Why do I have bad breath?
Whether you call it bad breath or halitosis, no one wants to worry about their bad breath. Unfortunately, there can be a number of different causes. Our goal is to discuss some of the potential reasons and possible solutions in dealing with bad breath.
The first potential reason for bad breath is obvious: food. Garlic, onions, and others tend to linger for longer periods of time. This may compound if we are not diligent about brushing and flossing daily. However, even when we don’t eat foods with a potent aroma, the bacteria can still stay around in your mouth after eating. The remaining bacteria produce compounds with an odor and the only solution to remove the bacteria is diligent home care.
Dry mouth is another common cause of bad breath and we frequently see patients on new medications develop dry mouth. Saliva helps clean and protect the teeth and gums, so a decrease may lead to more bacteria, which then creates bad breath. Fortunately, there are different rinses, gels and toothpastes that can help with dry mouth. Sugar free gum and candy can also stimulate saliva flow.
Persistent bad breath could be a sign of gum disease. If you improve your homecare and there is still no improvement, there may be issues hiding below the gums. A deeper cleaning (scaling and root planing) may be recommended to remove bacteria and tarter underneath the gums.
If none of these options seem to cure to your bad breath, it is possible there is a more serious medical disorder. There can be systemic conditions, including diabetes, liver and kidney diseases that can produce symptoms related to bad breath.
While there are a number of potential reasons for bad breath, an easy first step is to maintain excellent homecare and visit your dentist on a regular basis. You can work together to find solutions that work for your situation. In more difficult situations, your physician is a great resource in diagnosing any hidden medical problems.