What causes bad breath and what can you do to help?

What causes bad breath and what can you do to help?

There are a number of causes of bad breath or halitosis.

  • Dental disease
  • Food items
  • Systemic disease
  • Tonsillitis
  • Sinus issues
  • Poor oral hygiene

The category of dental disease;

includes cavities or decay of tooth surfaces, periodontal or gum disease, acute infections in the mouth including erupting teeth like wisdom teeth etc.

The treatment and prevention for these causes are relatively easy to guess, visit your dentist regularly and have recommended treatment completed in a timely fashion. Periodontal disease is one of the most common causes and left untreated will lead not only to bone loss and tooth loss but also to chronic bad breath.

Various food items have an impact on breath odour, fortunately most times this is transient and easily controlled with good oral care and is self limiting. Some people react or at least have a propensity to amplify these food odours more than others. This is not well understood or studied as far as I am aware. Bottom line is avoid the odiferous food items such as garlic and onions if you have sensitive personal and or intimate plans. You can minimize the effects of food items with vigorous oral hygiene practices as well.

Systemic disease such as ulcers, asthma, and malignancies of the upper gastric intestinal tract can also cause halitosis. The obvious solution is regular medicals and primary health care. If you Dentist doesn’t find a cause for your problem you should immediately seek out medical investigation.

Tonsillitis and throat infections will also cause bad breath, fortunately this is normally self limiting. If this is a recurring problem you should pursue having your tonsils removed. Sinusitis can also cause halitosis and would be diagnosed and treated by your family physician.

Poor hygiene of any part of our bodies will produce unfavourable odour the mouth is no exception. In fact the mouth has a lot of surface area to house bacteria and it is primarily bacteria and the byproducts that the bacteria or micro flora produce that causes the malodours.

A few tips to help in this area;

  • brush and floss after every meal
  • brush your tongue vigorously
  • purchase a tongue scraper and use it daily to remove bacteria and dead cells from the vast surface area of the tongue
  • change your tooth brush regularly

Hope you found this article useful and interesting.

Posted By:
Dr.Douglas T. Hanson
Dr. Douglas Hanson is a Greater City of Sudbury area Dentist driven by lifelong learning, advanced technologies, and online marketing. In addition to the obvious, Dr.Hanson has lectured and presented to audiences on topics such as; leadership from within, temporal mandibular disorders, implant dentistry, obstructive sleep apnea and most recently on world class customer service. Writing about some of these topics on social media and online has provided a new avenue for Dr.Hanson to share his passion for both dental subject matter, as well as leadership and personal awareness and enhancement. Check out his Twitter and Facebook feeds and allow Dr. Doug to share his passion!


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