Does anyone have a mint? A piece of chewing gum? Oh my goodness… I think I have bad breath!

Most people have at one time or another experienced bad breath and all the anxiety and embarrassment surrounding the situation.

Most bad breath originates from the mouth. However, in very rare circumstances it can be related to systemic infections such as diabetes, lung or gastrointestinal illnesses.

One of the main causes for chronic bad breath is gingivitis and/or gum disease. Bacteria associated with gum disease colonize and live below the gums. These bacteria survive and thrive below the gums because they do not require oxygen to live. As a result, as the bacteria increase, the gum disease/gingivitis also can progress. The bacteria produces toxins and acids that cause bad breath and attack the gums and teeth causing tooth decay and inflammation. Usually bad breath can also be accompanied by bleeding and tender or swollen gums due to the gingivitis present.

The great news is that often having a dental cleaning helps to eliminate the bad breath problem caused by bacteria related to gingivitis and gum disease.

Other contributing factors to bad breath can be:

  • Poor Oral Hygiene Habits
    Food debris that is left on the teeth, ultimately breaks down causing foul odors. People who wear dentures should be rinsing and brushing their dentures after every meal.
  • Smoking
    Tobacco causes unpleasant odors both from the mouth and from the lungs.
  • Medications
    Most medications can cause dry mouth (a decrease in the body’s production of saliva) Dry mouth can produce stale breath that can often seem like bad breath.
  • Infections in the Mouth
    Infected tonsils especially in children, acid reflux and post nasal drip are some of the more common mouth infections that can cause bad breath. Dental decay can also be a factor in bad breath.
  • Certain Foods
    Foods such as raw garlic and onions or strong spices.

If the bad breath is long standing. It is best to visit a dental hygiene or dentist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Bad breath can have many health implications, however it can also stimulate social and emotional issues of discomfort for the individual.

Bad breath can be easily treated in most cases. Please visit your dental hygienist for treatment, “A Healthy Smile for a Lifetime”. Everyone should feel confident with their smile and with their ability to communicate with other people.


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