Is Chronic Bad Breath a Sign of a Serious Dental Problem?

young woman wearing glasses covers her mouth to hide chronic bad breath

Whether you find that your breath smells less than fresh every once in a while or it’s a regular occurrence in your life, consistently bad breath is still a nuisance that many patients want solved. Chronic bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused and influenced by a variety of factors, from dry mouth to gingivitis to drinking a lot of coffee. If you are concerned about your breath, please feel free to make an appointment with our team, and we will be happy to assist you.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Our mouths are host to hundreds of thousands of bacteria, some of which are good and necessary, and some which are not so good. If bad bacteria are allowed to multiply, bad breath can occur. Bacteria may increase in a patient’s mouth due to poor oral hygiene or dry mouth. Saliva helps to keep the mouth clean, which is why when our mouths dry out during the night, we wake up with morning breath. Smoking also dries out the mouth, reduces the patient’s ability to taste and smell, and irritates the gums, which makes tobacco a common reason for bad breath.

Bad breath can also be a sign that gum disease has developed. If you notice that your gums also look red or swollen or they frequently bleed when you brush your teeth, we recommend scheduling a visit with our team in the near future. Certain medications list dry mouth as a side effect, so if you began to notice your bad breath around the time you began taking a new medication, that could be the cause. Other medical conditions like gastric reflux and diabetes can also cause halitosis.

When Should I Seek Treatment?

If you haven’t done so already, we recommend taking a look at your oral hygiene routine to see if it could be enhanced. Brushing and flossing twice a day and rinsing with mouthwash is crucial for positive oral hygiene and fresh breath. Chewing sugar-free gum can help promote saliva production for patients with dry mouth, and cutting out foods like garlic and onions can have positive effects as well. Lastly, reducing or quitting smoking can improve the freshness of breath as well as a patient’s overall oral health.

If an enhanced oral hygiene routine isn’t helping or your halitosis hinders your life and holds you back from attending social events, we recommend making an appointment with our team. Likewise, if your halitosis is accompanied by any other worrying symptoms, our team can assess the situation to see if periodontal treatment or another dental service is needed.

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