Bad Breath Treatment Cairns
Let’s get to the bottom of halitosis
Anyone suffering from bad breath that persists beyond a week or so should have it investigated. Bad breath is usually regarded as a social problem and can have a major effect on self-confidence and intimate relationships. It may also be a symptom of a far more serious or even life-threatening problem.
What causes bad breath?
Numerous prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines and supplements, alternative medicine supplements all cause bad breath. This includes regularly prescribed medicines like anti-hypertensives (for high blood pressure), cholesterol-lowering medicines, anti-depressants, psychiatric drugs amongst others and when multi-drug therapy occurs, the effect on causing dry mouth is exaggerated contributing more to bad breath. Most senior citizens and baby boomers are taking some of these medications.
Pathological causes stem from within the body and may refer to infections or chronic conditions.
- Upper respiratory tract and lung infections (chest infections, colds, flu, sinus infections, tonsillitis sore throat etc.)
- Nasal and Para-Nasal sinus pathology including fungal infections, polyposis, mucus retention cysts, nasal anomalies and obstruction, jaw growth anomalies including various malocclusions (only your dentist or orthodontist can diagnose this)
- Some stomach and oesophageal conditions including gastric cancer, gastric and peptic ulceration, gastritis, Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disorder (GORD, GERD), and hyper-acidity.
- Chronic oral conditions including periodontal disease, thrush, oral and throat cancer, Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis (ANUG or Vincent’s infection), large tooth cavities, obstructed salivary glands and salivary stones (sialoliths)
- Various systemic conditions including diabetes and ketosis and digestive disorders.
- Sjogren’s Syndrome and Sicca Syndrome and systemic conditions that effect mucus membranes in general.
Hormonal conditions can also play a part in bad breath. Pubertal growth spurts are a very common time for halitosis to show up and more so in males than females. The average 13 to 15-year-old male (who mum cannot fill up fast enough) is a very common halitosis victim.
Various non-pathological conditions
Fortunately, these are by far the most common causes of halitosis. While these previous pathological conditions need to be eliminated in the search for the causes of bad breath, usually more simple non-threatening causes are much more likely.
- Aromatic foods like garlic and onion and a number of other strong spices and flavours will affect breath
- Deeply textured or furrowed tongue upper surface
- Hairy tongue
- Dry mouth (xerostomia) and de-hydration
- High alcohol content mouthwashes can actually cause dry mouth and contribute to bad breath. The higher the alcohol level the more they cause a dry mouth. As such, these high alcohol content mouthwashes simply mask the smell with a different smell and the effect may only last 5 or 10 minutes before the bad breath returns worse.
Our usual legal drugs of alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. The more you consume the more bad breath may result. When you use two or more types you are more likely to be effected. Recreational drugs and illicit drugs will usually cause breath problems amongst the other problems with which they are associated.
If you are otherwise healthy and have assessed various lifestyle choices as mentioned above, the usual culprit in bad breath is a group of aromatic compounds called Volatile Sulpha Compounds (VSCs). These are all naturally occurring compounds that build up physiologically in various parts of our bodies as a bi-product of the biological breakdown of dead bacteria, dead mucosal cells and food material and other waste products in our bodies. When they build up in our mouths they can become noticeable as bad breath.
These causes are often quite simple to overcome but your dentist or hygienist is the best qualified professional to assess and advise on treatment.