If you’re suffering from bad breath and have no idea why, a few experts are willing to share some reasons behind the smell of halitosis, and treatment options for getting rid of that unfavorable aroma.
Dr. Hana Solomon, a pediatrician and author of “Clearing The Air One Nose At a Time: Caring for Your Personal Filter,” provides five top reasons for bad breath:
1) “Poor oral hygiene - cavities, gum disease, excessive bacterial growth.”
2) “Lifestyle choices - smoking or eating certain foods.”
3) “Debris stuck in the tonsillar and adenoid tissues (most common in kids).”
4) “Medical conditions - sinusitis, pneumonia, bronchitis and other issues related to the nose, dehydration, diabetic ketoacidosis, “Dry Mouth,” known as xerostomia, and organ disease.”
5) “Use of certain medications.”
Here are her five suggestions for targeting the cause of halitosis:
1) Brush and floss your teeth three times a day.
2) Drink enough water to stay hydrated (your urine should be light yellow, and you should have to urinate at least four times a day).
3) Use a nasal irrigation system.
4) Do mouth rinses with hypertonic saline washes.
5) Avoid bad habits like smoking.
“When trying to get rid of bad breath, it’s important that we seek the cause and not the cover-up solution,” Solomon said. “Although there are many ways to temporarily mask bad breath, it will never actually go away until we respond to what’s causing it.”
Dr. Justin Philipp, a dentist in Chandler, Arizona said in an email that periodontal disease is actually the main cause of bad breath.
“It is a particularly nasty infection of the gums and jaw bone that support your teeth,” he said.
“If left untreated, it will not only cause you to lose all of your teeth, but it has been linked to a host of systemic diseases: diabetes, pre-term birth, stroke, heart disease, even breast cancer.”
Dry mouth can also cause issues with bad breath, and many prescription drugs actually cause dry mouth as an unwanted side effect.
“Dry mouth causes bad breath by reducing saliva which washes away food and bacteria from your teeth and gums,” Philipp said.