“Sometimes bad breath is just an indication of something else that’s going on in the body.”
OK, there’s no question that certain foods, like garlic or onions, may cause your breath to stink to high heaven. But what if you haven’t eaten anything potent lately and your breath still smells kinda funky?
“Sometimes it’s an underlying condition and the bad breath is just an indication of something else that’s going on in their body or their mouth,” says says Jennifer Jablow, DDS, a dentist in New York City.
Here are three of the most common medical causes of smelly breath—and what you can do to freshen up.
1. Gum disease. If a patient is complaining of chronic bad breath, Dr Jablow says the first thing dentists look for is the presence of gum disease. “Gum disease can cause bad breath because bacteria is harboring deep inside the pockets of the gum tissue,” says Dr. Jablow. “And for that we do deep cleanings and make sure that their periodontal health or gum health becomes better.”
2. Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a condition where the mouth dries out from reduced or absent saliva flow. When you don’t have that natural saliva flow to wash away bacteria, it can cause bad breath. Dry mouth may be a side effect of certain medications or even using alcohol-based mouthwashes. “Alcohol dries out the mouth and you don’t have that natural saliva protection,” says Dr. Jablow.
3. Acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when the stomach acid that’s naturally in your stomach backs up into the esophagus. When stomach acid comes up, so does undigested food and regurgitated bile, which can cause bad breath. You can treat acid reflux with medication as well as by avoiding these heartburn-inducing foods and eating habits.
How to Treat Bad Breath
If your stinky breath is caused by a food you ate or other daily habits, you can fix the stank with these dentist-recommended bad breath remedies.
If your bad breath just won’t ease up, visit your dentist for a checkup to rule out anything serious that needs medical attention. “It’s important to see your dentist as a first line of defense to see if you have any gum problems that are developing,” says Dr. Jablow. “If it’s something that’s going on in your stomach, your dentist will refer you to a doctor.”
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The major concern with patience when they
come in complaining about bad breath is
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that it's never going to go away.
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The main that we look for
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when patients complain about bad breath,
is number one, do they have gum disease?
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Is that because the bacteria's harboring
deep inside the pockets of the gum tissue?
00:00:18,298 --> 00:00:22,309
And, for that, we do deep cleanings and
make sure that their periodontal health or
00:00:22,309 --> 00:00:23,700
gum health becomes better.
00:00:23,700 --> 00:00:29,940
00:00:29,940 --> 00:00:34,130
People are more prone to bad breath
when they usually have a dry mouth.
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Whether they're taking allergy medication,
they're using a mouthwash that has
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alcohol, which is not good good because
alcohol dries out the mouth and
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then you don't have
the natural saliva protection.
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People on other medications as well
where you don't have a natural saliva
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flow to wash away the bacteria,
that is a side effect,
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we call that xerostomia, dry mouth
is such a predecessor to bad breath.
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And also people with a stomach problem.
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Who have that acid reflux, because it
creates an acidic environment coming
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from the stomach into the mouth,
can also have bad breath.
00:01:05,170 --> 00:01:08,910
If you're noticing a problem with
bad breath that just won't go away,
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it's important to see your dentist
as a first line of defense
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to see if you have any gum
problems that are developing.
00:01:15,390 --> 00:01:17,980
Or it might be something that's
going on in your stomach, and
00:01:17,980 --> 00:01:20,000
your dentist will refer
you to a doctor for that.
00:01:20,000 --> 00:01:23,645
Sometimes it's just an underlying
condition, and the bad breath is just
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an indication of something else that's
going on in their body or their mouth.
00:01:27,542 --> 00:01:32,585
Xerostomia (Dry Mouth). American Dental Association. (Accessed on July 5, 2016 at https://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/xerostomia)