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23Jul2012

Could Bad Breath Suggest A More Serious Problem?

DOES YOUR BREATH STINK? Do you know if your breath stinks? What causes it? What can be done about it? Here at our practice we get lots of questions about bad breath. Sometimes the questions come from a long-suffering friend or family member of somebody else with bad breath.

Causes Of Bad Breath (often called “halitosis”)

Halitosis can be caused by a number of things—some more serious than others. Here are the most common causes:

1. Things You Eat, Like Garlic And Onions

Foods like garlic and onions contain oils that transfer through your bloodstream into your lungs, causing odor to be emitted each time you exhale. Various spices also can change or alter your breath, as well as effect your sweat.

2. Things You Don’t Eat, And A Dry Mouth

Dieting can trigger different chemical processes that can make you more susceptible to bad breath. Also, not eating slows down saliva production, decreasing your mouth’s ability to clean away bacterial build-up. That’s why “morning breath” is unpleasant. Also, certain prescription medications can cause dry mouth. We also live in a semi-desert climate in Calgary, and the dryness enhances bad breath problems. Increasing your water intake, and drinking carbonated, or sparkling, water will also stimulate your saliva flow. A humidifier in your bedroom will help, too.

3. The Way You Feel

Sometimes a cold or sore throat can be the culprit with odors coming directly from the bacteria or mucus trapped in your mouth or sinus area. Typically, these problems won’t go away until the symptoms causing them are gone.

4. Things That May Be More Serious

More serious causes include things like gum disease, kidney problems, diabetes, oral cancer, anorexia/bulimia and others. That’s why it’s so important to contact us about chronic bad breath problems that you just can’t seem to solve.

The order problems tend to occur starts with teeth, gums, tongue, cheeks, throat and then deeper metabolic, systemic health problems. Common things occur commonly. Drink lots of water, brush, floss, clean or scrape your tongue and use an oral rinse will cure 99% of bad breath problems.

Things You Can Do That Help

Remember, chronic or extreme bad breath is not normal. If you have any questions about causes, symptoms, or remedies talk with our team.

  1. Practice good oral hygiene! You know—brush and floss!
  2. Gently brush your tongue.
  3. Use an antibacterial mouthwash regularly. We have several brands we recommend including Listerine, BreathRx, Tooth and Gum Tonic and more. Ask us which one is best for you.
  4. Eat healthy, drink enough water, drink alcohol in moderation, and don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
  5. Occasionally chew sugarless gum or suck on a sugarless mint.
  6. If you wear any oral appliance, or have dentures, clean them thoroughly.
  7. Don’t miss or postpone regular dental checkups.

A Little Fun With “a new sense of daintiness…”

Contrary to the popular legend that Listerine coined the term “halitosis”, it actually dates back to the 1870’s. However, Listerine made the term commonplace by using it in many of their ad campaigns. Halitosis combines the Latin “halitus”, meaning “breath”, with the Greek suffix “osis” used to describe a medical condition.

Thanks, As Always, For Being Our Valued Patient

We sincerely appreciate the trust you place in us. And thanks for your kind referrals of friends, family members, and coworkers. Leave us a comment below or send us a direct message on our Facebook page!

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