Embarrassing and unsociable, bad breath is a common condition that many people suffer from needlessly.
Bad breath, or halitosis as it’s professionally known, can be caused by a number of everyday causes.
What you eat – or don’t eat.
Once garlic, onions and certain spices are absorbed into your bloodstream, their odors are transferred to the lungs, where they are expelled through your breath. You can mask the odors by brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash, but until the food has been eliminated from your body, you won’t fully get rid of the smell.
Bad breath can also be a nasty side effect of today’s popular low carbohydrate diets. The reason for this is that low-carb diets force the body to burn stored fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. As the excess fat gets burned away, the body releases ill-smelling chemicals called ketones through the breath and urine. In addition, the high-protein component of low-carb diets can also contribute to halitosis since many cases of bad breath result from the breakdown of food particles that produce sulfur compounds, and high-protein foods are known producers of these compounds.
Your brushing and flossing habits.
It’s essential that you brush and floss your teeth daily in order to get rid of the food that can collect between your teeth, on your tongue and around your gums. If food particles are not removed, they can rot, leaving an unpleasant odor in your mouth.
Persistent bad breath can be a sign of gum disease. If you notice that you have red, swollen or tender gums that bleed when you brush your teeth, or gaps in-between your gums and your teeth, you may be experiencing the first signs of gum disease. Talk to us about steps you can take to halt or even reverse the indications of this preventable disease.
Dry mouth, or xerostomia, occurs when the flow of saliva decreases. Dieting, fasting and the use of diet pills and other medications can slow down the production of saliva, which is known as “nature’s mouthwash” due to its function in washing away bacteria and sulfur compounds in the mouth that cause halitosis. Dry mouth can also be caused by salivary gland problems or from continuously breathing through the mouth. In addition to bad breath, dry mouth can also put patients at risk for cavities and gum disease. When saliva is not present in the mouth to continuously flush foods away, food particles may adhere to teeth and begin the decay process.
Tobacco use leads to bad breath, amongst other medical problems. Talk to your dentist and doctor about tips to help you cut down or eliminate your tobacco habit.
An infection in the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, liver or kidney ailments are some possible medical sources of bad breath. If we determine that your mouth is healthy and that your oral hygiene is on track, we may suggest a visit to your family doctor to determine alternate causes of bad breath.
If you have any concerns at all about your breath, please ask us us to help diagnose the cause of your bad breath! We’d love to help you! 734.485.2200