Bad breath (or halitosis) is a condition where malodorous
emissions are issued from the mouth. This condition is usually detected by people other than the person affected by the condition. Unfortunately, most people are not aware of their own bad breath until someone else points it out or the condition becomes so bad that the individual becomes aware of their own problem.
Chronic bad breath is caused by bateria. The mouth is a breeding ground for literally hundreds of different types of bacteria. Food you eat gets lodged into pockets and crevices under the tongue, under the gums, in the back of the throat, among other places. The combination of bacteria and food creates volatile sulfur compounds (VSC) which is released through the breath and produces a disagreeable odor.
The tongue and its cracks and crevices house a large amount of bacteria. A significant amount of bacteria cannot not be removed by brushing alone. Using a tongue scraper is recommend for removing bacteria and other causes of bad breath related to the tongue.
Chronic bad breath is also caused by:
- Post nasal drip
- Sinus drainage
- Periodontal disease
Temporary bad breath is caused by foods like onions and garlic. These foods contain sulfur compounds that are absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to the lungs. When you exhale, the VSCs that formed over several hours after ingestion are transported by your breath. Some foods produce odors that linger in the mouth and cause temporary bad breath. In some cases, brushing or using a bacteria-neutralizing mouthwash containing chlorine dioxide may limit the effects of these odors.
In addition to mouthwashes and rinses, sugarless mints and gum stimulate saliva production. Saliva helps eliminate bateria in the mouth. Bacteria is a contributor to bad breath. A dry mouth is an ideal environment for bacteria growth and bad breath. A moist mouth helps dilute VSCs as well as remove bacteria.
Remember, the daily brushing, flossing, and tongue scraping are very effective in eliminating bad breath. Schedule professional cleanings and regular checkups which will aid in combating bad breath. If you have a chronic problem with halitosis and you would like additional help, call us at 207-947-4767 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Carreira.