You were just told you have halitosis, and truthfully, you can’t think of anything more embarrassing. You’re frustrated. You brush your teeth every day, yet still the smell persists. It could be something as simple as not brushing your tongue, which carries around its own buildup of bacteria, or that you need a mouth wash because you’re very fond of garlic and onions. Unfortunately, it can also be the sign of an existing condition and you are not aware of it.
Halitosis is caused by volatile sulfur compounds, which can lead to bad breath as long as two or three days of eating something spicy or with a strong odor. Some toothpaste foam also promotes the production of sulfur compounds. If you’re not sure your breath is really bad, there is a simple test you can perform. After flossing, sniff your dental floss. If it smells bad or is bloody, the chances are good there are foul odors in your mouth or that you are developing gingivitis. Try to avoid eating the foods most linked to bad breath such as garlic, onions, and spicy foods and switch your toothpaste. If these still do not relieve the halitosis, contact your doctor to rule out other causes.
Persistent bad breath can be far more serious than not brushing your teeth, gums and tongue correctly or a fondness for foods that leave a lingering smell. The most common pre-existing condition for bad breath is diabetes. Other diseases that can contribute to bad breath are liver disease, respiratory tract infections, and chronic bronchitis. You’ll want to see your doctor to rule out other causes, such as acid reflux, postnasal drip and conditions that cause dry mouth (xerostomia).
While medical conditions can lead to bad breath, eighty percent of chronic bad breath comes from an oral source. Cavities or gum disease can lead to bad breath, as can cracked fillings, loose crowns, and inflamed tonsils. Improperly cleaned dentures can also lead to bad breath. If you’ve ruled out all other medical possibilities, check with your dentist.
Everyone has bad breath, at least occasionally. When you wake in the morning, it can sometimes feel like a squirrel is hiding in your mouth. If you’re suffering from a cold or flu virus, you might have bad breath during the bout of your illness, but lingering bad breath, especially if you keep a daily schedule of brushing your teeth, gums and tongue, along with using a mouth wash, means your condition is either medical or oral. Check your doctor to rule out all medical conditions, then call our office to see what can be done about that embarrassing, reoccurring halitosis.