Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is an extremely common problem that can come from the teeth, mouth, or stem from an underlying health condition. Bad breath can either be temporary or chronic. According to the American Dental Association, nearly 50 percent of adults have experienced bad breath in their lifetime.
Halitosis can also be accompanied by a bad taste in the mouth, depending on the root cause of bad breath. Given that halitosis can be provoked by a serious health issue, it’s important that people with chronic bad breath learn about possible reasons for it. If you’re one of them, keep reading to find out the causes of halitosis:
Bad breath is one of the hallmarks of tonsillitis. Bacteria that can lead to bad breath can also affect your tonsils leading to inflammation and recurrent sore throats. People with chronic tonsillitis usually require tonsillectomy, a surgery that involves the removal of the two glands in the back of the throat.
2. Excess weight
Bad breath is one of the health effects of being overweight. Scientists have found that the more extra pounds a person has, the more likely their mouth odor will smell unpleasant to others. Although experts don’t know the exact cause of it, they suggest this could be due to a biological dysfunction.
3. Poor dental hygiene
This is probably the most obvious reason for bad breath in this list, and it’s also the most common one. Halitosis is usually the first sign of improper dental hygiene that might result in periodontal issues. One of the best ways to prevent gum disease and tooth decay is through proper at-home dental hygiene and regular dental appointments.
4. Gum disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is often characterized by bad breath, along with receding gums, gum bleeding during brushing, exposed tooth roots, and gum pockets. Gum disease is a serious dental condition that’s linked to an increased risk of heart disease and early dementia. That’s why it’s essential to treat it early to avoid major health problems.
Surprisingly, bad breath could stem from dehydration. Not consuming enough fluids causes food particles and bacteria to stay in your mouth longer, provoking plaque accumulation and halitosis. Luckily, you can fix it easily by just drinking plenty of water. Choose plain water and chew on sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production.
6. Stomach ulcer
Although the most common signs of stomach ulcers are excruciating stomach pain and severe heartburn, bad breath also commonly affects people with this health condition. Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers and gastric cancers, can make your breath extremely unpleasant.
Bad breath can also be the result of an imbalance between bad and good mouth bacteria. Yeah, your mouth has its own microbiome, just like your gut. Fortunately, you can balance your microbiome by consuming more probiotic and prebiotic foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, or yogurt. In fact, consuming yogurt daily for two months can reduce the amount of hydrogen sulfide and other bad bacteria by 80 percent.
8. A serious health condition
The presence of halitosis might be an indication of serious health conditions. For example, excess methylamine might be a sign of kidney and liver disease, while ammonia might indicate renal failure, high levels of ketones can stem from diabetes, and nitric oxide levels can be used to diagnose asthma. So, if you suffer from chronic bad breath, it’s time to make an appointment with your primary care physician to find the root cause of it and get proper treatment.
Published by Amelia Grant