Your mouth and body are naturally filled with millions of both good and bad bacteria. However, in some cases, this can lead to unfortunate symptoms—including halitosis (bad breath). If you are dealing with chronic halitosis, there are a few potential explanations for this common oral health issue! Here are just five of the many reasons our patients experience halitosis.
1. Dry Mouth
If you have difficulty swallowing dry foods or speaking for long periods of time, this could indicate that you suffer from xerostomia, or dry mouth. This oral health issue occurs when your salivary glands are not properly producing enough saliva, and could be caused by anything from medication to dehydration. Unfortunately, in addition to causing halitosis, it can cause a number of other health problems including tooth decay and gingivitis. Be sure to bring this to the attention of your dentist as soon as possible!
2. Gum Disease
If you notice a persistent problem with unpleasant breath, it could be a result of periodontitis, or gum disease. When your gums are infected or inflamed, they tend to secrete an unpleasant odor. Gum disease can be quite harmful to your overall health, and halitosis is just the beginning of the list of issues to which it can be linked. Gum disease has been linked to major health concerns such as stroke, respiratory illness, cardiovascular disease, and complications with pregnancy. The sooner you bring this to the attention of your dentist, the better—they’ll be able to pinpoint the issue and begin treatment.
If you’ve been experiencing a sore throat in addition to your halitosis, then tonsillitis could be to blame. This is often because the bacteria that cause the odor could also be causing damage to your throat. In these instances, be certain to visit your doctor about the problem. Tonsillitis is commonly treated with surgical intervention, but you’ll also likely find that your halitosis goes away as well.
4. Gastrointestional Disorders
Sometimes, health issues that aren’t even located near the mouth at all can cause halitosis. Stomach ulcers, for example, can give you unpleasant breath in addition to stomach pain and heartburn. Acid reflux is also a common offender, as it causes the acid from your stomach to rise and produce an unpleasant odor.
5. Dental Hygiene
Above all, a solid dental hygiene routine is one of the most effective ways to prevent bad breath. Make sure that you’re brushing thoroughly at least twice per day and flossing each night. Ideally, you’ll also brush and floss after meals as well. And don’t forget the tongue! Your tongue harbors a proportionally large amount of the bacteria in your mouth and therefore could be contributing to halitosis. You might also consider adding an antibacterial mouthwash to your routine, as this can fight off any remaining bacteria you could have missed.
Do you need help with your halitosis? Call Metro Square Dental Associates in Vernon Hills today to set up your appointment.