Halitosis (Bad Breath): Causes, Prevention, & Treatments

Halitosis (Bad Breath): Causes, Prevention, & Treatments

June 1, 2023

One of the most embarrassing experiences you could ever have when speaking is exhaling bad breath. You can be embarrassed that you might be shy to converse and interact with your friends, family, and colleagues.

It is one thing to have the occasional bad breath; it is another to have chronic halitosis (this is the clinical term for bad breath). Bad breath in Jackson, MI, could be embarrassing, but the issue can keep escalating if you don’t seek our dentist’s help.

There’s more to combating bad breath than popping a breath mint or avoiding garlic. Did you know some types of bad breath are linked to other underlying health conditions, not poor dental hygiene?

Halitosis, In a Nutshell

Bad breath affects everyone occasionally, especially after consuming onions, garlic, and other foods with strong smells. However, there is another category of people with chronic bad breath, which could mean that there is another oral health issue or underlying health condition that is affecting your mouth.

Halitosis is usually a symptom of several conditions and should be viewed as a warning message from your body. You should view it as such so that you can focus on seeking bad breath treatment near you to deal with the root cause.

Let’s take a closer look at the several causes of bad breath.

What Causes Halitosis?

As mentioned earlier, bad breath can arise because of several factors, such as:

  • Dry mouth – Saliva is vital in the mouth since it helps flush down bacteria from your mouth. So if your salivary glands aren’t making enough saliva, it could lead to bad breath.
  • Food – The breakdown of the various foods you take in the day that gets stuck can lead to bad breath. Some foods, such as onions or garlic, are notorious for causing bad breath.
  • Tobacco – Tobacco causes its own type of mouth odor. What’s more, tobacco increases the chance of developing gum disease, which also causes bad breath.
  • Crash diets – Low carbohydrate eating programs and fasting can lead to halitosis. This is because your body needs to break down the body’s fats-producing chemicals known as ketones. Ketones usually have a strong smell.
  • Oral hygiene – taking care of your teeth daily is vital in removing bacteria and food particles that get stuck between the teeth. Failure to do so will lead to bacteria forming a film known as plaque, which could lead to an accumulation of bacteria in the mouth, causing bad breath.
  • Drugs – certain medications affect saliva production and can lead to bad breath. Other medications produce odors as they break down in the mouth and stomach.
  • Diseases – Certain cancers, gum disease, liver failure. GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and other metabolic diseases can cause bad breath
  • Mouth, nose, and throat conditions – An infection in your throat, mouth, or nose could cause halitosis. Chronic inflammation or infection in the sinuses, nose, or throat can cause postnasal drip, which could also lead to bad breath.

What Can You Do to Prevent Bad Breath?

Remembering that bad breath is not caused by food or poor dental hygiene is vital. However, these are the most common reasons for bad breath. Either way, you can choose to do the following:

  • Brush and Floss

Practicing good oral hygiene will go a long way in keeping your mouth clean and bacteria-free. You can choose to brush and floss more often to get better results. You should use fluoride toothpaste and apply the proper brushing technique to remove debris and plaque. You can carry a toothbrush that you can use at work or in school to ensure you clean your teeth after meals.

  • Use a Mouth Rinse

It is always a good idea to invest in a good mouthwash. A mouth rinse can be effective in getting rid of bacteria and can help freshen your breath.

  • Avoid Foods With Strong Smells

Onions and garlic are the main culprits in this category. Even though you brush your teeth after eating them, you will not eliminate the smell. If you can avoid them, especially raw, you should be fine.

  • Scrape Your Tongue

The coating that forms on your tongue can lead to bad breath. Use tongue scrapers to remove the coating.

  • Drink Plenty of Water

You can develop bad breath and tooth decay when you don’t make enough saliva. That’s why you need to take plenty of water.

  • Stop Smoking

Smoking is just bad for you. If you need tips and tricks that will help you kick the habit, ask our dentist near you.

How Is Halitosis Treated?

The treatment for bad breath will depend on the root cause. For instance, if bad breath is caused by poor oral hygiene, you have to revamp your oral care by brushing and flossing your teeth more often.

Talk to Us

We are here for you. So, feel reassured about the condition; you can contact our dentist at Iocca Family Dentistry; we would love to help you.