What is Halitosis and What are the Causes

 Have you experienced any of the following?
    1. You frequently have a bad taste in your mouth.
    2. Your breath is interfering with your social or professional success.
    3. Somebody has commented on your bad breath, or offered you mints or chewing gum.
    4. You feel embarrassed by your breath .
    5. You find yourself using either breath mints, mouthwashes, chewing gum, or internal breath fresheners.
    6. People step back from you when you are talking to them, or they avoid direct contact with you.
    7. You experience a dry mouth or thick saliva on a regular basis and can’t seem to improve the condition.

If you answered yes to any of the above you likely have a breath problem. The good news is that at the Center for Breath Treatment we have a highly effective treatment that has had a 99% success rate.

What is halitosis?
    Chronic halitosis is a condition in which a person produces an offensive odor from their oral or nasal regions and they’re unable to eliminate it through normal oral hygiene techniques, such as flossing or brushing. The occasional “morning breath” most people experience at one time or another is not really true halitosis. Halitosis knows no boundaries when it comes to age, sex, race, or socioeconomic levels. Furthermore, it can be truly demoralizing, and it negatively impacts the lives of as many as 50-80 million individuals in the United States alone. Because it’s such an embarrassing problem we have found that many patients are reluctant to even mention their problem to either their physician or dentist. Another unfortunate fact is that most halitosis sufferers have no idea that they have a breath problem unless somebody directly informs them. People suffering from halitosis have been known to become withdrawn and avoid social situations. There unfortunately have even been documented cases of suicide stemming from a halitosis problem.

What causes a halitosis condition? 
    There are a number of possible causes of halitosis. Below we have listed some possible causes and have separated them into medical and dental causes.

    1.   Sinus infections & abnormal sinus anatomies
    2.   Tonsilar infections or tonsiloliths
    3.   Lung diseases
    4.   Kidney diseases
    5.   Liver diseases
    6.   Blood disorders
    7.   Diabetes
    8.   Gallbladder dysfunction
    9.   Menstruation
    10. Carcinomas
    11. Certain foods

    1. Extensive dental decay
    2. Periodontal (gum) disease
    3. Oral infections or abscesses
    4. Oral cancers
    5. Xerostomia (dry mouth condition). Many medications can contribute to a condition of xerostomia.
    6. Oral conditions resulting from post-nasal drips or discharges
    7. Allergy conditions
    8. A proliferation of specific types of gram negative anaerobic bacteria.
90% of breath problems are caused from a proliferation of specific types of gram negative anaerobic bacteria in the mouth. This has also been supported by extensive research in the field of halitosis. This proliferation is often a result of conditions such as allergies, sinus congestion or post-nasal drips, nasal polyps, and xerostomia which is a dry mouth condition. A common area where the bacteria congregates can actually be on the tongue itself. Because we rarely find halitosis resulting from a medical condition, we suggest that the first approach in eliminating the problem should be an oral approach. This approach is more economical, noninvasive, and it has a higher probability of success. We do recommend that all patients maintain their dental health by seeing their dentist regularly. Should a halitosis condition persist, despite the simple and noninvasive oral treatments that we offer, then we suggest that those patients should see their physician. Usually from the differential diagnosis that we perform at the first appointment, we can determine whether a halitosis problem is of a medical or dental origin.

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Stuart A. Greene, DDS-FAGD
2009 Birdcreek Terrace Temple, TX 76502 254.773.9007 | Fax 254.773.8051
©2004 Stuart A. Greene, DDS-FAGD | Online since 1996 | Updated Continuously