Is Bad Breath a Warning Sign of Major Illnesses?
Posted: February 15, 2010
Bad breath (halitosis), especially if its chronic, can sometimes be a symptom of a much more major dilemma. It is very important that people do not overlook this problem, because it can be a sign of a terminal illness. Dental experts have linked halitosis to everything from pneumonia, bronchitis, chronic sinus infections to liver problems, kidney problems, and diabetes. People who have gastritis can have halitosis because of their stomach's high acidic levels.
Unfortunately, most people do not regard bad breath as a serious problem, and just try to disguise it with peppermint or mouthwash. Halitosis has also been linked to chronic acid reflux and constipation. If one is practicing good oral hygiene, and avoiding foods that cause strong odors like petai, onions, etc., then it is possible that one has a problem that is more than just bad breath.
Many people will find that chewing gum only hides the bad breath and bad tastes temporarily. According to dental experts, 80% of bad breath sufferers have a mouth-related illness causing the problem; however, few people actually make regular visits to the dentist as needed. Tooth decay, cavities, gingivitis, dry mouth (xerostamia, caused by the lack of saliva), and oral cancer all cause halitosis. If a person has gum disease and does not treat it, it can lead to serious damage to the gums and jawbone. Some sources say that mouthwashes containing alcohol have been linked to oral cancer! TheraBreath is an example of a mouthwash that does NOT have alcohol as an ingredient.