More than 50 percent of us have had bad breath, or halitosis, at one point or another. It’s unpleasant and can cause you to be shunned in social situations. While most cases are the result of improper oral hygiene, there are other causes, some of which may be chronic and could lead to serious health issues.
What Is Halitosis?
Halitosis is primarily caused when excessive amounts of volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs) are produced by bacteria in the mouth. The amount of VSCs in your breath can vary throughout the day, depending on a number of factors that have an effect on saliva flow. Studies show that about half of us have halitosis in the morning before breakfast or morning toothbrushing because of the increased activity of bacteria during sleep, when saliva flow is reduced.
Improper dental hygiene is a leading cause. Food that isn’t brushed or flossed away will decay, and the feasting bacteria will produce the foul odor. Other causes of bad breath include:
Certain Foods and Drink. Garlic, onions, cheese, some juices, and soda, carry ingredients that are more odorous than others and are expelled through your lungs when digested.
Gum Disease. Infections cause bacteria to multiply, increasing the likelihood of bad breath.
Dry Mouth. Saliva is an enemy of bacteria, so when your mouth is dry, bacteria thrive. Dry mouth can be caused from sleeping wrong, smoking, some medications, gland issues, and other issues.
Chronic Diseases. Lung infections, cancers, kidney or liver failure, diabetes, and gastroesophageal reflux disease have all been shown to be associated with halitosis.
Sinus infections or other respiratory conditions. The discharge from these are breeding grounds for odor-causing bacteria.
Malnutrition. Whether unavoidable or the result of dieting or fasting, malnutrition can cause ketoacidosis, which is a breakdown of chemicals that can lead to bad breath.
Combat Bad Breath
Practicing good oral hygiene is the best place to start in your battle against bad breath. Regular brushing and flossing, rinsing with mouthwash or water, and brushing your tongue should go a long way to freshening your breath and fighting odor-causing gum disease. Eat and drink healthily and avoid tobacco use. Don’t forget to add regular cleanings and checkups to your arsenal of bad breath beaters.
Most of us have had bouts of temporary bad breath. However, for persistent bad breath that doesn’t seem to clear up no matter what you do, you should see us to discover the underlying cause and determine the appropriate treatment. At Reston Serenity Smiles, we can help you maintain fresh breath and keep a happy, healthy smile. If you are in Reston, Virginia, or the surrounding areas, contact our office to schedule a consultation or appointment today.