The Top 5 Causes of Bad Breath and Its Treatment

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The Top 5 Causes of Bad Breath and Its Treatment

Robert had Eleanor intrigued ....

...until he got close enough to reveal his bad breath.

Original sketches by Suzanne Conway

A whiff of bad breath can sour a social encounter. An occasional “morning breath” doesn’t qualify as a case of chronic bad breath – also referred to as “halitosis.” When it’s from a meal of onions or garlic, chewing gum or breath mints can tide you over until you can brush  your teeth. However, when bad breath is chronic, it indicates a more serious matter. Chronic foul breath usually accompanies one or more of the following common factors:

1. Plaque Buildup. Cavities and tongues with deep grooves serve as prime reservoirs for bacteria we commonly call plaque – a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on teeth. The bacteria produces volatile sulphur compounds that give bad breath, or halitosis.

2. Periodontal Disease. Gums that are puffy or bleed when you brush indicate infection.

3. Medications. According to the most recent research 7 out of the top 10 medications used in the US during 1998 had “dry mouth, bad breath, or taste disorders” as a side effect.

4. Tooth Decay. Tooth decay is just what the name implies–dead, decayed matter. Dead stuff smells bad by itself,and since the decay is fairly soft, it absorbs juices from the foods you eat, and that decays as well. Every area of decay is a potential source of bad breath. You cannot hope to eliminate bad breath permanently without first having the decay repaired.

5. Diseases. Some diseases are directly related to chronic bad breath such as diabetes, sinus and tonsil infections and lung, kidney and liver diseases.

Since chronic bad breath can be either medical or dental in origin, the first approach is improving oral hygiene. This includes the following:

•Scrape Your Tongue.

•Brush and Floss every day

•Get regular professional cleanings

•Treat gum disease with deep cleanings that eliminate bacteria that has penetrated into gum tissue that has pulled back from the teeth – called “pockets.” This allows the gums to heal and reattach to the teeth.

If the above treatments don’t address the situation, seek medical treatment for any chronic infections that are contributing to the condition.

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