How Do You Know if Bad Breath (Halitosis) is Serious?

How Do You Know if Bad Breath (Halitosis) is Serious?

Feb 01, 2023

While occasional bad breath is usually nothing to worry about, chronic bad breath can indicate an underlying health condition. Fortunately, you can get bad breath treatment in Houston to address the problem. There are also other ways to treat and prevent bad breath. Brushing and flossing remove food particles from between the gums. Scraping your tongue with a scraper will remove plaques in the tongue and keep the mouth clean and refreshed. There are also many over-the-counter products available that can help with bad breath.

Why Does Bad Breath Happen?

Bad breath can happen for many reasons, which include:

    • Poor oral hygiene

Poor hygiene is one of the leading causes of bad breath. When food particles and bacteria build up on your teeth, they can cause your breath to smell unpleasant. If you brush and floss regularly, the problem will get better. In addition to causing bad breath, poor dental hygiene can also lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

    • Food and drink

Your diet can also cause a bad smell in your mouth. Foods like fish, garlic, or onion contain sulfur-containing compounds that cause a sulfuric smell when digested.

Red meat and poultry can sometimes cause bad breath because they contain amine compounds that can produce an ammonia-like odor when digested. You may also notice that these meats become darker as they age.

    • Tobacco products

Tobacco products are a leading cause of bad breath. When you smoke or chew tobacco, the chemicals in the tobacco stick to your teeth and gums. These chemicals include tar, nicotine, and other toxins that cause bad breath.

Tobacco use also dries out your mouth. Saliva is your mouth’s natural way of cleansing itself and getting rid of bacteria. When you don’t have enough saliva, bacteria can grow and cause bad breath.

Smoking also increases your risk for gum disease, which can cause bad breath. Smoking makes it harder for your body to fight off infection and heal from injury.

If you use any tobacco product, quit as soon as possible. Quitting will not only improve your breath, but it will also improve your overall health.

    • Medical conditions and medications

Several medical conditions and medications can cause bad breath. The most common medical condition that causes bad breath is gum disease. Plaque buildup is the primary cause of periodontal disease.

When not removed, the plaque hardens into tartar, which affects the gums and soft tissues.

Gum disease causes bad breath because the bacteria in the plaque produce sulfur compounds. These sulfur compounds have a strong odor that can be difficult to address. Other medical conditions that can cause bad breath include sinus infections, bronchitis, and lung infections. Medications that can cause bad breath include certain antibiotics, antidepressants, and high blood pressure medications.

    • Dry mouth

Pharmaceuticals can cause dry mouth by reducing the amount of saliva you produce. This can result in bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth sensitivity. If you take one prescription medication or have several different prescriptions taken at once, you must talk with your doctor about how each medication may affect your oral health.

How to Treat Bad Breaths?

First, brush and floss your teeth regularly to remove food particles that can lead to a bad smell. Be sure to brush your tongue as well – this is often an overlooked step but can make a big difference in freshening your breath.

In addition to brushing and flossing, use a mouthwash or tongue scraper to remove bacteria from your mouth. These simple steps will reduce the odor-causing bacteria and leave you with fresher breath. Also, eat healthy food such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Avoid tobacco products because they contain harmful chemicals that can cause bad breath over time.

A persistent bad breath may indicate a more severe underlying condition such as gum disease or acid reflux. See your dentist in Houston to rule out any medical causes of bad breath.

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Visit Greater Houston Dental Arts for more information about how to prevent and address bad breath.

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