a young woman holds in her hand to her mouth to sneeze. halitosis and bad breath

a young woman holds in her hand to her mouth to sneeze. halitosis and bad breath

Has anyone every shied away from you in a middle of a conversation? Does it look like they’re holding their breath when they’re not speaking or looking for an opportunity to move away from you? It may be embarrassing, but sometimes we have to admit that it’s because of sudden-onset bad breath.

This isn’t an uncommon thing. Bad breath (or halitosis, if you want to get technical) can happen after eating specific foods or even just when you wake up in the morning. It can also be a direct result of poor oral hygiene, though, and this is where the simple and slightly embarrassing problem becomes a major concern.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Bad breath may just be a temporary thing that is caused by some of the foods you eat. When you consume certain foods (like garlic or onions) they will be digested and absorbed into the bloodstream. That means eventually they will make it into your lungs and out through your breath. You can mask these smells with mints and gum and mouthwash, but the odor will eventually go away when the foods are completely absorbed.

However, if you’re noticing a reoccurring problem, it could stem from some poor dental habits. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, food particles will stick in your teeth. This will give bacteria a chance to grow on the teeth, gums, and tongue, which causes bad breath.

What about Morning Breath?

The difference between morning breath and worrisome halitosis is that this is usually just caused by a lack of saliva throughout the night. Saliva helps wash away the bacteria and food particles that cause bad breath and when you sleep, your mouth dries out, which gives the bacteria a chance to set up shop.

Why It Matters

Okay. So you have questionable breath. And okay, maybe people tend to step back from a close conversation with you. Does it really matter that much? A little gum, a mint or two, and there’s no problem, right?

Not necessarily.

Persistent bad breath and a bad taste in your mouth might be a warning sign of something worse.

There are several health problems associated with bad breath, most notably is the potential for gum disease.

Your halitosis could also be caused by things like poorly fitting dental appliances, cavities, and yeast infections in the mouth. On top of that, it’s also been linked to sever other illnesses, like pneumonia, bronchitis, diabetes, and even kidney and liver problems.

If you have bad breath that just won’t go away, it might be time to get a professional opinion on it.

Fixing the Problem

If you have normal, everyday bad breath, then you’re probably okay with a mouthwash and some mints and gum will probably be enough. There are also several simple things you can do to prevent bad breath. This includes:

  • Focusing on a good oral hygiene routine
  • Drink lots of water
  • Quite smoking
  • Set regular dental appointments
  • Pay attention to your daily intake

However, if the problem is more persistent, and it seems to exist even when you can’t attribute it to any specific food, you need to go beyond the solutions that just mask bad breath and get to the source of the problem. We can help you discover the cause and prescribe the right course of action. We’ll also be able to spot any potential gum disease and help get it under control before it causes real problems.