Bad Breath Can Spell More than H-a-l-i-t-o-s-i-s
For people who have bad breath, or halitosis, common suggestions to help reduce it include using mouthwash and breath mints. Though they may be temporarily helpful, these strategies address the bad breath, but not its root cause. Halitosis can be caused by dental hygiene habits, certain health conditions, and even dieting.1
For example, since saliva cleanses the mouth and removes debris that can lead to odor, dry mouth can be a cause of bad breath. Certain medications and constant breathing through the mouth are two possible causes of dry mouth.1
Not brushing gently at least twice a day, with special attention to the gum line, and not flossing at least once a day may also be contributing factors. And don’t forget to brush your tongue, too, to help remove food debris.1
Two other possible causes of halitosis are the use of tobacco products and infrequent eating.1
Medical disorders that may cause bad breath include sinusitis, diabetes, respiratory tract infections, postnasal drip, and even kidney and liver disorders.1 So, if your bad breath persists, don’t keep relying on mouthwash and breath mints—talk with your dentist or family doctor.
1 “Bad Breath (Halitosis).” Oral Health Topics, American Dental Association, March 14, 2005. www.ada.org/2941.aspx Accessed 2010.