Halitosis, the medical term for bad breath, can be a symptom of gingivitis. Your lifestyle, choice of food, and your dental health are all factors that cause bad breath. An estimated 25% of the global population suffers from chronic halitosis. Unfortunately for them, it doesn’t go away with normal brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash. It can even affect you if you have dentures, individual dental implants, or All-on-4 dental implants.
Causes of Bad Breath
In most cases, the foul odor originates in the mouth, throat, or tonsil areas. These areas contain a certain type of anaerobic, sulfur-producing bacteria that can breed without oxygen. These bacteria are naturally occurring and are essential to our digestion because they help to begin breaking down proteins into amino acids. These proteins can be found in mucus, certain types of food, and in diseased gums.
As these bacteria feed on proteins in your oral area, they release foul-smelling, volatile sulfur compounds as waste. As long as the bacteria have a readily available source of food, they’ll continue to feast and produce waste.
There are four common causes of that allow the bacteria to thrive in your mouth. These include:
The number-one cause of halitosis is poor oral hygiene. If you are not brushing and flossing or cleaning your teeth, dentures, or dental implants twice daily, or if you neglect biannual dental visits, the anaerobic bacteria will thrive. Poor oral hygiene also leads to gum infection and eventually gum disease. Other causes of bad dental hygiene are poorly performed teeth in a day procedure, incorrectly placed dental implants or All-on-4 implants, or dirty dentures.
Dishes with fresh or cooked garlic or onions can increase the effect of halitosis. These foods also contain sulfur compounds that combine with the sulfur being produced in your mouth. Those who eat dairy, meat, and fish regularly also run the risk of contracting chronic bad breath. These foods contain the proteins that the anaerobic bacteria feed on and can be a source of their food for hours or days.
A dry mouth presents the perfect breeding area for the sulfur-producing bacteria to rapidly reproduce. Smoking and drinking or long periods of low saliva production such as while sleeping are all causes of dry mouth. For those who have healthier habits, normal saliva production will eliminate the odor within a few minutes. Those with low saliva production may suffer from long-term issues.
Illness or Disease
Individuals with diabetes, lung disease, cancer, liver disease, or kidney disease normally experience bad breath due to dry mouth. Illnesses such as pneumonia, sinusitis, and bronchitis all affect the respiratory functions and also cause low saliva production. Additionally, the medications associated with these diseases and illnesses can factor into low saliva production.
Treating Bad Breath
Our recommended and clinically proven method for treating bad breath is to schedule an appointment where chronic halitosis can be properly diagnosed. During the visit, we can recommend toothpaste and mouthwash, or cleaners for your dentures or dental implants that help to oxygenate your mouth. Because the bacteria don’t need oxygen to grow, oxygenating products will help to neutralize the volatile sulfur compounds while helping to control the bacteria. We can also recommend saliva substitutes if you’re experiencing long-term mouth dryness.
We strongly suggest staying away from methods such as tongue scraping because the bacteria are part of your tongue’s flora and aid in digestion. Also, do not use alcohol-based mouthwashes as the alcohol contained in these will dry your mouth out.
If you find you have persistent halitosis, would like information on the teeth in a day procedure, or would like more information on how to care for your dentures, your All-on-4 implants, or your individual dental implants, schedule a visit with Chandler Periodontics today.