Apart from the possibly awkward social scenarios, bad breath is sometimes indicative of a larger dental or health problem. Quite simply, if you or someone you love has chronic bad breath, you cannot just ignore the problem.
Bad breath, also known as Halitosis, is often detected when two people come in close contact with one another. Kissing, close talking or in extreme cases, simply talking to someone at a normal distance can raise the red flags for Halitosis.
But what causes bad breath?
There are several possible causes of halitosis. Listed here are the most common culprits for this embarrassing problem.
Some types of food
The remnants of your last meal can trigger bacterial growth which in turn can lead to bad odor in your mouth. However, there are some types of foods that are specifically notorious for causing bad breath. These include some types of spices, garlic, and onions. As you digest these and as these travel through your body, they can affect the scent of your breath.
Consumption of tobacco products
Cigarettes and other tobacco products create a distinct, often bad smelling scent in the mouth. But apart from this, tobacco products can increase your risk for dental problems, including oral cancer.
Poor oral hygiene
If you do not practice good oral hygiene, the food particles left in your mouth will serve as the food of the bacteria found in your mouth. And as these bacteria breakdown and consume these food particles, these produce byproducts that can lead to stinky breath.
But apart from bad breath, failure to properly and regularly clean your teeth can contribute to poor oral health.
Your saliva helps keep your mouth clean by removing food particles. Now, if you have dry mouth due to inadequate saliva production, the remnants of the foods you ate will linger in your mouth and can cause bad breath. Dryness of the mouth is sometimes caused by some types of medications. Dr. MGS Prasad, warns patients to be aware of the mouth and body connection, which leads to our last item.
Medical conditions related to the respiratory system, especially those that affect the lungs, sinuses and throat, may cause bad breath. Other conditions like diabetes, kidney and liver diseases can also lead to the bad odor in the mouth.
Fortunately, you (and the people who come into close contact with you) do not have to be a hapless victim of bad breath. One of the most important things that you can do to keep bad breath at bay is to clean your teeth, gums and tongue properly to eliminate food particles.
Your local dentist may also recommend products which you can use to prevent bad breath. If you are planning on using over-the-counter mouthwashes, be aware that most of these simply mask bad odor and do not treat the root cause of the problem.
Finally, make sure that you visit your dentist regularly in order to prevent dental problems from worsening. In cases wherein the underlying cause of the problem is medical in nature, you may have to consult a physician.