One of the more embarrassing occurrences in a person’s life is to be informed that you have bad breath. Thankfully for many people this is a one off event caused by a night of garlicky food, or forgetting to brush your teeth. For some however bad breath is a symptom of a chronic condition. For these people, it seems no amount of gum or length of tooth brushing will mask or remove the bad breath. Those suffering from halitosis do have options, they just need to make an appointment to discuss their issue with their Jacksonville, Florida dentist.
What Is Halitosis
Halitosis is a medical term for bad breath. There are many causes of halitosis and it is both treatable and preventable in most cases. It is estimated to plague 25 percent of the global population, and its main cause is bad oral hygiene. When food is left in the mouth and in between teeth it is digested by bacteria. This causes acid and the development of plaque and cavities. However if the bacteria in the mouth have an abundance of food particles to break down and digest it can produce sulfur compounds and essentially begins to rot in between your teeth. This can produce an atrocious smell that emanates from the mouth.
Common Causes of Bad Breath
Continuously bad breath is one of the top three reasons people schedule an appointment with their Jacksonville, Florida dentist. And its most common cause is poor oral hygiene. However, there are several other reasons besides errant food particles lingering in the teeth that can cause a person to suffer from halitosis.
- Dry Mouth – A dry mouth exacerbates the symptom of bad breath because saliva is our first line of defense against oral bacteria. When the mouth is dry due to snoring, and oftentimes certain medications, bacteria can proliferate unhindered and emit a foul odor.
- Smoking – Smoking is another common cause of bad breath. Along with heat and known carcinogens entering the mouth and leading to gum inflammation, which can cause bad breath, smoking also dries out the mouth leaving it susceptible to bacteria buildup and bad breath.
- Diet – Your diet has a large effect on how your breath smells. If food particles are left in the mouth for a long period of time, they can begin to cause oral odor. However sometimes people on low-carbohydrate diets experience bad breath because when fats are broken down in the body they can produce an odorous chemical called a ketone.
- Medical Conditions – Certain medical conditions can cause bad breath as well. GERD or gastrointestinal reflux disease causes an emptying of stomach acid into the esophagus which can cause bad breath. Cancers, liver and metabolic disorders can also be a cause of bad breath because of the way digestion is affected by the disease.
- Oral Disease – Often bad breath is a symptom of a much larger issue. Tooth decay, or cavities, can sometimes cause halitosis, as can periodontal disease. This is because of the overabundance of harmful bacteria in the mouth.
Banishing Bad Breath
Banishing bad breath may be an easy task if you are up to it. Because most cases of halitosis are caused by poor oral hygiene beginning to practice a beneficial oral health routine can eliminate bad breath. Brushing twice each day and flossing once each day can remove the odor-causing bacteria from your mouth and toothpaste can provide you with minty-fresh breath. However, in some cases it’s imperative that you see your Jacksonville, Florida dentist. If oral disease like a cavity or gum inflammation is the source of your bad breath, Dr. Shields will be able to treat your condition and the halitosis should subside.
The great thing about bad breath is that it is a temporary condition. You can easily cure bad breath by practicing impeccable oral hygiene every day. If you clear out the odor causing bacteria by brushing and flossing, you can have fresh breath all day long. If you are having a difficult time locating the source of your bad breath, call today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Shields. She can treat and fill cavities and even give you a deep cleaning to rid the mouth of harmful and odorous bacteria. She can also teach you how to prevent the condition from returning with an updated oral care routine.