We’ve all woken up with morning breathe: an intolerable odor that generally goes away once you brush your teeth, floss and use a little mouthwash. Most of us have also had horrible breath after eating something like onion or garlic; but again, this too is easily solved with a mint or gum. But what if your bad breath stayed with you, no matter how much you brushed or how many packs of gum you went through in a day? This is what is medically known as halitosis.
It’s no big deal when bad breath is a temporary problem; but when the problem lingers, it’s obvious that something is out of whack. Halitosis is commonly caused by poor dental hygiene and in some cases can be a sign of a brewing health problem. So what really causes bad breath?
When we eat, the food we chew and consume is broken down in the mouth. All food is eventually digested and then absorbed into the bloodstream. This means that some of the particles enter the lungs and are given off each time you breathe. At the same time, bad breath can also be caused by poor dental hygiene. Irregular brushing and flossing can allow food particles to build up in the mouth, which then causes excessive bacteria growth on the teeth, between the teeth, as well as on the gums and the tongue. These bacteria, to no surprise, stink! Certain habits, such as smoking or chewing tobacco, can also lead to smelly breath.
Health Problems – Causes and Effects
When considering halitosis, the problem can be both a cause and effect condition. For example, persistent bad breath can be caused by gum disease in which bacteria causes toxins to flourish within the mouth. Oral yeast infections and other infections can also cause bad breath. On the other hand, halitosis can be the result of certain health conditions. Dry mouth, bronchitis, diabetes, acid reflux, and respiratory infections can all cause one to have breath that reeks for days – literally!
If smelly breath has been plaguing you for some time now, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Pappas’ office to schedule an appointment. Halitosis isn’t just unpleasant; it could be the sign of a very serious infection brewing in your mouth.