Bad breath: whether you have it in the early morning just after you wake up, or you can smell it following an onion and garlic heavy dish, millions of people suffer from it at some point in their lives. According to the Bad Breath Institute, between thirty-five and forty percent of people in the world suffer from halitosis, or bad breath. Among the thirty-five to forty percent are eighty-million Americans! So, if you ever find that your breath may not be the most pleasant, have no fear! You are not alone.
But, did you know that your breath can warn you of other underlying health concerns?
The cause of bad breath varies depending on the source or the underlying cause. It can be as simple as having ingested a smell-inducing food or a serious health condition. However, there is no need for immediate panic as many of the symptoms can be resolved at home. If you believe you are unable to solve the odorous issue, see your dentist for further investigation into the matter. Some conditions your bad breath may indicate include:
Gum disease, tooth decay, and/or infection
Practicing effective, consistent oral hygiene is crucial to maintaining a healthy oral cavity. It’s recommended that you brush twice daily and floss at least once a day. If this routine isn’t carried out, little food particles accumulate in the mouth causing bad breath and the growth of bacteria within the mouth. To combat and prevent bad breath, maintain a routine of good oral hygiene.
Although many people are unaware of this, allergies can contribute to bad breath. When one suffers from allergies, they are most likely to experience congestive symptoms and an overproduction of mucus in the throat and nasal cavity. This infected mucus breeds bacteria and germs that can cause bad breath.
People that suffer from diabetes have an insulin-deficiency meaning the cells don’t receive the glucose needed for fuel. To compensate, the body burns fat which, in turn, produces ketones that build up in the blood and urine. High ketone levels often cause the breath to smell sweet and fruity or like acetone in nail polish.
Liver Disease or Kidney Failure
Late-stage liver disease can cause bad breath due to the symptom: fetor hepaticus, or breath of the dead. This sweet, musty smell is typically used as a diagnostic tool for liver pathologies. Kidney failure can cause bad breath often attributed to the symptom of: dry mouth. Lack of saliva production decreases the opportunity for the mouth to naturally clean itself out of food particles that have been left behind. These food particles breed bacteria that can omit an unpleasant odor.
Chronic Acid Reflux
Halitosis often mercilessly plagues those that suffer from chronic acid reflux. If you suffer from chronic acid reflux or stomach disorders, you are constantly at war with stomach acid coming up the esophagus and into the mouth. The constant struggle leaves behind food, bacteria, and acid that make it difficult to maintain cleanliness of the oral cavity causing bad breath.
If you believe you suffer from chronic halitosis, take a look at your oral hygiene habits. If you brush twice daily and floss at least once a day and continue to experience an unpleasant odor, contact your dentist. You may suffer from one of the ailments mentioned above. Bad breath can be embarrassing and obnoxious, but thankfully, there are precautions you can take to combat halitosis. Additionally, having it checked out may just lead to another health condition. Listen to the odor of your breath… it may be trying to tell you something! Contact our Raleigh dentists to learn more today.