The Leading Causes of Bad Breath
Bad breath (halitosis) is an incredibly common problem which can cause a great deal of anxiety and worry. Caused by sulphur producing bacteria on the tongue and throat, halitosis affects around 1 in 4 people globally and can result from a range of causes. This week, we look at some of the most common causes of bad breath and what can be done to manage them.
Poor oral hygiene and the problems it can cause are the most common reason behind bad breath. Of these, periodontal (gum) disease caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth is the most common dental issue which can have symptoms of bad breath but there are other causes including dental cavities, yeast infections in the mouth and poorly fitting dental appliances.
Another medical issue, dry mouth can contribute to halitosis as saliva plays an important role in cleansing the mouth by washing away dead cells as well as neutralise acids caused by plaque. Conditions or behaviours which can contribute to dry mouth include medications, mouth breathing, excessive drinking, smoking or stress.
Other medical issues
There are several other medical issues which can cause bad breath, although these conditions only account for a small percentage of halitosis sufferers. Some of these conditions include respiratory tract infections, diabetes, kidney failure, metabolic dysfunctions, biochemical disorders and some cancers.
Smoking and drinking
Apart from causing dry mouth, alcohol can cause a stale smell to emanate from your skin and mouth, as your body uses your lungs and sweat to release the metabolised products of alcohol. Smoking not only dries out the mouth but also reduces the blood supply to the gums, enabling bacteria to grow faster.
Bad breath management
In most cases, bad breath can easily be managed by practicing good oral hygiene (including paying a regular visit to your dentist for check-ups and cleanings), staying hydrated to ensure optimum saliva flow, and minimising habits like drinking, smoking and eating strong smelling foods.
Eden Rise Dental are a Berwick based dental clinic offering quality cosmetic and general dentistry services to patients of all ages. Book in your next check-up with us today by calling 9702 6111.