Is Bad Breath a Sign of a Medical Problem?

Apr 9th, 2012 | By | Category: General Dentistry, More dental news

Bad BreathEveryone experiences bad breath occasionally. Also known as halitosis, bad breath is common upon waking the in morning, after drinking coffee, and after eating onions or garlic. Most simple cases of halitosis will go away after brushing your teeth or when an offending food has left your system. However, bad breath is sometimes an indicator of an underlying health problem that may need to be addressed by Dr. Moiceanu or your physician.

Health Problems Associated With Bad Breath

  • Periodontal disease. Characterized by a buildup of bacteria in the spaces between the gums and teeth, periodontal disease can produce foul odors.
  • Cavities. Tooth decay is also caused in part by bacteria and can give you bad breath.
  • Xerostomia (dry mouth). As saliva helps kill bacteria in the mouth, a lack thereof will allow bacteria to thrive and emit bad odors.
  • Oral thrush. Also known as a yeast infection, oral thrush is fungal in origin and can cause bad breath in the same way as bacteria.
  • Bacterial infections of the throat, sinuses, or respiratory tract. Any infection that disturbs the balance between good and bad bacteria in your body can cause halitosis.
  • Diabetes. Uncontrolled blood sugars lead to gum disease and dry mouth, both of which contribute to bad breath.
  • Acid reflux disease. This condition is characterized by foul-smelling stomach acids rising up the esophagus and into the back of the throat.
  • Liver disease. Patients with liver failure will have breath that smells of fish.
  • Kidney disease. Kidney failure is often accompanied by an ammonia-like odor.

Other Causes of Bad Breath

Bad oral hygiene is a common cause of halitosis. If you do not brush your teeth, floss, and scrape your tongue regularly, plaque and food debris in your mouth will rot and cause bad breath. Eating pungent foods causes bad odors to emanate from your lungs and digestive tract as well as your mouth. Smoking and other tobacco products also give you bad breath.

Treating Bad Breath

If your bad breath will not go away despite proper at-home oral care, see Dr. Moiceanu for a checkup. If your halitosis stems from a dental problem such as decay or gum disease, he can treat the problem and eliminate your bad breath. If Dr. Moiceanu does not detect any oral health issues, he will refer you to your physician to determine if the root cause of your bad breath is a medical condition.

For treatment of your halitosis, contact Dr. Stefan Moiceanu today at (510) 758-7222 to schedule an appointment. Hilltop Family Dental treats patients from Richmond, San Pablo, El Sobrante, Vallejo, Pinole, El Cerrito, Hercules, Benicia, and the greater Contra Costa County area.

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