Garlic, onions, and fish… Oh, my. Contrary to popular belief, even though certain foods can linger on your breath until they are fully processed by your body, they don’t really cause bad breath. Halitosis, or chronic bad breath, is a pervasive and ongoing problem that can affect personal and professional relationships, as well as impacting self-confidence in social situations.
Experts say that as many as 80 million Americans suffer from chronic halitosis, and spend more than $10 billion attempting to keep it under their breath, so to speak. But what actually causes halitosis?
This one is a no-brainer. Cigarettes make everything stink, especially the breath of the smoker. But more importantly, we’ve told you how nicotine can slow production of saliva, which is critical to maintaining a healthy mouth. More on that below…
As we discussed last month, dry mouth can wreak havoc on your teeth. But the absence of saliva leaves many food particles in your mouth to decomposed between brushings. Additionally, the bacterial imbalance favors the growth of Volatile Sulfuric Compounds (VSCs), which release waste that causes most bad breath.
Many current fad diets advocate for an unhealthy nutritional balance to achieve weight-loss results. Frequent or prolonged dieting can increase ketones, which naturally occur when digesting fatty acids. As our body processes these organic compounds, the waste byproduct is expelled through the lungs, which has been linked to halitosis.
In addition to dieting, various health conditions can cause chronic bad breath due to the release of unique chemical compounds that are exhaled through the lungs. Some of the most common include gum disease, allergies, diabetes, acid reflux, liver disease, kidney failure, and even cancer.
If you or a family member is battling chronic bad breath, ask us at your next appointment. We may be able to recommend a treatment option that can help.