Bad breath, or halitosis, as it is called in medical terms, is an embarrassing condition that is often attributed to foods such as onions or garlic. While it is entirely possible that a bowl of chili for dinner can give you bad breath, the condition is temporary. If you have chronic problems with this, or it occurs when you haven’t eaten any common trigger foods, the true cause may lie elsewhere. Your dentist can help you determine the cause and, in many cases, provide effective treatment. Some of the likely culprits include:
• Periodontal (gum) disease is one of the most common and
most often overlooked causes of chronic halitosis.
• Abscessed teeth and other oral infections also cause bad
• Poor oral hygiene affects your breath for the same reason
as infections; bacteria emit a foul odor.
• Xerostomia, or dry mouth, means a lack of saliva
production. With insufficient “natural mouthwash,” food
particles linger, inviting bacteria.
• Smoking affects virtually every aspect of your health,
including your breath. Besides directly causing bad breath, it
increases your risk of periodontal disease.
• Health conditions such as diabetes, kidney failure, and
malnutrition can result in bad breath.