Did you know that 65 percent of American adults have frequent bad breath or halitosis? That rotten egg odor– it’s worse than your typical “morning breath.” Where does halitosis originate? What can be done about this embarrassing and often unhealthy condition?
Anthony Giamberardino DMD, dentist in the 01890 area, helps patients determine the cause of their halitosis
More than morning breath after a good night’s sleep, coffee breath from your mid-afternoon break or even smoker’s breath from cigarettes and cigars, chronic bad breath poses serious interpersonal difficulties and may indicate a health issue, too. The staff at Giamberardino Dental Care lists many reasons for bad breath and what you can do to solve this awkward and worrisome problem.
Food causes bad breath
Somerville general dentist Dr. Anthony Giamberardino maintains that food and oral conditions instigate most halitosis. That common rotten egg odor that emanates from an open mouth with each exhalation frequently begins in food residue.
While you may think that aromatic foods such as onions and garlic cause most of the problem, it’s really what’s left behind from any meal or snack. Carbohydrates and sugars harbor oral bacteria. These various microbes, numbering in the millions, give off VSCs or Volatile Sulfur Compounds, the familiar rotten egg smell.
Your tongue, with its rough texture, holds these food particles as do tooth enamel and gums. Without proper brushing, flossing and professional cleanings with your Medford general dentist, biofilm accumulates. The usual result is tooth decay, gum disease and halitosis. Dentures, either full or partial, house micro-organisms, too, especially after meals.
Additionally, even lack of food causes bad breath. Dieters or people who fast for religious reasons may experience bad breath because their oral tissues are dry.
Health conditions cause bad breath
When Dr. Giamberardino examines your mouth, he first inspects for signs of tooth decay and gum disease. Advanced gum disease is a common cause of persistent bad breath and is xerostomia or dry mouth which can arise from oxygen therapy, wearing dentures and from some prescription medications and cancer therapies.
Besides oral health conditions, systemic health impacts breath odor. Poorly controlled diabetes gives rise to fruity-smelling breath, and kidney failure produces an ammonia- or urine-like smell. Respiratory infections such as pneumonia and sinusitis leave a fetid smell in the oral cavity because of infection and accumulated mucus.
Medications lead to halitosis
If you are experiencing bad breath, check with your pharmacist about your prescription medications. Many are the culprits in halitosis. Ask about anti-Parkinson’s drugs, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, allergy medications and common blood pressure medications.
What to do about bad breath?
As with any oral health condition, don’t ignore it, hoping it will just go away. Your Somerville general dentist recommends semi-annual exams and cleanings to keep plaque and tartar at bay and also to check for decay and periodontitis. Of course, twice daily brushing with a quality fluoride toothpaste is a must. (Try one of the many breath-freshening varieties.) Floss at least once a day, and some people use a plastic tongue cleaner to scrub the tongue free of food residue.
Dr. Giamberardino may recommend an over the counter mouth rinse to help with halitosis or prescribe ZYTEX which contains zinc chloride and essential oils to reduce microbes and VSCs.
The 01890 dentist could advise simple diet changes and of course, a trip to your primary physician if he suspects a systemic health issue.
Find out more
Your health, self-confidence and relationships are too important to ignore. If bad breath is bothering you or those around you, contact Giamberardino Dental Care for a consultation. Dr. Giamberardino and his friendly team understand your concerns and will be happy to help. Contact the Medford dental office today for an appointment.