Halitosis, the technical term for bad breath, is embarrassing and something nobody wants to have.  Even though there are several products like gum, mouthwash and mints to prevent, mask or diffuse bad breath, it still affects a great number of people.woman with bad breath

What causes bad breath and why should one treat the underlying causes rather than just living with it and temporarily masking it? Below are some common causes of bad breath.

You Have Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is the most common and one of the most preventable causes of bad breath. If you don’t adequately brush your teeth and floss, food particles from the day will accumulate inside your mouth, on and between teeth. These leftover food particles will breakdown with decay, emitting an unpleasant smell. The longer you go without cleaning your mouth, the worse the smell will get. In addition, you’re putting your oral health at risk by increasing your chances of getting tooth decay and gum disease.

You’re Not Drinking Enough Water

Our bodies are made up of mostly water, making water important for its proper functioning. When one doesn’t drink enough water, or liquids, dehydration sets in. Dehydration inhibits the proper functioning of body organs, including the brain and in severe cases can lead to death.

Smelly breath is an indicator that one can be dehydrated. As already mentioned, decaying food particles and bacteria in the mouth give off odors. A moist mouth cuts down on the amount of food particle accumulation in the mouth, which decreases the stench of bad breath.

Saliva is your mouth’s natural mouth wash and cleaner and while it does keep your mouth moist making it harder for food particles to stick and attach to teeth, staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water can add needed extra moisture to the mouth.

You Have an Underlying, Serious Health Condition

There have been more and more studies conducted that show the interconnection between one’s oral health and overall health. Bad smells often indicate infection, disease or decay. Chronic bad breath can not only indicate that there’s something wrong with your oral health, but there could also be something potentially seriously wrong with another part of the body. One study from the University of Colorado in Boulder indicates the presence of certain gases in bad breath can indicate the presence of other serious health conditions. For instance, excessive methylamine may indicate liver or kidney disease, excessive ammonia may indicate renal failure, elevated nitric acid can indicate asthma and excessive acetone can indicate diabetes.

You Have Heart Disease

You may have slacked off in your oral hygiene and have gotten tooth decay as a result. You also likely have gotten some form of gum disease. While one may think that the decayed food particles and bacteria of tooth decay is the source of their bad breath, this is not always the case.

One of the symptoms of advanced gum disease is a foul odor. Advanced cases of gum disease can result in lost teeth and destruction of the jaw bone. In addition, gum disease can also increase one’s risk of heart disease. As mentioned earlier, there has been more and more evidence between the connection of one’s oral health and overall health. Gum disease can not only indicate the presence of heart disease, but it can also increase one’s risk of getting heart disease.

You’re Outside Too Much Exercising

Regular exercise is good for your health and well-being and it’s said that fresh air helps one calm down, wake up and think more clearly. However, when you exercise outside too frequently, you can dry your mouth out, increasing the risk of bad breath. Chronic dry mouth, allergies, nasal congestion and nasal drainage can all cause problems to your oral health which increase the stench of your breath.

Your Tonsils Need to Go

If you have consistent bad breath along with a sore throat, you may have tonsillitis or infected tonsils. The routine tonsillectomy procedure can easily and quickly remove the infected tonsils, getting rid of the sore throat and bad breath.

You Need to Change Your Diet

Do you regularly eat yogurt? If not, you should as it can help treat the cause of your bad breath. Bad breath is caused by the overabundance of bad bacteria in the mouth. Yogurt, on the other hand is packed with good bacteria your body needs. With good bacteria, there won’t be the bad breath.

While you may turn to gum or mints in a pinch where you want fresh breath, too much gum and mint consumption can feed the odor producing bacteria in your mouth, making your breath worse. Instead of reaching for any old mint or gum, look for the sugar-free variety or skip them all together and drink up on the water.

You Have a Stomach Ulcer

When you think of having a stomach ulcer, you picture heartburn, indigestion, and stomach pain, not bad breath. Smelly breath, however, is a common symptom of stomach ulcers, and even some gastric cancers. Bad breath is caused from the bacteria, helicobacter pylori, which causes stomach ulcers.

Your bad breath may be telling you more than that you need to brush up on your oral hygiene. It can be caused by or indicate a host of other health issues.

If you have been struggling with persistent bad breath, contact us at Family Dental Health to schedule an appointment. Not only is bad breath embarrassing, but it could also be putting your oral health and overall health at risk.