There are many reasons for bad breath, a.k.a. halitosis including disease. Your average morning breath is a common condition that about 50% of people have. But when chronic, bad breath can also be a warning sign of more serious disease.
That is why it is important to pay close attention to what your oral health says about your overall wellness.
Before you stress out, we will walk you through some common causes of bad breath. Then, get into some medical conditions that may signal your breath odor is a red flag. And if so, a more serious health problem may be at play.
What Causes Halitosis?
Studies show that the number one common cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene.
The reason is that poor oral hygiene causes bacteria to grow in the mouth. These bad breath germs produce sulfur compounds in the form of gas which makes breath smell bad.
Other known causes of bad breath are:
- Dentures which can breed bacteria
- Gum Disease and cavities
- Dry Mouth caused by a salivary gland issue
- Smoking and tobacco products like chewing tobacco
- Foods and diet
- Dental surgery
- Some medication (which also causes dry mouth)
5 Daily Steps to Help Dental Health Out
For many people, a healthy oral hygiene routine does the trick to get rid of the bacteria that cause mouth odor.
Dental hygiene also helps in the fight against cavities, tooth decay and gum disease.
COVID 19 has prevented many of us from getting regular dentist checkups. So, these 5 daily steps may help if your bad breath is not severe.
- Brush your teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste. According to the American Dental Association, you should brush twice a day for two minutes.
- Dental floss. Using dental floss cleans the space between the teeth where bacteria hang out.
- Rinse your mouth. To make there are no leftover food particles, rinse well with water.
- Mouthwash. Using a mouthwash may help to make the breath smell fresher in the short term.
- Use a Tongue Scraper. This tool cleans the tongue and may help with simple morning breath.
What Causes Bad Breath After Brushing My Teeth?
If your bad breath persists, there may be an underlying cause. For 1 out of 4 Americans brushing, flossing, chewing sugar free gum and using mouthwash is not enough to treat bad breath.
Do Diseases Cause Bad Breath?
In about 5 to 10% of all chronic bad breath cases, an underlying health condition is to blame. You should consult a physician for a diagnosis if you have:
- Many sores in the mouth
- Pain with chewing or swallowing
- White spots on the tonsils
- Really dry mouth that means there isn't a healthy production of saliva
- Any symptoms that persist or concern you
What Diseases Cause Bad Breath?
Some major diseases cause bad breath. That means, if you have bad breath that doesn't go away, it may be an (early) sign of serious illnesses or health conditions.
Here are six diseases that are known causes of bad breath:
People who suffer from diabetes lack insulin.
Insulin is the hormone that brings glucose to the cells where it converts to energy. When there is a lack of insulin, the body will turn to burning fat instead of sugar. And this produces ketones in the body.
One ketone in particular, acetone, will cause your breath to have a strong smell. The same process actually occurs in people who have an extreme low carb diet. Like the ketogenic diet or Atkins diet. Because these diets are about fat burning, they release ketones and halitosis.
#2 Kidney Disease
The kidneys are in charge of filtering the blood for your heart and body to use. When your kidneys don't work, they can’t filter minerals out of your bloodstream.
A lack of filter can cause a mineral buildup in your bloodstream. When that happens, you often get a metallic taste in your mouth and bad breath (an ammonia-like smell).
#3 Liver Disease
When your liver can’t function like it should, it won’t be able to regulate your body’s blood sugar.
This will cause toxins to build up in your bloodstream too. And gives you foul smelling breath that takes on a sweet, musty odor.
GERD is “Gastroesophageal reflux disease”. It occurs when acid in the stomach flows back up the esophagus. This is also known as acid reflux.
Another thing GERD is associated with is chest pain. Also, the feeling of a lump in your throat. You may also regurgitate some undigested food into your mouth too, which again, leads to foul mouth odor.
If you have extra stomach acid after a meal, this is different. But you might want to watch for any links between what you eat and are able to easily digest.
#5 Mouth, nose and throat infections
According to the Mayo Clinic small, bacteria covered stones that form on the tonsils at the back of the throat can produce a smell.
Also, sinus infections or inflammation in the nose, throat, or sinuses can cause bad breath. One reason is that bacteria feasts on the mucus your body produces when fighting off things like a sinusitis. So, if you have postnasal drip, it can also leave you feeling sniffly and stinky.
Gum disease or periodontitis can cause your breath to smell. Periodontal disease can also harm the bone that supports your teeth, cause teeth to loosen or lead to tooth loss. Luckily our 5 steps to good oral health can prevent this in the first place.
What is causing my bad breath?
One way to know what is causing your bad breath in the next few minutes is to fill in our online Breath Quiz. You can get free advice from our Breath Consultant that may answer pressing questions.
You might also find it helpful to learn how our effective patented technology treats and prevents bad breath. We also suggest you consult with your dentist or medical pro if you suspect that an illness is the cause of your bad breath.
Stay healthy, stay informed!
The Zinkh BreathGuard Team