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Bad Breath Q&A

Bad breath is also called halitosis and it?s more common than you may think. It affects over 30%
of the population and it can happen to anyone. On average, Americans spend over 3 billion
dollars a year on mints, gum, breath fresheners to help get fresh breath. Here are some of the
most common questions that we get about bad breath.

What is Halitosis?

The definition of halitosis is when an unpleasant odor or smell is noticeable coming from the
mouth and can become persistent. Halitosis isn?t a disease and it?s normally a symptom from an
underlying cause. There is a difference between the occasional and temporary bad breath and
chronic bad breath. Temporary bad breath could be caused by eating foods with lots of garlic or
other strong flavors and is easily fixed with a mint or by brushing your teeth.

What?s the Difference Between Physiologic & Pathologic Halitosis?

Halitosis is used when bad breath doesn?t have a specific cause. With most people, it comes
and goes and is worse in the morning. Pathologic halitosis is used when bad breath is caused
or is a symptom of a disease or a pathologic condition. Physiologic halitosis is most often
caused by the putrefaction that is taking place in the mouth. This is normally coming from the
white-colored coating that layers the tongue.

What Causes Bad Morning Halitosis?

Bad breath is most common in the morning and is a type of physiologic halitosis. It typically
goes away when you brush your teeth, eat, drink, or floss. This is caused by a low flow of saliva
during sleep.

What Causes Halitosis?

The primary cause of bad breath is when you don?t brush your teeth or gums well enough and
little bits of food get stuck which attracts bacteria that leads to bad breath. To prevent this, you
should brush your teeth twice a day and make sure you are brushing along the gum line.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Bad Breath?

In most cases, bad breath is found in the oral cavity and is most often caused by tongue
coating, gingivitis/periodontitis, or a combination of the two. Poor oral hygiene and dental plaque
all contribute to bad breath. Periodontitis is a gum infection that can destroy the bone and soft
tissue that supports the teeth. Gastrointestinal disorders can also cause bad breath although this is very rare.

How Can Bad Breath (Halitosis) Be Prevented or Cured?

Bad breath is more often caused by food debris, cells, saliva, and blood. The best way to
prevent bad breath is to practice good oral hygiene. If you brush twice a day and floss daily this
is the best way to both prevent and reverse gingivitis and periodontitis.

If you think you could have chronic halitosis and are practicing good oral hygiene, bring it up at
your next continued care appointment at Paradise Dental in Salem, MA. Your dentist will be
able to check and make sure your mouth and gums are being properly taken care of to prevent
any bad breath. To schedule an appointment, you can contact us online or call us at (781) 780-
2246.

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