Everyone has experienced the dreaded “morning breath” – that disturbing smell coming out of your mouth upon waking that, until you drown it in a mix of toothpaste and mouthwash, could probably wilt flowers. It isn’t uncommon to also have terrible breath during the day; perhaps after eating a garlic and onion burger at your favorite local sports bar before returning to work. Thankfully, that mouth odor can be quelled with a mint or some spearmint gum; but what if, no matter what you try, you just cannot get rid of the strange odor coming from your mouth, even after using toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, gum and mints? In this case, you may be suffering from a medical condition known as halitosis.
Most bad breath is temporary, and rarely bothersome or alarming; but when bad breath is part of your day – every day – it is a warning sign that something is not right within your body. Halitosis can be caused by poor dental hygiene; or it could be a sign of an underlying health problem.
Causes of Bad Breath
Our breath releases the odors from the food we eat daily. As we chew, the food is broken down into smaller particles, which is then absorbed into the bloodstream upon digestion. The smaller food particles can sometimes enter the lungs, which then releases the odor as we exhale. Bad breath can also often be caused by poor dental hygiene. If brushing and flossing are not a daily routine, plaque will build up in the mouth, allowing bacteria to form communities on and in between the teeth, and on the tongue and gums. Bad breath when brushing is not executed daily comes from the noxious odors released by the bacteria, usually on the tongue, and can unfortunately make your breath smell awful.
A Cause and Effect Condition
The problem of halitosis can be considered both a cause and an effect. In some patients for example, bad breath can be the product of periodontal disease. This disease, also known as gingivitis, can be the perfect environment for bacteria to flourish, producing toxins that leak out of your mouth. Oral yeast infections and other mouth infections have also been known to cause bad breath and should be treated by a dental professional.
Halitosis can also be a sign of other underlying health problems, such as respiratory infections, bronchitis, diabetes, acid reflux and even dry mouth. These conditions can make your breath stink for days on end if not treated by a qualified dental professional.
If you have been living with smelly breath for longer than normal, it is important to contact Dr. Siegel today to find out what might be causing this problem. Halitosis isn’t just smelly breath; it can be a warning sign of a serious oral infection.