Sources of Bad Breath: Medical and Dental Causes

March 14, 2023

There are certain oral health issues that are a bit more nuanced than they may seem at first glance, and a great example here is the realm of bad breath. While occasional bad breath will often arise due to simple activities like eating and can usually be remedied via brushing or mouthwash, there are other cases where bad breath is more of a chronic issue that relates to specific dental or medical concerns. 

At Hillfield Pediatric & Family Dentistry, we're here to help with this and numerous other basic dental needs, from general dentistry programs through cosmetic dentistry, sedation dentistry and more. In this two-part blog series, we'll look at the potential causes of bad breath in two forms: Medical or dental-related causes, including cases of chronic bad breath, will cover part one; other common situations where you may have temporary bad breath, but don't need to worry about anything long-term, will be discussed in part two.

Chronic Dry Mouth

Known as xerostomia in dental circles, one medical condition that can often lead to chronic bad breath is a dry mouth, which occurs when your salivary glands don't produce enough saliva. This can be caused by certain medications, or from conditions such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS.

In addition to causing bad breath, this condition can also create other oral health issues due to the lack of saliva's natural bacteria-fighting abilities. If you believe you may have chronic dry mouth, we suggest speaking to your dentist as soon as possible to discuss treatment options.

Gum Disease

Gum disease can also lead to bad breath and other issues such as loose teeth and gum recession. The condition is caused by a buildup of plaque on the teeth, which is then allowed to cause inflammation and infection in the gums if it's not removed through regular brushing and flossing.

If you're experiencing bad breath that won't go away, or have symptoms such as bleeding or receding gums, we suggest having a dental exam done right away so we can diagnose any potential gum disease early on and get to the bottom of it.

Certain Medications

In other cases, bad breath can be related to the types of medications you're taking. Many common medications such as antidepressants and blood pressure medication can have side effects that lead to dry mouth, which in turn causes bad breath.

If you believe this is the case, speak with your doctor about alternative medications or treatments that could potentially reduce the bad breath symptoms.

In part two of our series, we'll look at other potential causes of bad breath that are not uncontrollable due to medical issues. For more here, or to learn about any of our general or other dentistry services, speak to our team at Hillfield Pediatric & Family Dentistry today.

Hillfield Pediatric & Family Dentistry knows the importance of having healthy and beautiful teeth, which is why we provide exceptional dental care that you can rely on
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