What is Halitosis (Bad Breath), Its Causes, Symptoms and Treatment?

What is Halitosis (Bad Breath), Its Causes, Symptoms and Treatment?

Jul 01, 2023

What is Halitosis (Bad Breath) Problem?

Bad breath is a common oral problem that can cause loss of self-esteem putting people living with the condition at risk of getting social anxiety or depression. In some cases, people with the condition may not realize they have it until someone else points it out to them. We’ll discuss more about the condition, what causes it and its symptoms in this article.

How Halitosis (Bad Breath) Affects You?

Although the name “halitosis” sounds sophisticated, it is a condition many people have encountered at least once in their life. Halitosis is just a medical term for chronic bad breath. Everyone experiences bad breath once in a while, especially after eating the night before and having slept before brushing their teeth. If you experience bad breath, which goes away after brushing your teeth, chewing gum or using mouthwash, then you have nothing to worry about. However, if your mouth still produces a foul smell regardless of how you clean it, it may be time to see our halitosis dentist near Pinehurst, MA for treatment.

According to research, chronic bad breath is quite common, as it affects about 1 out of 4 people in the world. Patients with bad breath usually try to treat it by trying to mask the smell, usually through chewing gum, using mouth perfume and other mouth freshening products. However, these solutions are usually short-term, and the problem will not reoccur unless they go for bad breath treatment.

What are the Major Causes of Halitosis (Bad Breath)?

Now that we know what halitosis stands for, it’s vital that we learn what causes it. Below are major contributors to bad breath:

1) Dry Mouth

Saliva flow regulates the buildup of plaque and bacteria in your mouth, thus preventing oral problems like halitosis and decay. Once infected with a dry mouth, the flow of saliva in your mouth drastically reduces, leading to the accumulation of plaque and bacteria, which can cause bad breath. It’s also worth noting that uncontrolled diabetes and taking certain medications may hinder the natural production of saliva, making you more susceptible to dry mouth. Patients who smoke regularly are also at more risk of getting dry mouth.

2) Gum Disease

Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease which causes redness, swelling, bleeding and inflammation of the gums. The dental problem is caused by bad oral hygiene that leaves plaque from left-over food particles to accumulate. If left untreated, gum disease can progress to periodontitis which may result in tissue, bone and dental damage. You may also get trench mouth, an advanced form of gum disease which can cause bad breath.

3) Oral Cancer

It is a form of cancer that affects the mouth, neck and head. The condition can cause mouth sores which smell bad and refuse to heal. Anyone can get oral cancer, so it’s important to go for regular dental exams even if you practice good dental hygiene.

4) Liver/ Kidney Disease

The liver and kidney filter out toxins from our bodies. When you have liver or kidney problems, the filtration of toxins may not take place effectively, leading to toxin accumulation that may cause halitosis.

5) Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (Gerd)

GERD is a digestive disorder that enables stomach fluids to leak back into the esophagus, the tube that food passes through to reach the stomach after eating.

What are the Symptoms of Halitosis (Bad Breath)?

  • The main symptom of halitosis is a bad mouth odour that doesn’t go away even after brushing your teeth.
  • You may not be able to smell your breath, but people around you can; this can make it difficult to self-diagnose.
  • Ask a friend whom you trust to be honest with you to tell you whether your mouth odour smells bad when you talk or yawn.

What are the Treatment Options of Halitosis (Bad Breath)?

Mouth odour can only be treated by a dentist. Mouth cleaning products and gum will only help temporarily but won’t offer a permanent solution. Below are common treatment options for bad breath:

a) Dental Cleaning

Plaque and tartar buildup in your teeth may cause bad breath. If that’s the case, our Billerica dentist will recommend an extensive dental cleaning to get rid of the plaque and tartar in your teeth after a checkup.

b) Good Dental Hygiene

Bad dental hygiene is a common cause of different dental problems, including halitosis. If you have been neglecting your teeth and gum hygiene for a while, try brushing your teeth and gums at least twice every day to see if it helps. Suppose it doesn’t help; visit your dentist for help.

c) Treatment of Gum Disease

Halitosis is a common symptom of bad breath. Visit your dentist for diagnosis and treatment of gum disease to avoid tooth loss and other gum disease-related complications.

d) Diagnosis and Treatment of Health Conditions

Some health conditions can cause bad breath. It’s important to go for a health checkup to see if you have any underlying health problem you might be unaware of.

Get Halitosis (Bad Breath) Treatment Near You

Halitosis is an oral condition that doesn’t have many symptoms apart from bad mouth odour. However, the disease should be taken seriously and treatment sought after with no delay as it may be a symptom of other serious health issues. If you have bad breath and looking for bad breath treatment in Billerica, MA, contact One Dental Care now for a dental exam to learn the cause of it and get treated!