem persists throughout the day, treatment may be worth considering.
Prescription medication. Hundreds of prescription medications come with the side effect of dry mouth. If you suffer from dry mouth, check your medication side-effects.
Other causes. Bad breath can be a sign of other diseases as well. Postnasal drip, respiratory and tonsil infections, sinus issues, liver and kidney ailments, diabetes, as well as blood disorders can cause bad breath. In some cases, bad breath can be a sign of cancer or other serious conditions. If your dentist believes this to be true, you will immediately be referred to a physician.
Treating Bad Breath, At Home And In The Dentist’s Office
Treatment for bad breath (halitosis) depends on its cause. Usually, the most effective treatment is improving dental hygiene. As part of your daily routine, you should:
- Floss between teeth to clean between your teeth and remove trapped food that could cause tooth decay – brushing only cleans about 60% of the tooth.
- Brush teeth and gums with a small or medium-sized toothbrush with multi-tufted synthetic bristles. Replace your brush every three to four months. Brush at least twice a day, for two minutes.
- Clean your tongue
- Consider an electric toothbrush, which can make cleaning easier and more effective.
Your dentist may recommend an antibacterial or anti-odour mouthwash be included as part of your daily routine.
If you have bad breath, schedule a consultation at DentArana. We can help you choose hygiene aids to help you eliminate plaque and odour causing bacteria and review the techniques you should be using at home. Also, ask us about oral hygiene care products that help eliminate bad breath (antibacterial toothpaste, antiseptic mouth rinse, tongue brushes or scrapers and interproximal cleaning devices).
Dentarana Dental Is Your Partner In Health
DentArana provides family dentistry in Arana Hills. Our goal is to make quality dental care affordable, and help you achieve maximum oral and overall health! DentArana can help you with all your dental needs, from clean and scales to bridges and dentures. We offer late and Saturday hours!
New Patients Specials
Pay No Gap for Exam, Clean and Scale (with any health insurance) for under 17
No Health Insurance: Only $99 for Exam, Clean and Scale (under 17’s)