For most people, grabbing a mint or stick of gum to address coffee breath or brushing their teeth to get rid of morning breath is the extent of how they deal with any negative odors coming from their mouths. But for others, bad breath can be a definite sign that their oral health is suffering or could even be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition. Poor oral hygiene can leave food particles between teeth that cause bad breath and can also lead to the tongue trapping odorous bacteria. Mouth infections from oral procedures or even tooth infections can add to bad breath. Bad breath can also have great social implications that could keep you from wanting to connect with others out of low self esteem or embarrassment. If you are wondering, “What should I do if I have chronic bad breath?” identifying the cause will help you address the problem for your health and to avoid embarrassing moments in social settings.
There can be many different causes for your chronic bad breath from simple habits that can be easily corrected to a symptom of a more serious health condition. Knowing what could possibly be the source of your bad breath may help you think through ways to improve your breath. Causes include:
- The type of food you eat: If you frequently eat foods with garlic and onions, your bad breath may be coming from these pungent foods; also drinking coffee frequently can contribute to odors.
- Food debris not cleaned properly through brushing or flossing.
- Plaque build up: If you have plaque on the backsides of your teeth, the bacteria that thrives in this sticky, unbrushed substance can be quite odorous.
- Tobacco products like cigarettes can have a negative impact on your overall health and can also cause bad breath.
- Gum disease: Like with plaque, the bacteria in conditions like gingivitis and periodontitis can smell badly.
- Dry mouth: If you constantly breathe through your mouth or have a condition that prevents the appropriate amount of saliva to form in your mouth, your breath can suffer.
- If you constantly snore at night, bad breath can be a symptom.
- Allergies or sinus infections could be the cause of your bad breath, not originating in your mouth but rather your nose.
If you are suffering from chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis, and brushing your teeth and tongue, and flossing does not alleviate the smell, make an appointment with your dentist to see if the cause is in your mouth. Bad breath can affect more than just how close you want to get to other people. If your oral health is suffering, addressing the cause as soon as possible will help you get back on track to having healthy teeth and gums, and clean, fresh breath. If the cause of your chronic bad breath is caused by some other condition not involving your oral health, your dentist can rule out several causes and refer you to a doctor.
Don’t live with chronic bad breath! If you live in Coralville, IA, give Coral West Dental a call today to address the cause of your bad breath.