There are many causes for chronic bad breath, called Halitosis, that mouthwash, tooth brushing or a breath mint cannot fix. The American Dental Association (ADA) reports that chronic bad breath is a sign that there may be something else happening in your body, including:
- Cavities or gum disease. These two dental issues may lead to halitosis. The deep pockets from gum disease can hide bacteria in your mouth that make it difficult to get rid of when brushing teeth and may contribute to bad breath.
- Nose, sinus and throat infections. Bad breath may develop as a result of these infections due to postnasal drip, since bacteria feeds on the mucus your body generates when fighting something like a sinus infection.
- Dry mouth. Saliva is very useful in efforts to prevent bad breath, since it naturally removes and rinses your mouth of any food substances, and helps fight off cavities and infections. If you have dry mouth, you may have trouble producing enough saliva, which leads to halitosis or bad breath. Dry mouth may occur when you take medications, or have certain medical conditions, use alcohol or tobacco or drink an excessive amount of caffeine.
- Smoking and tobacco use. The use of tobacco will lead to many health issues including bad breath. Tobacco use has a distinctive odor that lingers on your breath, and can lead to dry mouth which compounds the problem of bad breath. You will also be more vulnerable to developing gum disease which also contributes to having bad breath.
- Other chronic health issues. Halitosis may occur if you have other health conditions such as chronic gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease.
How do I treat Halitosis?
The best approach to fighting bad breath or halitosis is to keep up good oral hygiene on a daily basis, and brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Other ways to alleviate bad breath include drinking lots of water every day, chewing sugarless gum and cutting back on the amount of caffeine products you drink each day. This will help produce more saliva to enhance the freshness of your breath. The persistence of bad breath may be a sign of more serious health issues. You should schedule a dental appointment with our dental office to help identify the cause of halitosis. We will be able to help you rule out any oral health issues after we have examined your teeth and provided a thorough cleaning, and help determine any further treatment that may be necessary.
Source: American Dental Association, “Your Bad Breath could be due to a condition called Halitosis,” http://www.mouthhealthy.org
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