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Friday, March 28, 2008

If Bad Breath Remains After Good Oral Hygiene | WorlDental.org

If Bad Breath Remains After Good Oral Hygiene

But bad breath isn’t always the result of choosing the wrong mouthwash or toothpaste, a University of Iowa dentist says. The cause of bad breath might be the food you ate for lunch, out-of-control diabetes, or perhaps postnasal drip.

If you have a good oral hygiene and have a bad breath it can be halitosis. Halitosis is the medical name given to those who suffer from chronic bad breath.

Chronic bad breath is characterized by a persistent fetid odor that emanates from your mouth and/or nose. Most who suffer with chronic bad breath have excellent oral hygiene and don’t know what to do about their condition.

Many medical problems cause breath problems; some of the major ones are: diabetes, gastric problems, sinus problems, tonsillitis, liver disease, common colds, lung diseases, and esophageal diseases. Chronic bad breath can also be caused by gum disease and by dry mouth:

If you breathe mainly through your mouth, you may have bad breath because of dryness. Saliva helps wash your mouth and dissolve food particles. Lack of saliva can allow these particles to sit in your mouth longer, so they decompose and cause odor.

Dry mouth (also called xerostomia) is simply a lack of saliva in your mouth. Saliva is needed to neutralize the acid produced by plaque and also to wash away bacteria that accumulates on your tongue and gums. Dry mouth may possibly be caused by a medication you are taking or by a medical condition that has caused you salivary glands to slow down the production of saliva.

The causes of xerostomia are numerous but the most common cause of this salivary dysfunction is related to medications of different kinds. There are over 400 prescription and non-prescription drugs that can induce xerostomia, but the common ones are allergy medications, anti-depressives, blood pressure medications, and diuretics just to name a few. Coffee is considered a diuretic. Other causes are aging, dehydration, and using alcohol based mouth rinses. Some less common causes are radiation treatment to the head and neck areas, certain chemotherapy agents, patients suffering from Sjögrens Syndrome, diabetes, and other auto-immune diseases.

The good news is that bacteria that causes halitosis can be neutralized. Dentists and other health professionals use gas measurement devices called halimeters to determine the quantities of these gases, and to determine where they are coming from. With a combination of professional dental help and special hygiene routines, most cases of halitosis can be successfully treated.

So, if you have bad breath, do check it out with your dentist or doctor.

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