Halitosis: Chronic Bad Breath and What You Can Do

It’s normal for people to experience bad breath, especially in the morning or if you’ve forgone brushing and flossing. However, if you have bad breath that persists even after cleaning your mouth, you could be experiencing chronic halitosis. Halitosis is the technical name for bad breath. Chronic bad breath could be caused by several conditions. Here are some of the problems often associated with halitosis and what you can do about them!

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a serious dental problem because it inhibits your saliva from protecting your teeth. When teeth become dry through mouth breathing, smoking, or even certain medications, bacteria can damage your tooth’s enamel. Our saliva allows for bacteria balance that keeps our breath fresh and keeps tooth-damaging bacteria at a minimum.

If you have dry mouth, see your dentist or primary care doctor. Having a properly hydrated mouth can help stop bad breath! You may need to simply drink more water to help protect your smile, or you may need to switch medications. If you smoke, talk with your dentist about quitting!

Gum Disease

Gum disease causes inflammation in the gums and can progress to the point of tooth loss. If you have gum disease, this means bacteria have built up around your gumline and are attacking your tooth enamel as well as your gums. This can lead to bleeding, red, or irritated gums.

The bacteria responsible for gum disease can also cause bad breath. If you brush, floss, and use mouthwash regularly but are still experiencing halitosis, visit your dentist—gum disease could be the culprit. Gum disease can be treated, and this is best done before it progresses.

Tooth Decay

The bacteria that can cause tooth decay can cause bad breath. When was the last time you had a checkup with your dentist? Cavities can exist in all kinds of places and aren’t always easy to see. Tooth decay could be the reason you’re experiencing halitosis even after brushing and flossing.

Schedule a visit with your dentist to check for tooth decay. Your dentist can not only fill the cavity, but talk with you about your oral care habits to stop tooth decay and circumvent bad breath. Something as simple as better brushing techniques or incorporating mouthwash into your routine can help.

Sinus Infection

A sinus infection could be the cause of your halitosis! If you have a chronic sinus infection that’s not going away, see your primary care doctor. The sinus drainage could be filled with bacteria that’s giving your mouth an unpleasant taste and smell. Sinus infections are generally easily treated and can resolve your bad breath woes.

Although leftover food in your mouth can cause an unpleasant smell, this usually isn’t the culprit of chronic halitosis, especially if you’re brushing and flossing regularly. The bottom line is that seeing your dentist can help properly identify the problem. You may also need to follow up with your primary care doctor if you need to change medications or have a sinus infection. Don’t live with bad breath—schedule a checkup to see what the problem is!

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