Do I Have Bad Breath?

We all want to make a good first impression and bad breath is not always the right foot forward. Here are some common etiologies.
Do I Have Bad Breath?

Welcome back to the Schroeder Cosmetic and Family Dentistry Blog! We love answering common questions as well as elucidating dental quandaries. We are commonly asked about the sources and treatments for bad breath. Although bad breath may sometimes be temporary, bad breath or halitosis may indicate more serious underlying issues. We all want to make a good first impression and bad breath is not always the right foot forward. We have plenty of patients that are curious why they are stricken with a case of halitosis (bad breath). A multitude of reasons could exist but we'll highlight in the list below some common etiologies.

  1. Dental Decay- Dental decay or "cavities" that contain active infection allow bacteria to produce gasses that are very potent. If dental decay is rampant, discoloration of the teeth may also be present as well as sensitivity and pain. It is important at this point to seek dental care as soon as possible.
tooth decay - causes of bad breath
  1. Gingivitis or Periodontitis- Infections/inflammation of the gum or bone indicate poor oral health and potentially poor systemic health. Infections that are odoriferous arising from the gums or bone need evaluation by a dentist immediately.                                                                                                                                                                                              
gingivitis - causes of bad breath
  1. Xerostomia (dry mouth)- One of the most common sources for halitosis is dehydration and/or poor saliva quantity or quality. When saliva isn't flushing debris away from the oral cavity, bacteria in the throat and mouth take advantage of the acidic environment.
  2. Systemic Disorders- Acetone smell is associated with severe diabetes and a mousy smell is associated with liver failure! Of course, avoid jumping to conclusions but it is definitely a good idea to seek medical attention if you can smell these odors on the breath of a loved one.

As always, we encourage our patients to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day, maintain a healthy vegetable-based diet and brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes after flossing! Have any questions? Give your dentist in Lexington KY a call at 859-276-5496 to learn more about avoiding bad breath!