Understanding Bad Breath

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Halitosis is more commonly known as bad breath and it can be both frustrating and embarrassing. While bad breath is extremely common among people, it still isn’t very appealing. Halitosis can make it difficult to speak with people and can push people to avoid interaction. It’s time to take back your social life and learn the causes of halitosis and how to treat it to give you fresher breath.

Camberwell Road Dental offers a range of restorative and cosmetic dental procedures to give you the beautiful healthy smile you are proud of. To do so, we are dedicated to your oral health and provide information on a range of topics to give you a better understanding of your dental hygiene. So, let’s take the time to understand halitosis, some of its causes, and treatments.

What Are the Causes of Halitosis?

It is a common misconception that halitosis can be stopped simply by brushing your teeth. While brushing your teeth helps, there are other causes of halitosis that aren’t stopped by brushing. Here are some common causes of bad breath:

  • Food:  Food particles that are stuck in the teeth can cause odours in your mouth. Other foods such as onions and garlic are digested and their breakdown products can be carried into the lungs through the blood. They can then affect breath from there.
  • Dental Hygiene:  Lack of dental hygiene can lead to bad breath because leftover food particles are not removed and bacteria can build up. It is important to brush your teeth and tongue as well as floss or use interdental brushes to remove food from hard to reach places.
  • Dry Mouth:  Saliva naturally cleans the mouth and if your mouth is too dry, odours can build up.

  • Mouth, nose, and throat conditions: bacteria covered stones can form on the tonsils and back of the throat to produce odours. Infections or inflammation in the nose, throat, or sinuses can also cause bad breath.
  • Tobacco:  Smoking or chewing tobacco can cause bad odours in the mouth. They also increase the chance of gum disease and lead to more chronic bad breath.
  • Drugs:  Medications can reduce saliva production and increase the odours because the saliva cannot clean your mouth.
  • Low Carb Diets: Low-carb diets may be good for your waistline, but you might not be able to say the same for your breath. When carbohydrates are not readily available, the body starts to use other fats and proteins as a source of energy. This state of ketosis releases chemicals called ketones which can cause bad breath.

While these are common causes for bad breath, there are also rare causes to be aware of. These causes are often much more serious and require medical attention. Those causes include:

  • Ketoacidosis:  When insulin levels are very low in people with diabetes a distinctive and unpleasant breath smell arises.
  • Bowel Obstruction:  Breath can smell like faeces with prolonged bowel obstruction.
  • Chronic Kidney Failure:  A scent of ammonia or urine can come from kidney failure.
  • Bronchiectasis:  A build-up of mucus in airways can cause bad breath.
  • Aspiration Pneumonia: A swelling in the lungs caused from inhaling vomit, saliva, food, or liquids can be the cause of bad breath.

Treatments for Halitosis

If you experience bad breath, the best place to start is to ensure your oral hygiene practices include twice daily brushing, flossing and brushing of your tongue, as well as regular 6 monthly dental check-up. Flossing is important as these are often areas where bacteria tend to build up and cause halitosis. Gum disease from poor oral hygiene often causes halitosis and can lead to more serious problems such as inflammation and loss of supporting tissues for your teeth. Outside of these methods, a change in diet can also improve symptoms. If you still experience bad breath after introducing a thorough dental hygiene routine, it is important to check in with your regular doctor to rule out any health concerns being the cause.

Fresh Breath from Camberwell Road Dental

A visit to the Dentist in Camberwell will keep you aware of your oral hygiene and help keep your breath fresh and inviting. A professional cleaning and addressing other issues such as gum disease can stop symptoms of halitosis.