Bad breath, medically known as halitosis, is not only embarrassing but can also indicate an oral health problem. Many health problems, such as heartburn, dry mouth, or even some diseases in other parts of the body, can cause bad breath. The treatment for bad breath depends on what is causing it. Talk to a Drexel Hill dentist today to learn more. 

What is halitosis? 

Bad breath is known as halitosis in medical terminology. Everyone suffers from bad breath from time to time, especially after eating strong foods. But it may be time to visit a doctor if your bad breath is chronic or does not go away. Halitosis is a sign of several medical diseases. In other words, it acts as a warning signal from your body. The first step in treating halitosis is determining the source of the problem. 

Is halitosis common? 

Halitosis is a common illness affecting one in every four persons worldwide. According to one study that collected the findings from 13 medical journal papers, halitosis affects around 31.8% of the population. 

What are the symptoms of bad breath?

The main symptom of halitosis is persistently foul-smelling breath. Other individuals may detect the odor if it is strong enough. 

What are the most common causes of bad breath? 

Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of halitosis. Harmful germs invade and multiply uncontrollably in your mouth without proper oral hygiene, such as flossing, brushing, and regular dental cleanings. This can result in various oral health complications, such as halitosis, cavities, and gum disease. 

Other underlying health conditions can cause halitosis, such as: 

  • Dry mouth 

Saliva helps to wash your mouth. Thus, halitosis can occur if your body does not produce enough saliva. Smoking causes dry mouth and raises your risk of gum disease. Moreover, several drugs can also cause dry mouth. 

  • Neck cancer and head cancer 

Sores that don’t heal, difficulty swallowing, mouth pain, unexplained weight loss, and a lump in your neck are all symptoms of oropharyngeal or oral cancer. Your oropharynx is between your nose and mouth. 

  • Get help from a dentist today. 

If you suffer from halitosis, you should know that it is not just about the smell of your breath. There may be an underlying health issue causing the bad breath, so it is important to visit your dentist and get a checkup regularly. Schedule an appointment today if you have not visited your dentist in a while.