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Bad Breath and how it relates to Oral Systemic Diseases

Dental health is complex. Our Parramatta dentist team know that systemic issues can be linked to teeth in ways many may not realise.

Bad breath is one of the most common dental complaints, and you may not think you need to see your doctor or dentist about it. It could be completely benign, caused by culinary tastes or poor oral hygiene. For example, if you’re a smoker, caffeine drinker, or garlic lover, the only way to improve your breath is to let go of those smelly things you love.

It also helps to floss and brush your tongue once a day, something many of us neglect to do. Brushing our teeth isn’t enough, because smelly bacteria and food remnants are often lodged on our tongues, or in the gaps between our teeth, so better brushing can sometimes resolve breath problems. Chewing (sugar-free) gum helps, but only temporarily. And don’t forget to keep your dentures clean, they need brushing too.

Oral health links

Sometimes, nasty breath could be caused by an oral infection like gingivitis, periodontitis, tooth decay, tonsillitis, or even a respiratory infection. Treating this will probably freshen out your mouth, so it’s best to see a dentist and discover the exact cause of your unpleasant oral scent.

A throat or tonsil infection can cause cracks in the tissues where food bits can get stuck and begin to decompose, causing the smell. Lung and sinus infections can seep particulate scents into your nose and mouth as you breathe. In the same way, contamination in your teeth or gums can leach smelly toxins into your saliva, bloodstream or lungs.

Halitosis could also be caused by medication for a separate medical condition, like chemotherapy and radiation. It dries out your mouth and can cause that unpleasant smell. Your mouth could also dry out excessively if you have issues with your salivary glands, or if you frequently breathe through your mouth. Lots of medications cause ‘dry mouth’.

Systemic diseases

In about 25% of cases, problems of the liver, kidney, stomach, or diabetes-related health challenges can taint your breath. Allergens and germs freely migrate throughout the body, so anti-inflammatories or pathogens from the gums can visit other organs and vice versa, and when all these nasty mixes get into blood, lungs, and saliva, the result is halitosis.

To treat these types of system-related bad breath issues, it’s important to diagnose the exact cause and then see the relevant specialists. ENTs can deal with respiratory infections, while your GP or gastrointestinal doctor can look into digestive matters from your liver, tummy, and intestinal matters. Your urologist is better placed to handle kidney issues.

To learn more about halitosis and how to manage it effectively, call us at Dental Avenue Parramatta on 800 400 55 and one of our friendly team members will be more than happy to take care of you.

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