Most of us have had bad breath a time or two in our lives, and it often stems from the foods we eat. You may find that you encounter bad breath after eating very strong flavors like garlic or other herbs, but what about when bad breath seems to be caused by something more?
While some instances of less-than-ideal breath may simply be the result of a flavorful meal, it can also be associated with particular health issues.
Below are four ways your breath may be telling you something more about your health.
If you feel like your breath isn’t smelling great no matter what you do, it could indicate you have an infection. One of the most common types of infections to impact the aroma of a person’s breath are respiratory and sinus issues. If you consistently have bad breath that just doesn’t want to go away, your infection could potentially be chronic. For example, people who suffer from chronic sinusitis may find that even with a good tooth care routine their breath doesn’t smell as fresh as they’d like it to.
Acid reflux or GERD are issues that can make it nearly impossible to have great breath. Both reflux and GERD are gastrointestinal health problems, and the reason they can lead to bad breath is because these health problems prevent food from moving entirely out of the stomach in the way it should. It then begins to decay there, which leads to the strong breath. Certain people may not even experience the common symptoms of reflux or GERD, such as frequent heartburn, but may instead be diagnosed after telling their doctor about their bad breath or even having a constant bad taste in their mouth.
If you’re not drinking enough water or healthy fluids, you may be dehydrated. One of the symptoms of dehydration can be dry mouth, and dry mouth is one of the primary culprits of bad breath. Of course, dehydration isn’t the only cause of dry mouth, but anytime your body isn’t producing enough saliva, which serves to clean the mouth, you might have breath issues.
Diabetes is increasingly problematic in the U.S. and even around the world, and researchers believe there is a link between the disease and chronic bad breath, also called halitosis. When people suffer from diabetes their body has difficulty producing or responding to insulin, which impacts blood sugar levels. This can lead to gum problems, and also the occurrence of ketones. Ketones are acidic in nature, and the body removes them as a waste byproduct, released through the breath.
Uncovering the Cause of Bad Breath
If you’re doing everything right in terms of your oral health, including regularly brushing with a high-quality electric toothbrush, flossing and using antibacterial mouthwash, and yet you still find your breath isn’t great, you might consider a visit not just to your dentist, but also to your primary care doctor to see if you can determine whether or not it’s indicative of a larger health issue.