07 Sep Bad Breath: What are the major offenders?
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a common dental problem and a potentially embarrassing one. No one wants to make a bad first impression on a job interview or first date because of overpowering breath. This condition can be reversed, but in order to eliminate the problem you must first know what is causing it.
Several issues can result in bad breath. If you have this complaint, your dentist will explore your history and lifestyle to see which of the following factors may be at fault for your bad breath. You may be referred to other dental specialists or doctors, depending on the apparent cause of your condition.
- Infection: A strong odor on your breath can indicate the presence of bacteria, such as an abscess or other infection. Your dentist can examine your teeth for signs of an abscess or your gums for symptoms of inflammation and gum disease, and when those conditions are treated, your bad breath may disappear. Open sores that become infected can also cause bad breath.
- Poor oral hygiene: If you’re not brushing and flossing adequately, oral bacteria can accumulate and cause a bad smell in your mouth. Poor oral hygiene allows bacteria to proliferate and fails to remove the food particles that provide nutrition sources for those same bacteria.
- Food: Some food, like garlic and onions, can leave its mark on your mouth for quite a while after you’ve enjoyed your meal, making your breath less than its freshest.
- Tobacco use: Smoking causes bad breath on its own, and chewing tobacco use can increase a patient’s risk of developing gum disease and accompanying bad breath.
- Dry mouth: When you don’t have enough saliva – whether it’s due to a medication or some sort of physiological issue – your mouth is less effective at clearing away bacteria, so they build up and bring their stink with them.
- Diseases: Sinus conditions can be associated with postnasal drip, which is a significant cause of bad breath. Strep throat also involves the presence of a great deal of bacteria – and the bad breath that come with them. Other disease processes, like those involved in some cancers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and metabolic disorders can also cause bad breath.
You can beat bad breath once you know what conditions are causing it. If you are struggling with this issue, come to our office for an evaluation that can lead you to effective treatment.