Bad breath is breath that has an unpleasant odor. It's also known as halitosis. This odor can occur from time to time, or it can be long lasting, depending on the cause.
In almost ALL cases bacteria is the cause. Most cases of bad breath do originate from the mouth, but there are other syndromes and illnesses that can contribute to bad breath like those involving the digestive tract.
In the mouth, the primary reason we have bad breath is because of the bacteria that exist. Some types of bad breath are considered to be fairly normal. They usually are not health concerns.
One example is "morning breath." This occurs because of changes in your mouth while you sleep. During the day, saliva washes away decaying food and odors. At night, however as the body makes less saliva, your mouth becomes dry, and dead cells stick to your tongue and to the inside of your cheeks. When bacteria use these cells for food, they produce a foul odor. It can also be caused by certain foods, namely onions and garlic. However, these examples are temporary as the odor goes away upon brushing or rinsing. A tongue scraper can also help control the build up on your tongue.
The other leading cause if periodontal disease. Bad breath is inevitable in people with periodontal disease as the bacteria that cause the disease under the gums secrete Volatile Sulfer Compounds. This can be treated by managing the anaerobic bacteria underneath the gums and ultimately the periodontal disease.
Many people are too embarassed about it to seek a cure but at New England Dental Care we work with patients to manage their periodontal disease and mantain a healthy mouth everyday, so please come in and let us help you. Our team will also advise you further if they think you might be at risk for any other diseases.