Bad breath, also referred to as halitosis, is indicated by an unpleasant odor in your mouth. Our Philadelphia general dentist, Norman Tabas, DDS will explain that symptoms of bad breath include an unpleasant odor or taste in your mouth, dry mouth, or a white coating on your tongue. There can be many causes of bad breath, including food, tobacco products, poor dental hygiene, health problems, dry mouth, mouth infections, dental problems, or medications. Food is a main source of bad odors that come from your mouth. Some foods, such as onions, garlic, and spicy foods, exotic spices, such as curry, certain cheeses, fish, and acidic beverages, like coffee, can leave a lingering smell. There are other foods that can get stuck in your teeth, which promotes the growth of bacteria that causes bad breath odor.
Low carbohydrate diets may also cause something known as “ketone breath.” These particular diets cause your body to burn fat as its energy source. The result of making this energy are ketones, which cause a fruity, acetone-like odor on your breath when exhaled. Smoking and chewing tobacco may also leave chemicals that linger in your mouth and smoking can also trigger other bad-breath causes such as oral cancers or gum disease. When you don’t brush your teeth or floss regularly, food particles remaining in the mouth can begin to decay, causing bad odors. With poor dental care, plaque will begin to build up in your mouth, causing an odor of its own. Plaque buildup may also lead to periodontal disease, with the mild form of the disease being gingivitis. When gingivitis isn’t treated properly, it can advance to periodontitis. Health problems, such as sinus infections, sore throat, pneumonia, thrush, bronchitis, diabetes, post nasal drip, acid reflux, lactose intolerance, and some liver or kidney diseases can also be associated with bad breath. Our Philadelphia general dentist will explain that dry mouth can also be a cause of bad breath. Saliva helps moisten and cleanse the mouth, and when the body doesn’t produce enough, bad breath may result. Mouth infections such as cavities, gum disease, or impacted teeth may also cause bad breath, as well as food particles getting caught in braces or dentures.
Dr. Tabas, our Philadelphia general dentist at The Tabas Center for Advanced Dentistry, recommends various treatments for bad breath including improved dental hygiene, mouthwash, sugar free gum, quitting smoking, and changing bad habits. Whether it’s an occasional occurrence, or a chronic condition, bad breath can normally be prevented with proper tooth brushing, no smoking, and avoiding foods that cause bad breath odors.