What are the health problems associated with bad breath and how can it be prevented?
Bad breath is an oral problem that often cannot be noticed by the patient himself. The patient comes to realize about his bad breath when his family members or friends comment about it. Bad breath can be due to many causes and it can also act as an indicator or symptom of other medical conditions. Regular dental checkups can help you avoid the associated oral health problems.
Some health problems associated with bad breath:
- Gum disease- Improper brushing leads inadequate elimination of food particles from between the teeth. These food particles allow the build-up of plaque on the tooth surface and the gum lining. Persistent neglect in maintenance of oral hygiene causes irritation of gums and subsequent inflammation. This can be perceived as bad breath and bad taste.
- Decayed teeth- Decayed teeth with cavities serve as a storehouse for food remnants and are not accessible by bristles of the toothbrush for removal. The food particles undergo putrefaction within the cavity and become the source of bad breath.
- Fungal infections- There are chances of fungal infection in the mouth if there is persistent bad breath.
- Dry mouth- also called xerostomia. Our saliva flushes out the dead cells in our mouth. If the saliva produced is decreased, the flushing action gets lowered. Hence, the dead cells undergo disintegration generating bad breath. Dry mouth is a sign for a number of health problems like salivary gland disorders. It can be found in people with habit of mouth-breathing and is a common side effect of certain medications.
- Respiratory tract infections– Individuals with infections like sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia or post-nasal drip often have bad breath.
- Metabolic disorders- There are few metabolic disorders like gastro esophageal reflux (GER) that cause bad breath due to regurgitation (reverse flow of acid within the stomach). Problems related to kidney and liver may also be the cause of foul odor.
Ways of prevention of bad breath
Bad breath should not be taken lightly as it is associated with so many health problems. For preventive measures or treatment of halitosis (bad breath), the underlying cause has to be determined. If any health problem is the causative factor, you should be referred to a general physician for the rest of the treatment plan. If it is related to your oral health, your dentist will be the best person to deal with it.
Whatever may the case be, you can follow some simple rules for good Oral Hygiene to keep bad breath at bay.
- Brushing – For good oral hygiene it is essential to brush your teeth twice daily, preferably with fluoridated toothpaste. Scrape your tongue with a scraper to remove all the food particles trapped on the surface of the tongue.
- Flossing- Floss daily to remove the food debris stuck in between the teeth and also areas that are inaccessible for the bristles of the toothbrush.
- Mouthwash- Use of chlorhexidine mouthwash can be of great help for those with bad breath as the antibacterial action washes off the bacteria and there is a feeling of freshness in your breath.
- Diet control- Paying attention to small details of your diet will help you in the long run. Avoid onion and garlic. Try chewing peppermint for fresh breath.
If you are upset with your bad breath, call (217) 546-3333for a free consultation with Dr. VanderMolen. His team at Advanced Dental Care will guide you to get the healthy mouth and gums you have been waiting for!