Bad breath is a common, but very unpleasant problem. Almost everyone has bad breath after waking up, which can be considered normal, but the cause of permanent bad breath is important to be uncovered. These causes sometimes might lie someplace other than the mouth, and might be caused by problems in the digestive system or lungs.
Let’s take a look at how to find the causes of this unpleasant symptom, and what can be done about it.
Problems in the mouth
The causes of unpleasant breath are found in the mouth in most cases.
Bacteria that naturally occur in the mouth process pieces of food remaining on the tongue or between the teeth, and create sulfur compounds that are responsible for bad breath. If the oral mucosa dries out, bacteria can build up, making the symptoms worse. Various factors, such as dehydration, unhealthy habits (smoking, the consumption of alcohol or coffee) and diabetes can contribute to dry mouth.
This problem can be treated by drinking plenty of fluids, and maintaining good oral hygiene.
Tooth brushing regularly (twice a day) using the correct technique and flossing are also important. Not many people know that the tongue needs to be thoroughly cleaned as well. This can be done with a toothbrush, floss or a tongue scraper, the only important thing is to also remove plaque from the back of the tongue.
Besides home care, professional oral hygiene treatments are also important, such as polishing or tartar removal.
Other factors that cause bad breath might be bad teeth, gingivitis or other inflammations, and oral thrush. In order to detect these problems it is advisable to attend regular dental screenings. The dentists of Árkád Dental are aware of the importance of preventive care and diagnostics:
Other conditions that cause bad breath
The head of the snake
Chronic nasal mucosa or sinus infections can also be the causes of the problem. Food and bacteria often get stuck in the folds of the tonsil (these are called tonsil stones), releasing bad smells. If your bad breath persists for a longer period, you should visit an ENT (ear, nose and throat) practice.
Problems deeper down
The digestive system is also in connection with the mouth. This is why diseases of these organs may also be the cause of symptoms in the mouth; such gastritis, acid reflux, diabetes, kidney disease, or liver failure. Although bad breath doesn’t automatically mean any of these very serious conditions are present, it is still advisable to visit a specialist if these symptoms persist despite maintaining proper oral hygiene. Certain conditions may cause certain types of bad breath, for example diabetes may cause the mouth to smell like acetone, or kidney disease can be a cause of ammonia-like smells.
Fighting bad breath (the medical term is halitosis) can be a great problem for many people - not mentioning the anxiety caused by a fear of halitosis, called halitophobia.
Back to the mouth
It is unnecessary to worry about serious diseases just because of bad breath, as the causes are found in the mouth in most cases.
What can you do about it?
Ask for professional advice about the correct tools and technique to use for dental care at home
Attend regular dental screenings to detect any problems in the mouth
Have regular dental cleaning procedures done, such as tartar removal and polishing
Read our article about gum bleeding, which is also connected to bad breath.
Get rid of bad breath!
Don’t postpone your dental treatment any longer!