We’ve all been there: you’ve eaten some garlic bread or you have a dry mouth, and you realize that your breath isn’t as fresh as it should be. But there’s a big difference between the occasional bad breath that everyone experiences, and the misfortune of having chronic bad breath. Equipping purses and lunchboxes with mouthwash doesn’t easily resolve chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis. Bad breath affects an estimated 25 percent of people, globally. So, what is halitosis and how can you and your family cope? Here are a few tips.
What is Halitosis?
Halitosis is a condition in which a person emanates an unattractive odor from their mouth. The everyday “morning breath” most people wake up with is not halitosis. Neither is the five minutes of bad breath you’ll experience after eating the occasional spice-heavy exotic meal. True halitosis is a persistent smell that does not go away after brushing, flossing and rinsing. It can be demoralizing and embarrassing, but it’s also fairly common, and thus, quite treatable.
What Causes Halitosis?
Halitosis has a range of causes, some of which are pretty serious. Here are some of the most common offenders:
Medical issues. Some viruses and illnesses, particularly those that affect the sinuses, nasal passages and throat, can result in halitosis. These illnesses can lead to postnasal drip which may also contribute to bad breath. Bacteria feeds on mucus your body produces when it’s battling something like a sinus infection, leaving you sniffly and stinky. Children with offensive breath might have a cold or sinus infection. Bad breath can also be a sign of some liver and kidney diseases.
What Can I Do to Prevent Halitosis?
Bad breath can be reduced or prevented if you:
In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath. If your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy and the odor is not of oral origin, you may be referred to your family doctor or to a specialist to determine the odor source and treatment plan. If the odor is due to gum disease, for example, your dentist can either treat the disease or refer you to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in treating gum conditions.
Do you have any questions about halitosis? Call Westermeier Martin Dental care to schedule an appointment with your dentist 716-655-5000 or request an appointment online.