March 28, 2017
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Do You Have Bad Breath? Find Out What You Can do to Help!

There is not enough minty-fresh gum in the world to mask the unfortunate aroma of halitosis. Most people who suffer from this are unaware that it is a medical condition, which is technically called stomatodysodia, fetor oris, and ozostomia. All the “big” words in the dictionary about halitosis won’t change the outcome: bad breath.

If your loved ones have been brave enough to mention that you might be sporting a less than pleasant odor when you talk, sing, whisper, or breath within their smelling vicinity, you may be someone who has chronic halitosis.

What is halitosis? Have you ever been near a place that gives off the scent of sulfur? If you have then you understand the incredibly strong smell that it produces. Halitosis is a sulfur-producing bacteria that breeds beneath the surface of the tongue, the tonsils, and the throat. These particular bacteria assists in the digestion of breaking down proteins and turning them into amino acids. They are commonly found in food, mucus, diseased oral tissue, and blood.

Sulfur compounds are released from the back of the tongue and throat, which excretes waste known as: methyl mercaptan, hydrogen sulfide, and other volatile sulfur compounds. Left unchecked your breath will become increasingly worse.

What are some of the causes of bad breath?

Poor Dental Hygiene - this one is obvious, but surprisingly common for many. Without having a daily routine of brushing and flossing you allow bacteria to develop into biofilm (dental plaque). If not removed on a routine/daily basis it leads to diseases, such as gingivitis and periodontitis, which case odor-inducing bacteria within the soft tissue in the mouth

Dry Mouth - saliva plays a big part in the “cleaning” of the mouth. It is the body’s way of washing away unwanted particles. With Xerostomia, the medical term for dry mouth, your mouth becomes the perfect environment for anaerobic bacteria. Some of the common causes are: medication, snoring, extensive periods of speaking, smoking, and the consumption of alcohol

Food - certain foods have a sulfur aroma, such as garlic and onions. Dense proteins, such as meats and dairy also contain sulfur-producing bacteria. Refined and processed sugars and acidic beverages (sugar filled juices, coffee, soda) create an ideal breeding ground for bad-breath-causing bacteria

Illness and Disease - diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, lung disease, respiratory tract infection, metabolic disorders, and cancer all can play a part on the freshness of your breath. The connection is often a side effect of the medication used to control chronic disease, which (again) leads us back to dry mouth

Symptoms of Halitosis

When you have chronic bad breath, your body is telling you that something is out of balance. Oddly enough, one of the ways to tell if you have bad breath (because it is often hard for friends and family to have the courage to tell you that you stink) is to lick the inside of your wrist, wait five seconds, and then have a sniff. If you don’t like what you smell, odds are that those around you feel the same.

Thick saliva, white coating on the tongue, a bitter metallic taste, and post-nasal drip are all ways that your mouth is telling you that there is a problem. Some people will have difficulty swallowing, speaking, have dry eyes, sore throat, persistent cough, burning within the mouth, or swollen lymph nodes in the neck when they are suffering from halitosis.

These symptoms can be the cause of bad breath or they are often symptoms of something else, which may be a bigger issue. Either way, if you are experiencing any symptoms, contact our office today and we can help you get to the bottom of the problem, and give you back your confidence.