Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be caused by a variety of reasons. Whatever factor causing the halitosis may be one thing is for sure, it is unpleasant for you and those in your immediate environment. It could be the sign of something serious, or that you might need a simple cleaning. Whatever the case may be, the American Dental Association has supplied us with information on this subject and how to prevent and alleviate this issue.
Certain types of food and dieting
Foods that contain garlic and onion are notorious for contributing greatly to this issue. Alcohol, dairy products, candies, mints, and most gum that are sugary also contribute to halitosis. Beverages such as coffee, tomato, orange, pineapple and grapefruit juices all contain acid, which can cause bacteria to reproduce at a faster rate.
Dry mouth also known as xerostomia
Dry mouth occurs when the flow of saliva decreases. Saliva is meant for cleansing the mouth of particles that would cause halitosis. Dry mouth can occur by breathing constantly through the mouth, certain medications or by a problematic salivary gland.
Not only does tobacco stain teeth, cause bone loss and shrink gums, it causes bad breath. To find helpful tips on kicking this habit, consult with your dentist.
The ADA has found that bad breath may be the sign of a medical disorder, such as a local infection in the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, liver or kidney ailment. If you are using proper oral health techniques, and your mouth is determined to be healthy, you may be referred to a physician or specialist for further review.
A major warning sign of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is constant foul-smelling breath. Gum disease is caused by plaque forming on teeth. The bacteria in plaque create toxins that irritate gums.
Taking corrective measures:
Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily to remove bacteria that might collect are essential to maintaining good oral health. The ADA recommends two cleanings per year, and also brushing your tongue. For early detection of gum disease, dry mouth, or a medical disorder schedule a check up with your dentist.