Consider Your Breath

bad breathIf your co-worker slips you a mint or if a good-night kiss is but a memory, you may be suffering from bad breath - the very common, embarrassing condition also known as halitosis - and even your best friends may fail to tell you.

The main source of bad breath is a sulfur gas produced by accumulated bacteria in your mouth - which collects on your teeth, gums and tongue. However, there may be other bad breath culprits at work:

  • It could be what you are eating. Garlic and onions, especially, contain compounds which are taken into your blood cells and expelled through your lungs. That means your breath actually smells, not just your mouth.
  • It could be your nose or nasal passages. Bacteria in your nose and sinus cavities or a sinus infection can cause foul smelling secretions to exit your nasal passages. This is commonly a cause of bad breath. A saline nasal wash may help, but if the problem persists, you should see an ear, nose and throat specialist.
  • It could be tonsil stones. Tonsil stones, also called tonsiloliths, are made of lymph tissue and bacteria which form lumps in the back of your throat, near your tonsils. They contain crevices where bacteria accumulates. If enough bacteria get caught, tonsil stones can contribute to bad breath.
  • It could be your tongue. It’s a good idea to brush your tongue when you brush your teeth. Also try using a tongue scraper to remove bacteria from the back of your tongue.
  • It could be your stomach. If none of the above is causing your bad breath, or if it persists in spite of your best efforts, you may want to see a doctor. In some cases, stomach problems, such as acid reflux, can cause bad breath.

As a final reminder, have you had a dental check-up and cleaning lately? A dental check-up may reveal halitosis-causing plaque, gingivitis and tooth decay. Stay current with your twice-yearly check-ups and cleanings and don’t forget to brush and floss daily. Call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Glasser, today: (631) 423-6767.

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