Posts Tagged ‘respiratory infections’

What Medical Conditions Cause Bad Breath?

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

In a dental office, people often pick up brochures that discuss how to get rid of bad breath.  In general, people like to know if their breath smells poorly.  Bad breath can be very unpleasant if you experience it coming from someone else’s mouth.

People often question how well their minty flavored mouthwashes work, especially since they have it everyday and may still experience bad breath.

Short-term bad breath is can be caused by having onions in a meal, which generally resolves itself when the food works its way through your system.  Mouthwash temporarily covers the smell, but the natural-occuring bacteria that causes this bad smell feeds on any left-over food in your mouth.  Also, dieting can lead to bad breath because the human body releases various chemicals in your breath when it breaks down stored protein and fat.

Some of the main medical conditions that can cause bad breath are sinusitis, respiratory infections, gastro-intestinal problems, and dry mouth (commonly caused by medications).  If you have chronic salty tastes in your mouth or moving teeth, you may have gum disease, which can lead to serious problems.  What happens is bacteria trapped around the teeth cause gum inflammation and overall inflammation, which can eventually lead to bone loss and tooth loss if left unchecked.

Foul-smelling breath caused by health issues generally won’t go away without proper care. To solve these issues permanently, one needs to get to the root of the problem and consult a professional, like a dentist.  Dentists should recognize periodontal disease and know how to treat it.

Mouthwash may help bad breath temporarily, but by doing this frequently, it can be like wearing a bandage on an open wound that never heals. If you don’t want a long-term bandage on your hand, why would you want one for your overall health?

If people offer you gum or are scared away by your bad breath all the time, you may have a bigger issue than bad breath to resolve.

Source:  Marcine Hays, Oak Park Family Dental Care

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