Runny nose, respiratory and tonsil infections, sinus problems, diabetes, liver and kidney problems, and certain blood disorders can cause bad breath. In some less common cases, bad breath could be a sign of cancer or other serious conditions, such as metabolic disorders. The most common cause of halitosis is poor oral hygiene. Without proper oral hygiene, such as brushing your teeth, flossing and routine dental cleanings, harmful bacteria invade the mouth and multiply uncontrollably.
This can lead to several oral health problems, such as halitosis, tooth decay, and gum disease. A variety of metabolic disorders can cause bad breath. These include diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and liver disease. Certain genetic disorders, such as TMA and hypermethioninemia, can also cause bad breath.
Dry mouth is a major cause of halitosis and can be the result of stress, medications, radiation or chemotherapy, the use of tobacco or recreational drugs, and autoimmune diseases such as Sjorgren syndrome. If you have dry mouth that's causing bad breath, you'll need to get a professional opinion or diagnosis from your dentist to determine the right treatment for you. Some medications can cause dry mouth, so it's best to see your dentist so that you can perform tests and adjust doses as needed. Your dentist may be able to recommend products specially formulated to help with dry mouth.
If you want to prevent bad breath caused by dry mouth, follow a strict high-level hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing your teeth several times a day can keep the levels of bacteria that cause bad smell low and keep your breath fresh. In addition, avoiding tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine can reduce bacterial accumulation and persistent odors. Gum disease, also called gingivitis, is very common among adults.
Gingivitis is caused by inflammation of the gums due to the accumulation of plaque and bacteria. It's important to follow good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing your teeth every day, to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. The accumulation of plaque and bacteria that cause infections and diseases also causes the unpleasant smell that accompanies halitosis. Your dentist will check for early signs of gum disease at every exam and cleaning, as the initial stages often go undetected.
It's important to detect gum disease before it occurs to prevent symptoms such as halitosis. Check your gums daily for changes in color, bleeding, pain, swelling, or sensitive teeth. The best treatment for gum disease is to completely prevent it by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. However, if gingivitis starts to develop, the only way to allow your gums to heal is to visit a professional to remove plaque and eliminate bacteria.
Severe cases of gingivitis may need to be treated by a periodontist, who specializes in treating gum disease and restoring bone and tissue loss from it. If gingivitis isn't treated, it can develop into periodontal disease, affecting the bones and gums that hold the teeth in place. Over time, plaque buildup causes weakening of the gums and bone loss, making the spaces around the teeth need professional cleaning. Because periodontitis is an advanced stage of gum disease, it's important to maintain good oral hygiene habits to prevent gum disease from the start.
If it has progressed to the point of periodontal disease, your dentist can suggest the best course of action to begin the healing process. It's important to monitor your oral health for signs of tooth decay to prevent further tooth decay. Regular visits to the dentist can ensure that the first signs are detected and that your teeth are professionally cleaned. Diabetes can cause bad breath for two different reasons: periodontal disease and high levels of ketones in the blood.
Diabetes can reduce blood flow throughout the body, including the gums, by damaging blood vessels. In addition, diabetes can raise glucose levels in the mouth, which can generate bacteria and promote infection. If a person with diabetes develops periodontal disease, it will often take longer to heal and will be more serious than a person without diabetes. Diabetes occurs when the body cannot produce insulin, which supplies cells with the fuel they need in the form of glucose.
When the body can't burn sugar, it instead burns fat, which produces ketones that build up in the urine and blood. If you have diabetes and want to control bad breath, having strict daily oral hygiene can help reduce the accumulation of bacteria. In addition, keeping blood glucose levels within the target range will ensure that ketones are kept under control, and mints or sugar-free gum can stimulate saliva production to prevent dry mouth. If you are diabetic, visiting your dentist regularly will ensure that any problems are resolved quickly and that the first signs of diabetic ketoacidosis or gum disease are detected before they can progress.
If your bad breath smells like ammonia, it could be a sign that you may have kidney disease. The kidneys filter and remove wastes and toxins (such as urea, which breaks down into ammonia) from the body through urination. The kidneys also regulate blood pressure and control the production of red blood cells. Kidney disease can be caused by high blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, medications, or injury.
If you notice that your breath smells like ammonia, see your doctor as soon as possible to have the underlying causes treated. In addition, regular checkups with your dentist are important for developing a good oral hygiene routine. You can also schedule an appointment with a periodontist (a specialist in gum disease) to see if gum disease is the cause of halitosis. Halitosis is a common condition and, in most cases, is caused by a buildup of bacteria in the mouth due to gum disease, food, or plaque.
A large amount of ketones in the body can cause bad breath that can smell sweet or similar to acetone (a type of ketone) commonly found in nail polish remover. If your dentist doesn't find any oral health problems, such as tooth decay or gum disease, your primary care doctor can determine if another condition is causing halitosis. This imbalance can cause the accumulation of specific substances in body fluids, leading to bad breath or halitosis. For example, if bad breath is due to poor oral hygiene, dental cleaning and better oral hygiene at home are likely to help.
Because it's difficult to assess how your own breath smells, ask a close friend or family member to confirm your questions about bad breath. However, bad breath, also called halitosis, affects many Canadians even with proper oral hygiene practices. Some people worry too much about their breath even though they have little or no smell in their mouths, while others have bad breath and don't know it. However, bad breath that won't go away (chronic halitosis) can mean that you have an oral health problem or a condition that affects another part of your body.
In up to 90% of people with persistent bad breath, the cause is oral in origin and involves poor dental hygiene, leading to gum disease. .