Most people wake up with less-than-fresh odors emanating from their mouths. Even loved ones usually prefer to wait until after the morning ritual of brushing teeth before engaging in conversation, at least up close.
For some people, however, morning breath does not go away after their morning routines. As embarrassing as chronic bad breath can be, many people may hide their affliction, or try to as best as they can. Therefore, gauging how many people are truly affected by halitosis can be difficult. Still, we do know plenty about the common causes of chronic bad breath, and how most people can avoid or reverse their embarrassing condition.
Feeding Bad Breath
Although the observation may seem obvious to some, most cases of bad breath originate from within the mouth. Billions of bacteria in your mouth are active, and many of them synthesize the ingredients you consume to produce other compounds. Streptococcus mutans, for instance, creates acid from sugars and carbs in your diet.
Others produce gases that can offend your sense of smell, mainly volatile sulfur compounds. Many of these compounds have the characteristic smell of rotten eggs, and are produced by bacteria in your intestines, as well.
What is Your Breath Telling You?
If your halitosis continues in spite of your best efforts to eliminate it, there may be a deeper, more complicated cause behind it. You may not be surprised at some of the dental issues that can cause bad breath, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or dry mouth (xerostomia). Other issues associated with halitosis, however, can be less obvious.
Pneumonia, bronchitis, diabetes, acid reflux, liver or kidney problems, and many others can cause reactions within your body that result in bad breath. Medications for certain illnesses can also cause halitosis as a side effect. Because of the many possible reasons behind bad breath, treating the condition highly depends on finding the underlying cause.