Halitosis or Bad Breath

Posted on Sep 27, 2014 in News | 0 comments

One of the most common complaints that my patients come in with and wanted corrected is Bad Breath or Halitosis.

Bad breath can be caused by various factors:

  • Poor hygiene (inadequate brushing, flossing, cleaning the tongue may leave particles of food which then invite more bacterial growth and cause odors from the bacterial degradation)
  • Gum Disease (allows food to stay between the gums and teeth and cause more bacterial growth)
  • Cavities (are food traps, also allow more bacteria to grow)
  • Abscess (due to deep cavities or advanced gum disease which cause accumulation of pus which is full of bacteria)
  • Dry mouth (enough saliva is not produced to wash off the particles of food and bacteria. This also is seen in “morning breath” because there is not enough saliva production at night. Dry mouth can be caused by various systemic diseases like Diabetes, Kidney disease, liver disease Sjogren’s syndrome and various medications)
  • Post nasal drip (mucus from the nose (allergies, colds, etc.) goes down and gets stuck in the throat causes bad breath) H Pylori Infection (bacterial infection in the intestines can contribute to bad breath)
  • Radiation therapy (dries the mouth by affecting saliva production and cases dry mouth, cavities)
  • Certain foods (garlic, onions, coffee etc. can affect the breath for up to a few days after consumption). Low Carb Diet (burns fat which releases ketones which also cause bad breath). Foods that produce sulfur bi products (like high protein diet can cause bad breath)

How to reduce or get rid of it:

  • Good Oral Hygiene:
    • Drink water periodically during the day.
    • Brush at least twice a day preferably after breakfast and at bed time, so the mouth is clean between breakfast and lunch and all night. Brush all surfaces of your teeth- inside outside and biting surfaces and brush your tongue or better scrape it with a tongue scraper.
    • Floss to get food from in between your teeth.
    • Mouth wash after each meal.
    • During the day if you have a snack drink water to wash off the food particles or chew on some sugar free gum with xylitol which removes some of the food particles and increases saliva production from the chewing motion and combats the S. Mutans which is an odor causing bacteria.
  • Regular visits to the dentist to remove plaque and tartar build up and make sure there are no contributing factors to the bad breath.
  • Contributing Medical Problems need to be controlled by a physician.


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