Dental problems like tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath have become a significant problem in the U.S. The situation is made even worse in light of recent research which suggests that these conditions may be tied to serious conditions throughout the body, such as diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis.
In order to determine the depth of the problem, the American Academy of Periodontology and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have teamed up to survey the prevalence of conditions like tooth decay and gingivitis.
Both conditions are significant contributors to bad breath. When unchecked oral bacteria begin to breakdown dental tissue, their waste product is a foul smelling substance that often causes halitosis.
Alex Farnoosh, a dentist from Beverly Hills who is participating in the research, said that it would be impossible to take steps to correct the problem from a public health point of view without accurate measurements.
"Establishing a benchmark of oral health is an important step in diminishing overall rates of disease in America," he said. "With a bit of luck, increased public awareness will prompt people to visit a periodontist and make gum and tooth care a priority."