What Medical Conditions Can Cause Bad Breath?

Jun 01, 2022

Halitosis or bad breath can be embarrassing, especially if it cannot be resolved with mints and mouthwashes. It is common for people to wake up with an awful breath in the morning. But this is caused by bacteria breaking down food. This can be resolved by brushing, flossing, and rinsing the mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash.

However, there are a few cases where the bad breath persists even after maintaining proper oral hygiene.

How Can You Determine Your Breath Smells?

There are several ways you can check if you have an awful breath. The sniff test is one of the common ways, lick your wrist and let the skin dry momentarily, then sniff. Another way is to use floss on the back of the mouth and smell the floss or gently scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper after brushing.

Also, watch out for other symptoms like dry mouth and dehydration, which contribute to bad breath. Some of the symptoms include thick, foamy saliva and a change of taste in your mouth. You can clean your mouth or rinse it with water to wash away debris. But, visit a dentist near you for assistance if the bad breath does not clear out.

What Causes Mouth Odor Even After Brushing?

Poor oral hygiene is the chief cause of mouth odor. If you fail to brush or rinse your mouth after eating, the food particles remain and promote bacterial growth between your teeth, gums, and tongue. The bacteria break down the food-producing sulfur, causing a bad odor. Smoking and tobacco products can stain the teeth and also affect your breath.

However, the halitosis can be triggered by several medical conditions, including:

  1. Gum disease

Gum disease causes inflammation in the gum and surrounding tissues. Periodontal disease is usually caused by a bacterial infection or a combination of bacteria and food particles that remain between the teeth. If the bacterial infection is not treated, it can cause gingivitis, leading to periodontitis.

Gum disease causes inflamed tissues that serve as a source for producing volatile sulfur compounds. These compounds can cause bad breath that does not clear with regular brushing. To get rid of the source, you will need to get treatment for bad breath/halitosis in Phoenix, AZ.

  1. Diabetes

Diabetes is characterized by high blood sugar in the body and saliva. This creates an ideal environment for bacteria to multiply in the mouth and lead to the production of sulfur compounds. Furthermore, diabetes may lead to ketoacidosis, where the body converts fat instead of glucose, increasing ketone bodies. Ketones can cause bad breath.

  1. Liver disease

Some the liver diseases like hepatitis and cirrhosis cause bad breath. These diseases affect the liver’s ability to metabolize and eliminate toxic substances. Therefore, they result in higher hydrogen sulfide and ammonia levels.

  1. GERD

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) occurs when the stomach contents, the esophagus, and the upper part of the small intestine (the esophagus) slide up into the throat due to increased pressure the lower esophageal sphincter. This increases the acid content in the mouth, leading to a bad odor.

How Can Bad Mouth Odor Be Treated?

Breath mints and antiperspirants are common approaches to treat bad breath. You can use mouthwash to treat the smell of your breath. But, if the bad breath persists, it will require more than just using these methods. You need to treat the root cause of the problem. If the bad breath persists or is accompanied by other symptoms like dehydration, our dentist in Phoenix may take a swab sample from your tongue to determine if there is an underlying medical condition.

Part of the bad breath treatment includes treating the primary cause, like gum disease. The dentist will also work with your medical team to manage diabetes or liver disease.

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