What is Halitosis and What Causes It?

Bad Bacteria in Your Mouth

Bad breath, also called halitosis, is a rather common affliction that may not only be embarrassing but can also cause anxiety and low self-esteem. It has many causes, but primarily the odor comes from the build-up of bacteria in the mouth. Know more about it.

Halitosis is so common that convenience stores, drugstores, and supermarkets sell a lot of products that aim to treat, manage, or otherwise mask bad breath. The accumulation of bad bacteria usually comes from a lack of a thorough oral care routine resulting in a buildup of plaque on teeth, gums, and tongue

While poor oral hygiene can result in a foul-smelling mouth, there are others, for example stress, dehydration and dry mouth, certain food choices, certain systemic diseases, and smoking. Here is how these root causes can lead to halitosis.

  • Poor oral hygiene. Neglect of daily brushing and flossing lead to left over food debris between teeth, around and under the gums, on the tongue, and other places that invite bacterial growth. This can lead to gingivitis or the more serious periodontitis, causing bad breath. Dental caries, decay, abscesses, may lead to the same. Not regularly cleaning your dentures, braces, and other dental appliances can also result in bad breath.
  • Morning breath. If the requisite oral hygiene routine is neglected before you sleep, bacteria will tend to multiply overnight, causing you to wake up in the morning with a foul-smelling mouth.
  • Particular foods. Certain foods can contribute to bad breath, like garlic, onion, cheese, pastrami, certain spices, and drinks like soda, orange juice, and alcohol. Foods circulate through your bloodstream and pass the lungs (which you may be able to smell through your breath). Until the body fully processes the food, its strong odors will remain.
  • Dry Mouth Syndrome. Dry mouth happens when you do not secret sufficient saliva, which hydrates your mouth and its structures. Saliva washes away food and bacteria so that they don’t leave odors. There are certain medications that produce this syndrome.
  • Tobacco use. The fumes from cigarettes stick to the insides of your cheeks, on your tongue and palate,. Nicotine stains teeth and that also leaves a smell.
  • Certain diseases. There are illnesses that can bring about bad breath. Examples are: postnasal drip, chronic sinus infections, pneumonia or bronchitis as well as chronic lung diseases, some seasonal allergies, acid reflux disease, liver or kidney problems.


Learning More About Bad Breath in Bellevue

If you think you have bad breath that does not go away, come see your Bellevue dentist. Let’s bring back fresh breath and confident smiles.