We have all experienced bad breath at some point. However, there is a pretty big difference between “morning breath” and bad breath that can’t seem to be cured by even the strongest of breath mints.
Halitosis, or chronic bad breath, remains for an extended amount of time and often isn’t fazed by mints, mouthwash, or a good brushing.
So, what causes halitosis?
Chronic bad breath is often caused by wastes from bacteria that are found in the mouth, the decay of food particles, and overall poor oral hygiene. There are several conditions they may lead to these symptoms or make your halitosis worse:
- Dental issues: Dental problems such as cavities and gum disease can give bacteria that causes bad breath extra places to hide throughout your mouth.
- Medical issues: Infections of the mouth, nose, or throat can lead to postnasal drip which may also contribute to having bad breath. Bacteria love to feed off the mucus that your body produces when you are fighting off a cold or sinus infection.
- Dry mouth: Saliva is important for maintaining a healthy mouth. It helps you rinse and remove the unwanted leftovers, like food particles, from your mouth. If you don’t make enough saliva, you may experience halitosis.
- Other chronic conditions: While chronic bad breath is typically related to something that is going on inside of your mouth, other conditions, like gastric reflux, diabetes, or kidney disease, may also cause halitosis.
How is halitosis prevented and treated?
Maintaining good oral and dental hygiene can help you prevent chronic bad breath. Here are some tips to help you avoid halitosis:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day
- Use mouth rinse to help fight plaque in hard to reach places
- Floss daily to remove plaque from in between your teeth and under your gum line
- Limit the amount of sugary or starchy foods you consume
It is also important to visit your dentist regularly; at least twice a year. During your checkups, your dentist or dental hygienist will be able to help detect any physical problems and get rid of the plaque and build up on your teeth. If your dentist feels that your halitosis is caused by a systemic source, like an infection, they can refer you to your family physician or a specialist to help remedy the problem.
Are you experiencing chronic bad breath? Schedule an appointment today!