Bad Breath Treatment – Halitosis, Bad Breath Causes

Introduction – Bad Breath Treatment

Bad breath is a common problem that embarasses many. It is medically called Halitosis and can result from poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other health problems. It can be made worse by the types of foods one eats and other unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking, drinking etc.

Causes of Bad Breath, Halitosis

Some foods naturally cause bad or strong odors in the mouth. These can be washed off. However some foods that are eaten are usually broken down in the mouth. As foods are digested and absorbed in the bloodstream, they are eventually carried to the lungs and given off in the breath.

This is the reason why some foods with strong odors (such as garlic or onions), brushing and flossing – even mouthwash - merely covers up the odor temporarily. The odor will not go away completely until the foods have passed through the body.

Apart from a social discomfort a persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may be warning signs of gum (periodontal) disease or other diseases.
Irregular brushing, flossing may lead to remnant food particles in the mouth which promote bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. This causes bad breath. In addition, odor-causing bacteria and food particles can cause bad breath if dentures are not properly cleaned. Smoking or chewing tobacco-based products can also cause bad breath, stain teeth, reduce the ability to taste foods, and irritate the gums.


Addressing Bad Breath

Apart from a social discomfort a persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may be warning signs of gum (periodontal) disease or other diseases. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on teeth.

The bacteria cause toxins to form in the mouth, which irritate the gums. If gum disease continues untreated, it can damage the gums and jawbone. Other dental causes of bad breath include poorly fitting dental appliances, yeast infections of the mouth, and dental caries.

There are conditions like dry mouth (also called Xerostomia) can also cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten and cleanse the mouth by neutralizing acids produced by plaque and washing away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. If not removed, these cells decompose and can cause bad breath.

Dry mouth may be caused by the side effects of various medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous breathing through the mouth.

Other medical conditions like pneumonia or bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and liver or kidney problems may also lead to bad breath. For treatment and prevention of bad breath these conditions need to be addressed.

- Link of Interest: Website American Dental Association

This article is not medical advice nor a substitute to professional health advice. Always consult a doctor.


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