- Bad Breath - What Causes Bad Breath?
- By:Corwin Brown
Bad breath, or halitosis, can be a major problem, especially when you're about to snuggle with your sweetie or whisper a joke to your friend. The good news is that bad breath can often be prevented with some simple steps.
The foods eaten also are a potential cause of halitosis. Certain foods, such as garlic, onions and certain spices are frequently cited as cause for a person's bad breath. Both vegetarians and those who eat large quantities of meat may develop bad breath due, in part, to the digestive process. Digestion begins in the mouth. Saliva has enzymes which begin the digestion process, and the type of food eaten can affect the food chemistry of the mouth. Saliva will also pick up odors from food within several hours after it has been eaten. Odors are strongest from carbohydrates - sugars, starches and cellulose, less strong from proteins, and nonexistent from fats. Bacteria in the mouth react with the decaying food and drink residue and can be the source of the foul odor.
Gum disease, most certainly, can cause bad breath, because food trapped in gum pockets can rot and ferment, which releases sulfur products, and increases tartar buildup on the teeth, which also traps bacteria that release sulfur products. Most know that smoking causes bad breath, and that heart problems eventually result from the habit, but few realize that smoking causes gum disease, and that gum disease can cause heart problems.
Bad breath is also associated with sinus infections because nasal discharge from your sinuses into the back of your throat can cause mouth odor. A child with bad breath may have a foreign object lodged in his or her nose. A bean or small item stuck in the nose can cause persistent nasal discharge and a foul odor. Strep throat, tonsillitis and mononucleosis can cause bad breath until the throat infection clears. Bronchitis and other upper respiratory infections in which you cough up odorous sputum are other sources of bad breath. Canker sores may be related to bad breath, especially if they accompany periodontal disease.
Bad Breath is usually caused by the breakdown of proteins by bacteria somewhere in the mouth. Bad breath is not contagious, meaning you cannot catch it from someone else. Chronic bad breath, known as Halitosis, does not come from the stomach. The only odor that comes from the stomach is when you burp. Food eaten such as garlic and spicy foods once absorbed into the body can release odor through the lungs when you breathe.
Bad breath in the low/no-carb sect is often caused by certain chemicals that are released in the breath as the body burns fat. They are called ketones, and entering into a fat-burning state of ketosis is the hallmark of the Atkins diet. So the good news is that if your breath stinks, you're probably doing a good job of sticking to that low-carb diet.
Bad breath may be the sign of a medical disorder, such as a local infection in the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, liver or kidney ailment. If your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy, you may be referred to your family doctor or a specialist to determine the cause of bad breath.
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