An estimated sixty-five percent of Americans have bad breath. Over forty-million Americans have “chronic halitosis,” which is persistent bad breath. Ninety percent of all halitosis is of oral, not systemic, origin. Ninety percent of all halitosis is of oral, not systemic, origin. In most cases, it is caused by food remaining in the mouth – on the teeth, tongue, gums, and other structures, collecting bacteria. In most cases, there are no other symptoms aside from a bad odor emanating from the mouth. Certain foods, such as garlic and onions, contribute to breath odor.
Once the food is absorbed into the bloodstream, it is transferred to the lungs, where it is exhaled. Brushing, flossing and mouthwash only mask the odor. Dieters sometimes develop unpleasant breath from fasting. Gum disease is caused by plaque – the sticky, often colorless, film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. However, you must seek treatment from a dentist for severe cases. Dry mouth or xerostomia may also cause bad breath due to decreased salivary flow. However, those who suffer from dry mouth and lack of saliva find that even minor food odors may end up becoming long term bad breath problems.
Bad breath may also be a sign that you have a serious health problem, such as a respiratory tract infection, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, liver or kidney ailment. This food collects bacteria and becomes one of the most common halitosis causes. And don’t forget your often overlooked tongue as a culprit for bad breath. If you have an occasion where you need your breath to smell especially fresh, skip potent foods such as onions, garlic and even coffee or alcohol. The tongue’s surface is extremely rough and bacteria can accumulate easily in the cracks and crevices. In older pets? If you have constant bad breath, make a list of the foods you eat and any medications you take.
Health Report – 8/4/1997: Halitosis or Bad Breath Halitosis or Bad Breath. If your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy and that the odor is not oral in nature, you may be referred to your family physician or to a specialist to determine the cause of the odor and possible treatment.