Bad breath is one of the most common problems most people experience at some point in their life. It keeps a person from interacting with others with complete confidence, leaving them feeling embarrassed. Also known as Halitosis and Fetor Oris, bad breath happens for various reasons. While bad breath can sometimes originate from the mouth or teeth, it is caused by an underlying health condition that results in bad breath. Sometimes it is temporary, and sometimes it is chronic. According to ADA, almost 50% of adults face the problem of bad breath at least once in their lifetime. The following blog will look at some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Halitosis.
Let’s dive right in.
What Causes Foul Smell in the Mouth?
Prevention is better than cure. When struggling with Halitosis, the first question that pops up is the causes of foul smell in the mouth. Here are some of the most common causes of bad breath.
Poor Oral Hygiene
The most common reason behind bad breath is poor oral hygiene. Bacteria break down the food particles stuck between the teeth. The presence of bacteria combined with the odor of decaying food paves the way for bad breath. The best way to eliminate this problem is to brush and floss regularly, preventing food from decaying inside the mouth. Brushing also removes plaque. Plaque is the white sticky substance that builds as a film over our teeth. Plaque buildup is also a significant contributor to bad breath. Not only does plaque cause bad breath, but it also leads to periodontal disease if not taken care of. Bad breath also occurs in people with dentures who don’t clean them regularly.
Beverages and Foods
As they say, you are what you eat, the foods and beverages you consume play a significant role in causing bad breath, and it doesn’t happen directly. What happens is that when you consume things like garlic and onions, your stomach absorbs the oils from these foods. These foods enter the bloodstream from your stomach and end up in the lungs. When that happens, you experience bad breath from 72 hours at a stretch or even longer, depending upon your consumption. Strong beverages such as coffee can also cause bad breath.
Besides keeping your mouth moist and comfortable, saliva can naturally cleanse your mouth while minimizing lousy breath. When there is a shortage of saliva, your mouth gets dry, leading to bad breath. There are several reasons why you end up with a dry mouth. Sometimes it happens due to salivary gland conditions, while it also happens in people who sleep with their mouths open. Mostly, it happens in people who take medications for high blood pressure and urinary conditions. Another major contributor to a dry mouth is smoking.
Periodontal Diseases and Other Health Conditions
As discussed, periodontal diseases can occur when plaque isn’t adequately removed. Over time, the plaque buildup hardens, and it turns into tartar. The sad part is that tartar cannot be removed by brushing, and the harder you try, the more it will irritate and damage your gums. Tartar tends to create tiny pockets between your teeth and your gums. In these pockets, food and bacteria can accumulate, which results in bad breath.
Other health conditions leading to bad breath include chronic bronchitis, sinus infections, postnasal drainage, and infections in the respiratory system. Tonsil stones can also cause bad breath, as they are used to collect bacteria. As far as diseases are concerned, bad breath also happens in diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, sleep apnea, and gastroesophageal reflux disorder.
What Does Halitosis Smell Like?
The stench of bad breath is different for different people. Here are the different kinds of foul smells that people may experience when they have bad breath problems.
Usually, bad breath smells like rotten eggs. If such is the case with you, there is a good chance you are suffering from a form of stomach issue or GERD, to be more specific. The smell of rotten eggs is produced when Sulphur is broken down.
Sometimes, the smell from your mouth is sweet and fruity. It happens due to a diabetic condition known as Ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis isn’t limited to diabetes only, and it can also occur due to kidney failure. The problem is that patients suffering from diabetes or poor kidney conditions do not produce sufficient insulin. Instead of insulin, their systems have ketones, leading to a fruity or sweet smell.
Moldy and Fungal Stench
Sometimes, the odor of one’s breath is pungent and musty, which resembles the smell of mold and fungus. People suffering from sinus infections experience a thick mucus that drips from their nose or their sinuses dripping towards the backside of their throats. When they breathe, the abundance of metabolites and microbes exude a stench similar to that of mold and fungal growth.
Sometimes, things get really nasty, and bad breath resembles human excrements. If you experience something of the sort, the chances are that you are going through some form of bowel obstruction. It happens when the small and the large intestines cannot process waste the way they should. Such smells in your breath are usually combined with constipation. If you are experiencing both simultaneously, it is better to consult a doctor for bowel obstruction.
There is a kidney failure in some cases, and the kidneys cannot process waste. When that happens, toxic chemicals tend to build up throughout the body. As a result, you experience a fishing smell in your breath.
How Can I Permanently Get Rid of Bad Breath?
It is possible to control bad breath while keeping your gums and teeth in good shape. Here are a few simple tips to prevent bad breath.
