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Bad breath (also known as halitosis or malodor) can be embarrassing and can affect your relationships or even your job.
We all know that certain foods can cause bad breath (think coffee, onions, garlic and others). Other causes can be health problems: sinus infections, acid reflex and colds to name a few and certain medications.
However studies show that 80 – 90% of bad breath comes from an oral source. Here are some common causes:
Cleanliness: When a person does not brush or floss his/her teeth regularly, food particles remaining in the mouth can rot and cause bad odors. Your mouth also acts like a natural hothouse that allows these bacteria to grow. When you eat, bacteria feed on the food left in your mouth and leaves a foul-smelling waste product behind.
Bad breath that just won’t go away or a constant bad taste in your mouth can be a warning sign of advanced gum disease, which is caused by a sticky, cavity-causing bacteria called plaque. Gum disease is an infection in your gums and like all infections, needs to be treated right away.
Cavities, rotten teeth, cracked fillings and oral infections can also cause bad breath that cant be “fixed” with mouthwash. These conditions need to be addressed as the further they deteriorate the more they will affect your body’s overall health.
The American Dental Association recommends the following:
If bad breath is due to a health problem such as a sinus infection, diabetes, acid reflux, GERD etc., then the underlying medical issue needs to be treated.
If bad breath is a side effect of taking a medication, discuss with a health care professional whether there are other options for medication that can be taken. Never stop taking a medication without first consulting your health care professional.
For patients who suffer from dry mouth (xerostomia), artificial saliva may be prescribed by a dentist.
We are here to help you. If you would like to set up an appointment for a checkup please call us at: (707) 762-0067