Bad breath or halitosis is one of the most debatable yet hard-to-deal-with oral problems. Moreover, identifying having bad breath is often not so easy and often attacks your self-confidence when realized. Research published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene says halitosis patients may experience psychological discomfort and disability.
However, the good part is that it’s manageable and curable. You must dive deeper into halitosis and know the symptoms, reasons, and measures. This blog explores the same avenues and helps you better understand halitosis. You will find the common causes of bad breath and how to steer clear of it. Time to dig in.
- 1 What Is Halitosis Anyway?
- 2 Common Causes Of Temporary Bad Breath
- 3 Oral Health-Related Causes of Bad Breath
- 4 Other Causes of Bad Breath
- 5 Identifying The Cause of Bad Breath
- 6 Tips For Preventing and Managing Bad Breath
- 7 Conclusion
What Is Halitosis Anyway?
Halitosis is a medical term used for bad breath. It can be mild to very strong, with people noticing when you speak. Numerous reasons are responsible for causing bad breath. It can be food habits, improper oral hygiene, acid reflux problems, and more. It can also happen if you have other severe health concerns affecting other body parts.
Basically, halitosis is not a disease. Rather, it’s a symptom of other major health problems. It acts as an alarm; therefore, you must visit your doctor or orthodontist immediately if you have bad breath. A study by Dental Update supports this. It says halitosis can be a symptom of the underlying disease and therefore needs attention.
How Common Is Halitosis
Halitosis affects nearly one out of four people in the world. Combined with the findings of 13 medical journals, halitosis was found to affect around 31.8% of the population.
Common Causes Of Temporary Bad Breath
We can divide the causes of bad breath into four categories.
Poor oral health
It can be as simple as a poor oral hygiene routine. If you don’t brush properly after waking up, the pungent morning breath can be strong. It is often because of side oral infections and side effects from medication. Also, it can be due to severe conditions like cancers, metabolic disorders, or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.
Acidic food and beverage intake
Digestive problems are one of the major causes of bad breath. Stay away from food or drinks leading to acid reflux. Besides, reduce your intake of onion, garlic, fast food, chocolates, etc., to ensure you don’t trigger acid reflux.
Smoking and Tobacco
Smoking and tobacco make your gums prone to decay, ultimately leading to bad breath. It also ruins your overall health and causes other serious problems.
Saliva is a natural cleanser for mouths. They help remove plaque and particles leading to a bad smell. If you have a dry mouth due to alcohol or medications, there may not be enough saliva to remove these particles, resulting in bad breath.
Oral Health-Related Causes of Bad Breath
- Surgical wounds after oral surgery often cause bad breath. It accumulates bacteria and food particles in your mouth, leading to halitosis. You need to follow the post-operative care instructions that your orthodontist recommends. It’s the only way you can ensure healing and bad breath prevention.
- Tooth decay or cavities are one of the prime triggers behind bad breath. If not treated accurately, it can cause decay, thereby paving the way for foul-smelling gas. It happens when they break down food particles or other debris in your mouth.
- Gum disease involves complex bacterial infection affecting gums and bones surrounding the teeth. As the intensity of the disease rises, you may find bad breath due to bacteria and pus around your gums.
- Mouth sores, like canker and cold sores, can cause bad breath. It stems from the inflammation and bacteria that surrounds the sore.
Other Causes of Bad Breath
Tonsil stones are often one of the overlooked factors leading to bad breath. Sometimes, food sticks in your tonsils located at the back of your throat. They can harden into calcium deposits called tonsil stones.
Sometimes food can be absorbed into the bloodstream leading to bad breath. Garlic and onions have volatile compounds that sink into the bloodstream, and the lungs later release them, causing bad breath. Though it’s a temporary trigger, you should take these foods and breath fresheners.
Identifying The Cause of Bad Breath
Identifying and realizing bad breath is not easy. Here is what you can do.
Try to be self-aware of bad breath and the factors that trigger it. For this, cup your hands over your mouth and nose and take a deep breath. Or, lick the inside of your wrist and smell it after a few seconds. If you come across a pungent smell, it may mean you have bad breath.
Second, seek feedback from close and dear ones. Choose someone who can help you check your breath.
Tips For Preventing and Managing Bad Breath
Preventing bad breath is no cakewalk. Research by the Open Dentistry Journal reveals even conventional methods can help curb bad breath. Follow these quick tips and tricks to prevent and steer clear from the cause of bad breath.
- Brush and floss daily
- Go for an alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash
- Drink water to avoid a dry mouth
- Use sugar-free chewing gums to maintain saliva level
- Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine to prevent dry mouth
In this blog, you have discovered all nuances related to what causes bad breath. That, and how you can reduce the impact and bad smell. Keep in mind that to combat the problems of bad breath, you will need to dive really deeper into the trigger points and figure out how you can solve them. The causes come in a range, from casual factors like morning breath, onion, or garlic to as severe as tonsil stones or surgical wounds after surgery. So beware of these drivers and learn how to troubleshoot them.
Interestingly, all it will take you is to maintain good oral hygiene. That’s all! Remove bad-breath-causing bacteria, and a healthy oral routine will help you detect problems early on and act accordingly. Lastly, consult your dental office whenever you notice symptoms of bad breath. They will help you navigate the problem and remove it from your roots.
Dr. Bill Redmond is a native of Southern California, the son of an orthodontist and the husband of a general dentist. That makes family gatherings pretty interesting…if you like teeth!