Bad breath is a common condition in the United States. A recent study by the Council of Scientific Affairs suggests that approximately 50 percent of Americans have bad breath. Additionally, half of Americans with bad breath have chronic foul mouth odors, known as halitosis. By understanding the causes of bad breath, you can discover why ignoring halitosis can be harmful to your dental health.
Bacteria Is a Common Cause of Bad Breath
Most causes of bad breath originate from bacteria buildup. This can be a result of poor oral hygiene which leaves behind food particles or bacterial deposits on the tongue. Typically, thorough brushing and flossing, and even a mouthwash routine, can help remove the food debris, plaque, and bacteria which causes foul odors. Additionally, scraping your tongue with the back of your toothbrush, bristles, or a tongue scraper, you can remove the bacteria which deposits on the back of your tongue.
Bad Breath Can Be a Sign of Infection
Ignoring bad breath can result in deeper cavities or an internal infection. Since decaying material lets off a foul odor, tooth decay causes bad breath. If you notice sudden stale taste in your mouth you may have dental caries. Routine dental cleanings and checkups will prevent cavities and determine if your bad breath is caused by tooth decay. Proactive dental care is important. If you fail to have a cavity treated in time, the decay will worsen, creating damage to the internal structure of your tooth.
Halitosis May Signal Other Health Issues
While the American Dental Association asserts that 90 percent of bad breath originated from the oral cavity, some less common causes of halitosis include, certain health conditions or diseases. Gum disease, diabetes, acid reflux, and liver and kidney problems can create foul mouth odors. Other illnesses like pneumonia, chronic sinus infection, and bronchitis can affect your breath. Dry mouth is a common condition which results in bad breath. You can read more about dry mouth, or xerostomia by reading this previous blog about treating dry mouth.
An Invitation for Your Family
Dr. Jeffrey Allen provides comfortable dental care to patients of all ages. Call (641) 628-1121 today to schedule a checkup and cleaning, cosmetic consultation, or second-opinion visit. We are located on the west side of the historic town square in Pella. IA. Please see the map for directions.