Most of the time, bad breath is a minor inconvenience, and can happen to anybody. But there are times when bad breath could be a sign of something more serious. Many systems in your body can affect your breath, such as your digestive system, teeth and gums, nose and throat, or your body’s filtration systems. Bad breath could be the sign of some of these systems malfunctioning, or common diseases and disorders. And in some cases, you could diagnose some issues by breath alone. Here are some of the health conditions that could result in bad breath. We’ll also look at some of the things you could do to prevent it.
In many cases, poor dental hygiene is the main culprit behind bad breath. Plaque is a microscopic biofilm that forms over your teeth and is a byproduct of mouth bacteria breaking down carbohydrates. People who eat a lot of carbs turn their mouth into perfect breeding grounds for these bacteria, which then results in bad breath.
This is why it’s not only important that you take care of your dental hygiene, but see a dentist or dental hygienist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. Brush your teeth twice a day, and pay special attention to spots in between teeth. You should also use floss regularly to remove any particles that may have been left. Using an antibacterial mouthwash regularly can also help.
Plaque can also lead to gum disease. Also referred to as periodontal disease, gum disease is something that is very serious and should be addressed immediately. In addition to causing discomfort, pain, and bad breath, it can also lead to more serious conditions such as blood clots or heart disease. You could also suffer extensive damage to your gums and jawbone if left untreated. Know that people who smoke are more likely to get gum disease, and smoking makes treating the condition more difficult.
Saliva plays a very important part in the digestive system; it helps breaks down molecules in the food, and makes the nutrients more bioavailable to humans. Saliva also has antibacterial properties. A dry mouth is a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive, and the time when you’re most likely to have a dry mouth is when you sleep, which is why we have morning breath when we wake up.
One of the solutions against getting a dry mouth during sleep is mouth tape. Mouth tape is a special type of tape that you apply over the mouth to keep it shut at night. This allows the mouth to stay hydrated, and you then use your nose for breathing.
But there’s an unbelievable amount of benefits to mouth taping besides keeping your mouth hydrated. One of the most impressive is its effect on your body’s intake of nitric oxide. Using the nose to breathe maximizes the amount of nitric oxide we take in. This might seem like a minor factor, but lack of nitric oxide has been associated with higher heart rates, chronic inflammation, a weakened immune system, and lower cognitive function. But since it’s difficult to keep control of our breathing at night, mouth tape could help you get the amount of nitric oxide needed for proper function, which will leave more energized in the morning with lesser mood swings and better productivity.
Bad breath is not always a serious issue, but if the issue becomes persistent and invasive, then it’s time to see a professional. Only they will be able to assess the severity of the issue, and offer proper advice and treatment.