Anorexia, Your Diet, and Bad Breath
Posted: September 29, 2009
Next time you think about skipping breakfast in the morning, think about the consequences it may have on your breath! This is one cause of bad breath that is easy to overcome. If you miss breakfast for whatever reason, or if you are anorexic, you extend your morning breath until you eat something. Why does this happen? When you are sleeping, your brain knows that you will not be eating. Your brain in turn slows down saliva production. Saliva has a high concentration of oxygen (which is a natural enemy of bad breath and gum disease-causing bacteria), the lack of saliva makes it easier for the bacteria to reproduce. As soon as you eat something in the morning, the salivary glands kick in and provide oxygen-rich saliva to dissipate morning breath.
If one does not drink enough fluids, he or she may have halitosis from dry mouth. Also, there is also something called "hunger breath", which is caused by ketosis, a medical condition in which the body starts breaking down fat if the person is not consuming enough calories. Ketones are produced in ketosis, and if there are large amounts of ketones being produced, the acidity of the blood can be increased. In turn, the body tries to lower the pH by ridding itself of the ketones in the lungs and urine, thus causing bad breath. In a low-carb diet, this is actually the main principle, since the body is tricked into thinking it is undergoing famine, even if the person is continuing the same calorie intake. Often times, people who are on extreme diets like high protein, low-carbohydrate or have eating disorder problems have chronic bad breath. The food that you eat can affect your breath, at least for a short time, especially if you eat foods with garlic, onions and curry.
Most of the time, sulfur compounds created by oral bacteria when food is broken down in the mouth cause halitosis. People who have dental plague have even more of these bacteria. If one has a gum infection (periodontal disease, etc.) , sinus infection, or tonsilitis, he or she is much more likely to have bacteria causing a bad smell. Dry mouth causes bad breath because there is less saliva in the mouth to wash the bacteria away.
Of course, there are many other causes of bad breath, but some of the aforementioned causes can be overlooked sometimes. All in all, the smell of your breath can be determined by how healthy you are, and not just your oral hygiene. Drink plenty of water in order to keep your mouth moist, don't miss breakfast, and practice proper oral hygiene on a daily basis.