Source: Mayoclinic.org (Bad Breath)
Source Link: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bad-breath/symptoms-causes/syc-20350922
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be embarrassing and even cause anxiety in some people. It's no surprise that store shelves are brimming with gum, mints, mouthwashes, and other breath-freshening products. However, because they do not address the root of the problem, many of these products are only temporary solutions.
Bad breath can be caused by a variety of foods, health conditions, and habits. In many cases, good dental hygiene can help you get rid of bad breath. If simple self-care techniques don't work, see your dentist or physician to make sure your bad breath isn't caused by something more serious.
The source or the underlying cause of bad breath odors varies. Some people are overly concerned about their breath, even if they have little or no mouth odor, while others are unaware that they have bad breath. Because judging your own breath is difficult, enlist the help of a close friend or relative to confirm your bad-breath concerns.
When should you see a doctor?
Examine your oral hygiene habits if you have bad breath. Make changes to your lifestyle, such as brushing your teeth and tongue after meals, flossing your teeth, and drinking plenty of water.
Consult your dentist if your bad breath persists after making these changes. If your dentist suspects that your bad breath is the result of a more serious condition, he or she may refer you to a doctor to determine the source of the odor.
The majority of bad breath originates in the mouth, and there are numerous causes. They are as follows:
Food particles breaking down in and around your teeth can lead to an increase in bacteria and a foul odor. Bad breath can be caused by certain foods, such as onions, garlic, and spices. These foods enter your bloodstream after digestion, travel to your lungs, and affect your breathing.
Smoking produces a foul odor in the mouth. Gum disease, a source of bad breath, is more common in smokers and oral tobacco users.
Dental hygiene is a problem
Food particles remain in your mouth if you don't brush and floss on a daily basis, causing bad breath. Plaque is a colorless, sticky bacteria film that forms on your teeth. Plaque can irritate your gums and eventually form plaque-filled pockets between your teeth and gums if not brushed away (periodontitis). Bacteria that produce odors can also be trapped on your tongue. Dentures that aren't cleaned on a regular basis or that don't fit properly can harbor bacteria that cause odors and food particles.
Mouth is parched
Saliva aids in the cleansing of the mouth by removing particles that cause odors. Because saliva production is reduced, a condition known as xerostomia (zeer–o-STOE-me-uh) can contribute to bad breath. Dry mouth occurs naturally while sleeping, resulting in "morning breath," which is exacerbated if you sleep with your mouth open. A problem with your salivary glands, as well as some diseases, can cause chronic dry mouth.
Some medications can cause bad breath indirectly by causing dry mouth. Others can be broken down in the body, releasing chemicals that can be inhaled.
Bad breath can result from surgical wounds following oral surgery, such as tooth removal, or from tooth decay, gum disease, or mouth sores.
Other problems with the mouth, nose, and throat
Small stones that form in the tonsils and are covered with bacteria that produce odor can cause bad breath on occasion. Bad breath can be caused by infections or chronic inflammation in the nose, sinuses, or throat, which can contribute to postnasal drip.
Chemicals produced by diseases, such as some cancers, and conditions, such as metabolic disorders, can cause a distinct breath odor. Bad breath is linked to chronic stomach acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD). A foreign body lodged in a nostril, such as a piece of food, can cause bad breath in young children.
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