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Bad Breath – Was it just something you ate or is it far more sinister?

We get a few comments about Tooth Suds not being as minty as toothpaste. Most people love this, but some are concerned that this will result in “bad breath”. As long as you DO brush and have good oral hygiene, your choice in tooth soap (or toothpaste) won’t give or prevent bad breath…  but that overly minty toothpaste might be hiding other real issues.

Bad breath can be divided into two categories (based on what causes it): genuine and non-genuine.

Non-genuine bad breath is morning breath or a noticeable odor after eating garlic, tuna or any other foods. It is also possible to think you have bad breath but no one else can detect it.

Genuine bad breath is a physical condition. Of the actual genuine cases of bad breath, about 85% come from inside the mouth, while the remaining cases are due to disorders in the rest of the body. Chronic bad breath is known as “Halitosis” and is something that mints, mouthwash or good brushing can’t solve.

Bad Breath caused by issues within the mouth

  • Dental Decay
  • Interdental Food Packing – food getting pushed between your teeth
  • Acrylic dentures – plastic or false teeth
  • Oral Infections
  • Fasting
  • Stress/Anxiety
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Dry mouth
  • Mouth, Nose & Throat infections
  • Menstrual Cycle
  • Medication
  • Volatile Foods – garlic, onions, cabbage, etc.

Bad breath caused by issues outside of the mouth

There are a few systemic medical conditions that may cause bad breath, but they are infrequent in the general population.

  • Gastric Reflux
  • Diabetes
  • Liver Disease
  • Kidney infections & Kidney failure
  • Lower Respiratory tract infections (bronchial and lung infections)
  • Carcinoma (a type of cancer)
  • Trimethylaminuria (fish odor syndrome)
  • Metabolic Conditions resulting in elevated blood dimethyl sulfide
  • Ketoacidosis (a build-up of acids in your blood)

So what can I do if I have bad breath?*

First of all, consult your Dentist or Physician to find out the cause. You do not want to ignore any type of chronic bad breath due to the underlying medical issues that may be present.

For general non-genuine bad breath here are a few options for you:

  • Brush your teeth after you eat
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Brush your tongue
  • Clean dentures or other dental appliances daily
  • Avoid dry mouth
  • Adjust your diet – avoid foods that cause bad breath
  • Change your toothbrush regularly (and don’t forget to wash your toothbrush too).
  • Schedule regular dental checkups

Bad breath issues are real and affect from 6% to 50% of the population. Concern about bad breath is the third most common reason people seek dental care (after tooth decay and gum disease. It is viewed as a social taboo and people in the United States spend more than $1 Billion per year on mouthwash to treat the condition.

Remember that over the counter minty toothpaste and mouthwashes cover up the symptoms of bad breath but they don’t solve the problem causing it. Most of the time, bad breath can be prevented with proper oral hygiene. Although bad breath is rarely life-threatening it may be a complication of a medical disorder that needs to be treated. Above all, talk with your dentist about your concerns and include a thorough health history and any medications and supplements you are taking. This will help determine whether the cause is localized to the mouth or might be a systemic condition, in which case a physician would need to be consulted.

Remember that good oral care is the key and our Tooth Suds are a healthy, all-natural, sustainable way to keep your teeth and mouth happy.

*This is not medical advice; please consult your dentist or physician if you need further information

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