What Can We Learn From Our Breath?

Understanding Halitosis

Halitosis is more commonly known as bad breath and it can be both frustrating and embarrassing. While bad breath is extremely common among people, it still isn’t very appealing. Halitosis can make it difficult to speak with people and can push people to avoid interaction. It’s time to take back your social life and learn the causes of halitosis and how to treat it to give you fresher breath.

Reason To Smile Dental provides quality dental services at an affordable cost. We offer a range of restorative and cosmetic dental procedures to give you a beautiful and healthy smile. We are dedicated to your oral health and to achieve that, we provide information on a range of topics to give you a better understanding of your dental hygiene. With that said, let’s take the time to understand halitosis, its causes, and treatments.

What Are the Causes of Halitosis?

It is a common misconception that halitosis can be stopped simply by brushing your teeth. While brushing your teeth helps, there are other causes of halitosis that aren’t stopped by brushing. Here are some common causes of bad breath:

  • Food: Food particles that are stuck in the teeth can cause odors in your mouth. Onions and garlic are digested and their breakdown products can be carried into the lungs through the blood. They can then affect breath there.
  • Dental Hygiene: Lack of dental hygiene can lead to bad breath because leftover food particles are not removed and bacteria can build up. It is important to brush your teeth and tongue as well as floss to remove food from hard to reach places.
  • Dry Mouth: Saliva naturally cleans the mouth and if your mouth is too dry, odors can build up.
    Mouth, nose, and throat conditions: bacteria covered stones can form on the tonsils and back of the throat to produce odors. Infections or inflammation in the nose, throat, or sinuses can also cause bad breath.
  • Tobacco: Smoking or chewing tobacco can cause bad odors in the mouth. They also increase the chance of gum disease and lead to more chronic bad breath.
  • Drugs: Medications can reduce saliva production and increase the odors because the saliva cannot clean your mouth.

While these are common causes for bad breath, there are also rare causes to be aware of. These causes are often much more serious and require medical attention. Those causes include:

  • Ketoacidosis: When insulin levels are very low in people with diabetes a distinctive and unpleasant breath smell arises.
  • Bowel Obstruction: Breath can smell like feces with prolonged bowel obstruction.
  • Chronic Kidney Failure: A scent of ammonia or urine can come from kidney failure.
  • Bronchiectasis: A buildup of mucus in airways can cause bad breath.
    Aspiration Pneumonia: A swelling in the lungs caused from inhaling vomit, saliva, food, or liquids can be the cause of bad breath.

Treatments for Halitosis

The best place to start is to extend your oral hygiene practices to include flossing and brushing your tongue. These are often areas where bacteria tend to build up and cause halitosis. Gum disease from lack of flossing often causes halitosis and it can lead to more serious problems like periodontitis. Outside of these methods, a change in diet can also improve symptoms. It is also important to avoid dry mouth. For rare causes of halitosis, it is important to check in with doctors to get treated for other diseases.

Fresh Breath From Reasons 2 Smile

A visit to the dentist will keep you aware of your oral hygiene and help keep your breath fresh and inviting. A professional cleaning and addressing other issues such as gum disease can stop symptoms of halitosis. If you’d like to schedule a visit, be sure to contact Reasons 2 Smile here or give us a call at (801) 719-5447!

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