If people are running away in droves when you open your mouth, it could have something to do with your breath. According to Web MD, more than 65 percent of Americans suffer from bad breath with nearly forty million having chronic halitosis. Ninety percent of bad breath is actually oral and not systemic.
People in the United States spend about a billion dollars every year on bad breath products, but unless the problem is taken care of, those toothpastes, mouthwashes, gum and breath mints are only masking the problem.
The number one cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. Food that is not removed from your gums, tongue, and teeth will convert to sugar and acids from the bacteria in your mouth. The dying and dead bacteria living off of this food release a sulfur like compound that causes halitosis. Brush your teeth twice, floss once each day.
Bad breath can also be caused by certain foods. If you indulge in garlic and onions be aware that those foods will stay in your system up to 72 hours after digestion, as they are absorbed into your bloodstream before being released into your lungs. Try skipping certain ethnic foods such as curry and give the onions and garlic a rest for a week or two, as it could be the cause of your halitosis.
If you are a chronic dieter, your breath could be suffering. People who fast or are constantly dieting will develop bad breath.
One of the biggest causes of chronic halitosis is gum disease. Food that is trapped between the teeth and beneath the gums will convert to plaque and tartar causing gingivitis and periodontal disease. Only your dentist can tell if you are suffering from gum disease, but if your gums bleed after brushing and flossing it would be wise to schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Dry mouth, which can be caused by certain medications, could also be the reason people cover their nose when you speak. Xerostomia, or dry mouth, means that you have a decrease in the flow of your salvia. Saliva removes the particles and cleans your mouth. Talk to your doctor if you have dry mouth, as your physician may be able to change your medication.
Smoking and chewing tobacco are just as bad for your teeth and gums as they are for the rest of your body. Cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products stain your teeth and cause halitosis. Irritated gums, the inability to taste, stained teeth and of course, bad breath can be reduced if you kick the habit.
If you have healthy teeth and gums, your bad breath could be a sign that you have a health problem. Chronic sinusitis, respiratory tract infections, chronic bronchitis, postnasal drip, gastrointestinal disorders, and diabetes can all cause halitosis. If you have a kidney or liver ailment, your breath could also be suffering.
Chronic halitosis is nothing to laugh about and if you are tired of talking with your hand over your mouth, schedule an appointment with your dentist who will be able to help you determine the cause of your bad breath.