Morning breath: Everyone wakes up with it, but what about when it lasts all day? Bad breath, also called halitosis, can plague anyone. Sometimes it indicates an oral hygiene issue and other times it might mean that a health issue is making itself known. Read on to learn more about what causes halitosis and what you can do about it.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Let’s be frank: If you’re not brushing and flossing properly, there’s a good chance that you have bad breath. Brushing twice daily and flossing before bed removes plaque and bacteria. The halitosis you (and others) notice if you skip brushing is caused by the excrement of that bacteria that are feasting on the leftovers from last night’s dinner. Yuck! One of the easiest and most effective ways to solve bad breath caused by poor oral hygiene is to start taking better care of your teeth and gums. This includes seeing a dental hygienist for a cleaning and a dentist for any dental work that needs to be done; infected gums and tooth decay, both of which can be caused by poor oral hygiene, can also cause bad breath.
There are some health conditions that can manifest with halitosis as a side effect. Diabetes can cause a life-threatening condition called ketoacidosis, which sometimes makes itself known by giving the breath a sweet, fruity smell. Kidney disease and other organ conditions can also cause bad breath. Esophageal and stomach-related conditions, such as GERD or ulcers, can cause bad breath, too. If your oral hygiene is good and you don’t have any tooth decay or dental infections, see your doctor to have halitosis addressed.
Finally, some medications can cause bad breath. The side effects from some antibiotics, heart medications, antihistamine, and other drugs can cause a dry mouth. This, in turn, can increase the number of bacteria in your mouth, which leads to bad breath. You can sip water frequently, chew sugarless gum, and suck on sugar-free lozenges to keep your saliva flowing. Also, talk to your doctor about side effects from medication that you’re experiencing. Do not, however, stop taking medication without the express advice from your physician.
If you are dealing with halitosis and you don’t have any symptoms of serious health conditions (like diabetes), your first step should be to make an appointment with your dentist to find out what’s going on. We can treat any decay or gum disease you’re dealing with and get you on track to healthier teeth and gums and more pleasant breath.