Halitosis is bad breath that can occur on occasion, or can last for a long time depending on its cause. There are millions of bacteria in the human mouth, mostly on the back of the tongue. These bacteria are generally the main cause of bad breath.
Bad breath can be normal, such as the bad breath you wake up with. This is not something to be concerned about. This happens because changes occur while you sleep. Saliva helps to wash away bad breath and food during the day, but saliva production is reduced at night. It is common to wake up with a dry mouth, as well as a mouth full of bacteria that produces a bad odor.
Bad breath can also be caused by:
Mouth infections: this can include gum disease, or cavities
Throat, lung, or sinus infections
Foods like garlic or onions
Drinks like coffee, tea, or red wine
Smoking and chewing tobacco
Dry mouth, also called xerostomia: Many medications can cause dry mouth. It can also be caused by problems with the salivary glands.
Illnesses: Lung disease, sinus disease, kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, reflux disease, and others can cause bad breath
Symptoms of bad breath
Sometimes it’s hard to know you have bad breath because your nose generally gets used to the smell of your own breath, whether good or bad. Other people will notice, and this can be embarrassing.
Other symptoms of bad breath if the cause is an infection can include swollen or bleeding gums, pus between and around teeth, loose teeth, open, painful sores on the gums or tongue.
If you have a respiratory tract infection that causes bad breath, your other symptoms might include a sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, a stuffy nose, a fever, a green-yellow discharge from your nose, or a mucus-laced cough.
If your bad breath is caused by having dry mouth, you might also have difficultly speaking for a long time, swallowing dry foods, lots of cavities, and a burning sensation in the mouth.
If you have diabetes, lung disease, kidney failure, or liver disease, your doctor might be able to tell which disease you have based on the scent of your breath. For instance, if your breath smells “fruity”, it can be a sign that you have diabetes. A breath that smells of urine might indicate that a person has kidney failure.
If your bad breath is impacting your life, or your loved ones are noticing, it is important to visit a doctor to see if the problem is with something other than your oral health. Your bad breath might go away quickly if you find the correct cause.
If your bad breath is caused by oral health problems, it’s important to remember to brush your teeth twice a day. Also, be sure to brush your gums, the roof of your mouth, and your tongue. Remember to floss at least once a day, but especially after big meals. Wash your mouth out with dentist-recommended mouth wash to help kill germs that cause bad breath.
Call us to schedule your appointment and stay on top of your oral health (561) 799-7791 for Palm Beach Gardens office or 772-344-2697 for our Port St. Lucie dental office.