Halitosis (the medical term for bad breath) is embarrassing and unpleasant. There are a number of possible causes, from eating habits to serious medical conditions. Your dentist can help you identify the source of your halitosis, and determine how to eliminate it.
Common causes of bad breath include:
- Food – Everything that you consume has the potential to affect your breath. Some compounds in food are absorbed by your body, and expelled through your lungs. Additionally, poor oral hygiene leaves small particles of food in your mouth. Odorous foods such as garlic and onions are the most common culprits.
- Periodontal disease – Also called gum disease, this is one of the most common oral health problems. It can lead to bad breath, a bad taste in your mouth, bleeding gums, and loose teeth. Research has shown that it can also increase your risk of developing health conditions such as stroke, diabetes, and heart disease.
- Dry mouth – Insufficient saliva flow inhibits the natural ability of your body to rinse bacteria and food particles away from the teeth. It can be caused by several medications, and some health conditions. This is an especially common problem for diabetic patients.
- Tobacco products – Smoking, and smokeless tobaccos, are hazardous to your health in many well-documented ways. It can also reduce your ability to taste food, and contribute to bad breath.
- Disease – Many common medical conditions can cause or exacerbate breath problems. These include some kidney or liver diseases, diabetes, bronchitis, and lung or sinus infections.
One of the best ways to keep your breath fresh is by maintaining great oral health. This means brushing your teeth at least twice daily, flossing once a day, and seeing your dentist every six months. These simple steps can prevent gum disease, and the accumulation of plaque and bacteria. If a problem develops, it may be detected by your dentist or hygienist before you even notice it.
If you develop bad breath, don't wait until your next regularly scheduled check-up; it may be an early warning sign of a danger to your health. Call Rush Creek Dentistry and schedule an appointment right away.