That’s not just a pulmonary joke, it’s a joke about bad breath, too. You see, there are numerous factors impacting bad breath. And according to Harvard Medical School, approximately 30% of the population complains of some sort of bad breath. So here’s a rundown of halitosis causes and how to bench the stench.
Although rare, there are diseases and conditions within the body that can cause bad breath. Tonsillitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, and certain gastrointestinal diseases can trigger halitosis, which is probably not a big surprise. After all, these revolve around the mouth and breathing. But liver and kidney disease and diabetes are also known contributors to bad breath. All of this should remind you how your dental health is tied to your overall medical health.
From periodontal issues to problems with your gums, bacteria is the main culprit behind the stink arising from these conditions. Another thing that can trigger halitosis is dry mouth. That’s because your saliva helps keep bacteria at bay. Here’s where your dentist can help with a thorough dental exam and a diagnosis.
Back to bacteria. The best way to keep it away is regular brushing and flossing. Rinsing with a mouthwash can help, too. But rinsing is no substitute. In fact, when rinsing with alcohol-based mouthwashes, you can be setting yourself back. That’s because alcohol dries out the mouth, making it harder to generate the saliva you need to fight off bacterial build up. While minty fresh breath is nice, the biggest hygiene factor to keeping your breath halitosis-free is flossing out those chunks of meat and sugary snacks that when embedded in your gums reek.
There’s the food that gets stuck in your gums and teeth, and then there’s the food that gets digested in your gut. Brushing and flossing takes care of the mouth gunk, but it’s your stomach acids that handle the inside stuff. And stomach acid doesn’t exactly smell like Chanel No. 5, but more like Drakkar Noir mixed with something that died.
When we overdo it gastronomically, our stomach acids kick into high gear and some of it can shoot back up to our throat and mouth. In fact, even when some folks don’t overdo it, they can experience this issue in a condition called acid-reflux. The primary cause of acid reflux has to do with one’s lower esophageal sphincter. This is a valve-like muscle between your esophagus and your stomach. It opens when you swallow to let food enter the stomach, and then it closes tightly afterward. When it remains open too long, acids flow back into your throat and you can taste it in your mouth.
Drink & Other Fun Stuff
Alcohol dries out your mouth. Tobacco dries out your mouth and leaves its residue in there, too. Meanwhile, nicotine is known to contribute to gum disease, which causes bad breath. Snuff said?
Halitophobia, the fear of bad breath. Yes, that’s a thing. And it’s a thing that makes you think you have bad breath. Talk to your dentist and/or doctor about your bad breath concerns and it’s not beneath either of them to take a whiff. It might be your first step to finding a real cure to a fake issue.