Bad breath? We’ve all been there.
Scientifically, it’s actually known as halitosis. But what causes it, and how can it be treated?
Studies show that 80% of bad breath arises from an oral source, and it’s likely that your bad breath does, as well.
Still, oral sources aren’t the only culprits. A comprehensive understanding of halitosis is necessary in order to ensure your breath is at its finest, so let’s not waste any time diving into the specifics.
Bad Breath Due to Odors
Sometimes the simplest culprit is the most likely, and if you’re like many Canadians, your smelly breath is directly tied to what you’ve eaten lately.
Really. It could be as simple as that. All food you consume first begins to be broken down in your mouth, so if you fancy foods with a potent kick — onions or garlic, for example — you put yourself at greater risk of suffering from bad breath throughout the day.
It’s important to note that a quick brush or a swish of the ‘ole mouthwash likely won’t do the trick in truly fixing your issue, either. While these remedies can provide a little temporary relief, know that they’ll ultimately only cover up the odor, not eliminate it. This is because food is eventually absorbed into the bloodstream, and when it is the resulting odors get moved right on to the lungs. The odors won’t entirely disappear until your body fully dispels of the food.
In other words, your diet plays a significant role in bad breath.
Bad Breath Due to Poor Hygiene
Another simple, common cause of bad breath that some overlook: poor dental hygiene.
Brushing a couple times a day sometimes isn’t enough. Food particles can still remain wedged in your teeth, where they will fester over time and foster bacterial growth. This bacterial growth causes bad breath.
Those that wear dentures are at particular risk, as wearing such a dental appliance only increases the risk of food particles remaining behind after eating.
Oh, and if you’re a smoker, or into chewing tobacco? Unfortunately, these are also poor hygiene choices that contribute to halitosis. Gum irritation and stained teeth are additional downfalls of tobacco-related products.
Bad Breath Due to Existing Health Problems
Sadly, persistent bad breath sometimes isn’t related to easily correctable poor hygiene or a casual binge on heavily garlic-infused food. Instead, existing health conditions may be contributing to your problems.
Many individuals in Alberta and throughout Canada suffer from gum disease, more scientifically known as periodontal disease. Gum disease arises from the continual buildup of plaque on your teeth and near your gums. This plaque, which is bacteria, eventually creates toxins that will irritate and inflame your gums. Eventually, when left untreated this condition can even affect your jawbone, and it most certainly will cause the freshness of your breath to take a nosedive.
Along the lines of gum disease, dental cavities and yeast infections of the mouth are additional health problems that may encourage persistent bad breath, as is xerostomia (dry mouth). While you may not be familiar with the condition, xerostomia arises from a continual absence of saliva, resulting in the build-up of dead cells that will decompose and contribute to rather funky breath.
Finally, it’s critical to understand that more serious diseases can contribute to bad breath on top of the other severe symptoms they may cause. These diseases include bronchitis, pneumonia, diabetes, acid reflux, chronic sinus infections, kidney issues, and even liver problems.
Be vigilant. If you suspect any of the above, consult a specialist in Calgary immediately.
Treating Your Bad Breath
As long as your halitosis isn’t derived from one of the more serious existing health conditions above, treating your bad breath can be a fairly simple affair, so long as you are willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes.
If you or a family member enjoy tobacco products, consider dumping the habit, or at least gradually cutting back on your usage.
If you have reason to suspect your dental hygiene is an issue, make sure you actually floss daily — it’s something that many patients neglect to do, even when frequently reminded by their dentist. Also, consider investing in an antibacterial mouth rinse.
Finally, you may only need to watch your diet. Consider what you eat and, moreover, what you’re adding to your meals. Does your pasta sauce really need that garlic powder, or does your burger need to be adorned by those onions? Making a few smart choices can go a long way to alleviating you and your family’s bad breath woes.