What is Bad Breath?
Another name for bad breath is halitosis (hal-i-TOE-sis). Whatever you call bad breath it is a breath odor that may persist. You may notice it when you exhale (breathe out) or someone may notice it for you during a conversation. According to the American Dental Association, bad breath affects 5 in 10 people. While common, there are many causes of bad breath. Some more serious health problems than others.
What is bad breath a sign of?
Bad Breath can be a sign of many things as each person has different habits and health.To get to the underlying cause of your bad breath you need to know how bad breath happens. And even pinpoint different breath smells. Here are a few common causes of bad breath to know about.
Oral Hygiene and Halitosis
Poor oral hygiene habits are the most common cause of bad breath. This is what allows food particles to hang out on the tongue, between the teeth and on the gums.
When you eat, the normal bacteria in your mouth then break down food particles. This releases chemicals and may cause bad odor.
Those who take dental hygiene seriously understand that dental health is only partly about the keeping teeth clean and white. Mouth odor reflects the entire health and cleanliness of the oral cavity (aka mouth, teeth, tongue, between the teeth, bite, roof of mouth).
In general, you can generate good oral health with the following dental care steps and tools.
- Brush your teeth at least two times per day. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste
- Floss between your teeth. Flossing is also good to do at least once per day
- Clean your tongue. Either a tongue scraper or toothbrush
- Mouth rinse using water after steps 1, 2, and 3 and follow with mouthwash if you like
- Chewing gum if sugar free gum may help keep the mouth moist so this is ok (rule of thumb, sugarless mints vs candy too)
- Bed time - we suggest using the Breath Guard to reduce bacteria
- If you wear dentures, you should remove them and follow good oral hygiene too
These practices can help with morning breath to be sure. Not to mention, tooth decay and gum disease can also cause bad breath and that will mean more than regular check ups at the dentist's office ($).
What causes very bad breath?
If you wonder why your breath smells like poop, the answer is usually poor oral hygiene. That makes lots of sense, right? If you didn't shower or bathe, likely your body would smell bad too. Cleanliness helps take away the plaque and bacteria that coat teeth and the spaces in between them.
What Causes Bad Breath Even After Brushing Your Teeth?
If you still have bad breath even if you brush your teeth and have a top notch oral hygiene routine, there may be other causes of your bad breath. Here are a few common health problems as well as more serious health conditions that affect breath odor.
Xerostomia (Dry Mouth)
While not a disease, dry mouth happens when there is not enough saliva flow. Production of saliva is important as saliva is the mouth's natural way to clean itself. Saliva also
- Controls the pH balance in the mouth
- Helps you swallow food
- Lubricates the mouth
- Remineralizes the mouth
In some cases, dry mouth is a symptom of some medical conditions. So you should get medical advice if in doubt as to whether your salivary gland functions as it should.
The Oral Cancer Foundation notes that dry mouth is one side effect of a radiation (to the head and neck). Some medications can also dry out the mouth and in doing so, can definitely cause bad breath.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Two other names are acid reflux and Gerd. A chronic disease, it happens when the stomach acid or bile flows into the food pipe, irritating the lining. After that description, you can no doubt grasp how Gerd can be a cause of bad breath.
The Mayo Clinic says it is pretty common. Many people notice they get heartburn after eating certain foods (over spicy, too much garlic etc). Then, need to lie down which only makes things worse.
It bears repeating that chest pain is something to look after ASAP especially if you have shortness of breath or the pain goes into your arm. Those antacid tablets also do nothing to fight bad breath.
How do you get rid of bad breath from acid reflux? If you have mild indigestion, drinking water can help to flush out the system. Water also has zero calories and no smell to it, so it is two for one healthy mouth special. Sugary drinks and coffee do not fight bad breath (FYI) they can cause mouth odor.
Gum disease or periodontal disease is a pretty serious gum infection. It can damage gums and destroy the jawbone too. As you know now, having anything off balance in your mouth can cause bad breath.
Smoking is a known risk factor as it affects the gum tissue. So if you use tobacco products like chewing tobacco remember you'll need to be extra careful with your oral health.
When healthy, kidneys take away extra water and waste. They help control our blood pressure and regulate the body chemicals, as well as keep bones strong. Kidney disease on the other hand, can prevent the body from making red blood cells and in children, can deter their normal growth.
One of the side effects of kidney problems is ammonia breath or a metal taste in the mouth. That waste build up in the body can also cause bad breath and change the way you taste food.
Can sinus problems cause bad breath?
Yes sinus infections, postnasal drip and sinusitis can cause bad breath. Like issues with the tonsils, the swelling and mucus build up make the breath smell.
How can I permanently get rid of bad breath?
It is possible to get rid of bad breath for good if you are proactive about your oral health. While Covid 19 may shut your dentist's office for awhile, that is a perfect opportunity to step up your dental care game.
We suggest you add BreathGuard to your night time regime so that it can work for you while you are asleep. The patented technology we use can block bad breath germs. This can change your morning breath into something to smile about.
Stay healthy, stay informed!
The Zinkh Breath Guard Team