Common Causes of Bad Breath
Did you know bad breath (halitosis) can be more than a source of embarrassment? Many factors can cause breath odors. For most people, the reason is temporary and easily corrected, but for others, it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. The team at Country Club Dental wants to discuss common causes of bad breath.
Causes of Bad Breath
Poor Oral Hygiene — When brushing and flossing is done infrequently, food debris, plaque, and bacteria build up in the mouth. The warm environment of the mouth causes the food particles to break down and the bacteria to multiply. The resulting odor from the food, plaque, and bacteria causes the breath to smell unpleasant.
Diet and Digestion — Foods like onions, garlic, cabbage, and some spices can cause bad breath after digestion, when the food is absorbed into the bloodstream. When the blood makes its way to the lungs, you can smell the food when you exhale. Also, gases produced during digestion or because of a bowel disorder can enter your mouth and cause a bad odor.
Dry Mouth — There are many causes of dry mouth, such as dehydration, medications, and some medical conditions. Saliva washes away acid, food particles, and bacteria and lubricates the mouth for proper chewing and digestion. Bad breath happens when there is not enough saliva to rinse away the food particles and bacteria.
Oral Diseases and Other Infections — Conditions like tooth decay, abscesses, and gum disease can cause bad breath because of food particles trapped in decayed teeth and infection. Also, tonsil stones, infections, or inflammation in the sinuses, nose, or throat may make breath smell bad.
Smoking — When cigarette smoke is inhaled into the lungs, it’s exhaled through the nose and mouth. As smokers exhale, the chemicals and smoke residue stay in the mouth and airways, contributing to dry mouth and breath odors.
Diseases or Medical Conditions — When chronic bad breath exists, It can be a sign of an underlying medical issue. People who have diabetes, liver failure, kidney failure, and some cancers may experience bad breath because of the chemicals produced by these conditions. See a dentist or physician for further evaluation if you’re experiencing chronic bad breath.
There are temporary solutions to help with bad breath, such as gum, mints, and alcohol-free mouth rinses. But if you have chronic bad breath, it’s best to determine the cause to find the proper solution. Take preventive measures by practicing good oral hygiene and getting regular exams and cleanings. To schedule an appointment, contact our office. We serve patients in Cameron Park, California, and the surrounding areas.