Knowing and understanding what causes halitosis, or bad breath, can help you prevent it and the embarrassment that often accompanies it. Halitosis is often linked with poor dental hygiene, and people may not be aware of how bad breath could be affecting them in their personal and working relationships. There are several potential causes and treatments available.
Common causes of halitosis:
- Dental problems, such as periodontal disease and tooth decay: Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly will remove some food pieces that can build up and break down, causing bad odors in the mouth.
- Bacteria: Plaque will form if brushing is not performed regularly. Plaque may cause gingivitis and without dental treatment, will induce periodontitis. Dentures may also harbor bacteria if not cleaned properly and regularly.
- Tobacco/drugs: Tobacco products change the odor within the mouth. Additionally, smoking has been found to increase the risk of periodontal disease.
- Food: There are several food products that cause bad breath, such as onion and garlic. After digestion, nutrients are absorbed into the blood, and furthermore into the lungs, where food products can continue to affect the breath. Fast food may also cause halitosis due to the breakdown of the fats, producing chemicals that affect the breath.
- Diseases: Some general health issues affect the odor of your breath; cancers, livers conditions, kidney disorders, and even decompensated diabetes may affect the odor of your mouth. In these cases, patients will experience significant symptoms and may seek medical attention.
- Medications: Some medications can reduce saliva, causing xerostomia, which may increase odors in the mouth. Medications with nitrates, such as chemotherapy, and some supplements such as multivitamins can also induce bad breath.
Oral hygiene is the key to most bad breath issues. Cleaning your teeth and flossing is not enough! Make sure you are going to a dental practice twice a year, avoid dry mouth and remove all debris on your tongue using a tongue scraper, especially if you are a smoker— this will help to prevent halitosis. If bad odor persists, it is recommended that you visit a doctor for further tests to rule out other conditions.
For patients who are undergoing a complete dental rehabilitation (individual crowns on implant & tooth or an All-on-4), it is vital that you understand the maintenance required for your new smile. Our doctors at STAR Dental Implant Center take pride in helping you overcome your insecurities and working with you to achieve your dream smile. For more information, call 1-866-828-2871 to speak to our patient coordinator.