Bad breath, which is also referred to as halitosis, is an affliction that nearly everyone has suffered and has sought to avoid at some point. Halitosis can often be attributed to dietary choices, tobacco use or poor oral hygiene habits, but these are not the only potential causes. Since halitosis can also reflect underlying health issues, most people can benefit from understanding the multiple underlying conditions that may be the cause.

1. Dry Mouth

Dry mouth develops when the amount of saliva in the mouth falls to inadequate levels. Reduced saliva production can occur overnight, due to dehydration or as a result of certain medications. Since saliva helps remove food particles from the mouth and reduce unwanted breath odors, dry mouth may be a contributing factor to halitosis.

2. General Health Problems

Various health conditions can also adversely affect a person’s breath. The chemicals that arise from acid reflux disease, certain cancers, and some metabolic disorders may be responsible for halitosis. Some medications also can cause similar effects. Infections or other problems with the nose, sinuses or throat also may produce noticeable odors.

3. Oral Infections

Oral infections and other oral health issues can also give rise to halitosis. The oral health problems that most commonly cause this condition include:

  • Cavities
  • Yeast infections
  • Dental appliances that do not fit correctly
  • Gum disease

Gum disease, which is a chronic infection of the gum pockets, is an especially common cause of halitosis. The bacteria responsible for gum disease can produce persistent breath odors, which may be the first warning sign of the disease. Since gum disease can cause serious complications if left untreated, victims of halitosis should take this potential gum disease symptom seriously.

Seeking Treatment

At Knellinger Dental Excellence, our dentists, Drs. Dan Knellinger, Stacey Verkler and Carol Bou-Sliman, specialize in treating gum disease in Palm Harbor, FL. With the LANAP® protocol, the doctors can eliminate gum disease with a laser, sparing patients from breath problems and more serious health issues. This procedure protects patients from unnecessary trauma or discomfort, and it offers a five-year success rate of 98 percent.

People who notice signs of oral health problems, including persistent halitosis, should protect their health by seeking a professional opinion. Patients can schedule consultations with the doctors at Knellinger Dental Excellence by calling our office at (727) 475-5519.