As many as 50 million people in the United States alone may be suffering from a condition called chronic halitosis, more commonly referred to as bad breath by those not in the dental community. It’s quite unfortunate that most of these people never seek treatment because they aren’t aware there even is a treatment outside of mouthwash and chewing gum. What’s more, many don’t realize it’s a medical condition.
Knowing the common causes behind your bad breath may actually help you in treating and preventing it. Getting to the source of the problem is key – and way more effective than just using products that try to mask the unpleasant symptoms.
Smoking, as well as other forms of tobacco consumption, can easily cause bad breath. It can also stain your teeth, irritate your gums and, worse still, cause oral cancers. It’s better to do away with tobacco products completely for your overall health and your oral health.
Coffee, garlic, onion and a host of other fragrant or spicy foods can cause temporary bad breath. Fortunately, just brushing your teeth or chewing sugarless gum can help you get rid of this.
Some conditions can leave your mouth dry, without enough saliva to keep things balanced and healthy. Dry mouth isn’t just unpleasant – it can also cause bad breath! The condition can be caused by smoking, mouth breathing, certain health conditions or as the side effect of certain medications.
You’re advised to brush twice a day, floss once, and visit your dentist regularly. This is so you can avoid bacteria buildup on your teeth. If these are not done properly, the sticky bacteria left behind may also end up causing halitosis.
Certain conditions such as tonsillitis, sinus infections, respiratory issues, diabetes and others may also cause bad breath. This is usually a side effect of some of the drugs used in treating these conditions, which may leave the mouth dry.
Cavities or gum disease, improperly fitted dental appliances, and even crowded teeth can cause bad breath.
Treating the Bad Breath
If you think medications are the reason you’re constantly having to deal with a dry mouth, discuss it right away with your doctor as there are many medicines than can be substituted for a different one without the side effect of dry mouth. And if you think your bad breath is being caused by a medical condition, that’s another reason to see your doctor right away.
For more information on halitosis or any other dental issue, contact Dr. Norman at 425-366-7983.