Does the “unique” aroma of your breath cause you embarrassment? That’s okay. All of us suffer from a little halitosis every now and then, especially after eating a spicy meal. Sometimes, however, bad breath can be a symptom of more concerning health issues. Here’s some advice on this topic from a dentist in Federal Way.
What Your Bad Breath May Be Telling You
The most common cause of bad breath is bacterial buildup in your mouth. This in turn can be caused by a variety of conditions, many of which are relatively harmless. They include:
- Cavities. In fact, bad breath may be an early warning sign that you need to see your dentist soon.
- Cracked fillings. This is another reason to see your dentist, before the filling comes out and your tooth pain returns.
- Dirty dentures. The solution to this problem is to clean them as recommended by your dentist or the manufacturer.
More Serious Causes of Bad Breath
These can include:
- Acid reflux. This problem that requires timely medical attention. Left untreated, acid reflux can lead to sleep apnea, tooth damage, laryngitis, or even throat cancer.
- Postnasal drip and other sinus problems. Are you perpetually stuffed up or sneezing? Your sinus issues may play a role in causing your bad breath.
- Smoking. Quitting this unhealthy habit offers a world of benefits in return, including freedom from the objectionable breath odors caused by inhaling cigar and cigarette smoke.
- Diabetes. Ketoacidosis, a condition common in diabetics, sometimes affects the patient’s breath. The problem can also afflict people on low-carb diets.
- Alcohol abuse. Overindulging in alcoholic beverages can cause problems in your stomach, throat, and mouth that lead to bad breath.
- Liver disease. People with liver issues may have halitosis that others describe as “sweet,” “fishy,” “mushy,” or “coppery.” See a healthcare professional right away if you suspect that this is the cause of your bad breath.
Other Conditions That Can Cause Bad Breath
Here are some other habits, compounds, or conditions that can affect your breath odor:
- Prescription medications, especially medicines used to treat depression, epilepsy, anxiety, obesity, asthma, and hypertension. Under no circumstances should you cut back or stop taking your medications without approval from your healthcare professional.
- Menstrual factors. Sometimes hormonal changes in a woman’s body can affect her breath.
- Trimethylaminuria. This is a rare genetic condition that can disrupt the body’s ability to process choline, a naturally occurring substance found in foods such as broccoli, legumes, and eggs.
As you can see, there are many possible causes of bad breath. Now let’s look at some ways to address the problem.
First Aid for Bad Breath
The quickest way to treat breath malodors is with a sugar-free mint or stick of gum. Snacking on a little parsley is another classic remedy.
Masking the symptoms of bad breath can provide short-term relief and spare you from social embarrassment. You should seek help from a dentist in Federal Way, however, if the problem continues. He or she will perform a complete oral examination and provide a formal diagnosis.
Don’t let bad breath hinder you any longer. Follow the tips in this post to put the problem behind you for good. We wish you a lifetime of happy smiles.
About the Author
Dr. Drew Beaty is a leader in the Seattle/Federal Way dentistry community. He was voted one of “Seattle’s Best Desists” for seven years in a row, as presented in Seattle Metropolitan magazine. Your can reach his office online or by calling (253) 839-6544.