It’s normal to develop embarrassing bad breath after indulging in garlic or anchovies. When bad breath is caused by odoriferous food, it’s a temporary problem. The more persistent bad breath may indicate poor oral hygiene, failure to visit a dental office regularly, or other dental health problems like gum disease or tooth abscesses. It’s always a smart idea to seek professional dental care near Lake Stevens, WA if you experience persistent bad breath. If your dentist rules out oral health causes, he or she may refer you to a family physician for an evaluation.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
GERD is a common digestive disease that is characterized by the backflow of stomach acid. The acid flows up into the esophagus, irritating your windpipe’s lining and causing symptoms like bad breath, chest pain, and heartburn. Occasional heartburn is nothing to be alarmed about, but GERD does require medical intervention. Over time, untreated reflux disease can cause the esophagus to form scar tissue and become narrow, develop an open sore called an ulcer, or even contribute to precancerous changes of the esophagus. Detecting these issues early on is just one way that a visit to the dental office can dramatically improve your health.
Unless you’ve already had your tonsils removed, your bad breath might be caused by tonsil stones. The tonsils, which are glands located at the back of the throat, feature lots of crannies and crevices that trap bacteria, dead cells, and mucous. The accumulated debris can harden and form tonsil stones. These deposits can produce exceptionally foul breath, which may be accompanied by problems swallowing, sore throat, and ear pain.
Diabetes doesn’t cause many symptoms that most people would identify with the disease. In some cases, dentists refer patients to a family physician after detecting an unusual, fruity odor on the breath. This fruity odor occurs with ketoacidosis, which is a complication of poorly controlled diabetes. Ketoacidosis can be a medical emergency.
Another serious medical condition that requires medical intervention is kidney failure. The kidneys filter out toxic waste products from the body. When the kidneys no longer work well, the toxins and waste buildup. Almost every area of the body can be affected. If the respiratory system is affected, patients can develop a distinctive, fishy odor on their breath.