Brush and Floss Regularly
As we have already discussed, plaque building on the teeth causes bad breath. When hardened, it turns into tartar, making small pockets between the teeth and the gums, which collect more bacteria resulting in bad breath. Brushing regularly and flossing helps remove the tiny particles of food bacteria feed on, leading to bad breath. Brushing should be done twice a day, and flossing should be done at least once. However, it is better to floss after meals to eliminate the food particles stuck between the teeth.
Rinse Your Mouth
Make it a habit to rinse your mouth and gargle with a mouthwash prescribed by your dentist. A medicated mouthwash not only cures bad breath but also eliminates bacteria that cause bad breath. Moreover, the fresh and minty smell of the mouthwash also makes you feel good and confident. Moreover, after you have had a meal, make it a habit to rinse your mouth and gargle with tap water to get rid of the food particles.
Another great way to manage bad breath is by scraping your tongue regularly. Your teeth aren’t the only ones to develop a white sticky film of plaque. The coating on the tongue also hosts harmful bacteria that are dangerous for your oral health and cause bad breath. When brushing your teeth, make a habit of scraping your tongue. The scrapper applies pressure across the surface of your tongue. Scraping helps remove dead cells, debris, and bacteria. It is necessary because there are some spots a brush can’t reach.
Avoid Breathe-Souring Foods
As we have already discussed, onions and garlic are the biggest enemies of your breath. Sadly, even if you brush regularly, the oils from these foods remain in your system, thus polluting your breath. The best thing would be to quit them altogether. However, you may come from a household where most food items are constant. Therefore, it is better not to eat them before you go and meet a bunch of friends.
Apart from onions and garlic, the next major enemy of your breath is smoking. Smoking doesn’t only cause cancer and heart disease. It dries your mouth, stains your teeth, and paves the way for bad breath. People who smoke regularly are more likely to have chronic bad breath. In the beginning, it will be difficult. If you are a chain-smoker, you can start by cutting down on the number of cigarettes you smoke in a day. You can also use nicotine patches available in the marketplace. However, it is better to use the ones your doctor prescribes.
Prefer Gums over Mints
Some people have a habit of chewing after-dinner mints. The only problem with these mints is that they are filled with sugar. The dangerous thing about sugar is that the bacteria in your mouth love to feed on the sugar in these mints. If you must chew something, try chewing sugar-free gum instead of after-dinner mints. Not only do these mints give you a fresher breath, but they also help create more saliva. Saliva is extremely helpful in cleansing the mouth and eliminating bacteria that cause bad breath and other oral problems.
Invest in Gum Health
One of the primary causes of bad breath is poor gum health. At the base of the teeth, the bacteria tend to gather in tiny pockets. If you are suffering from gum disease, the best you can visit the dentist and abide by whatever they ask of you. Moreover, if you want to prevent gum diseases, try to cut down on sugary foods’ consumption while brushing and flossing your teeth regularly.
Keep Your Mouth Moist
If you are suffering from tooth decay, the mouth won’t make enough saliva, which will result in bad breath. The best you can do is to keep your mouth moist. The easiest way to achieve that is by drinking lots of water throughout the day. You can also chew sugarless gum or sugar-free hard candy. Moreover, when you sleep at night, don’t forget to turn on a humidifier in your room.
Can a Dentist Cause Bad Breath?
The last question is whether or not a dentist can cure bad breath. The answer is yes; a dentist can cure bad breath if you follow their advice and guidelines throughout the procedure. A dentist can diagnose Halitosis, the first step towards curing it. When you visit a dentist, they carry out a dental exam. During this exam, they go through your oral and dental history while considering the foul odor in your mouth. The dentists tend to check your entire mouth for infections, and if a cause cannot be found, they refer your case to the concerned specialist who can take it from there. A dentist can provide you with moth washing tips that you can follow to prevent bad breath.
Are There Pills for Halitosis?
Pills and meds are the last options for curing bad breath or Halitosis. The best thing you can do is to maintain good oral hygiene. Mouthwashes such as Cepacol, Peridex, or those containing Hydrogen peroxide are highly beneficial for managing bad breath. The primary objective of these products is to kill germs that cause bad breath. However, as far as pills are concerned, when the root cause of bad breath is GERD or something related to the stomach, drugs like antacids, proton pump inhibitors, and H2 blockers can come in handy, but only when a medical practitioner prescribes them.
The Final Word
Bad breath is a major annoyance, especially when you like to socialize. If you suffer from bad breath or any dental condition, you have come to the right place. We provide the finest dental procedures in Sacramento, CA. To benefit from our services, visit our website today.