Chronic Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Although bad breath can be embarrassing, nearly everyone deals with it at least sometimes (particularly in the mornings). In most common cases, bad breath isn’t a serious issue, but when it doesn’t go away, it could indicate an underlying oral health issue that should be addressed as soon as possible. Chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be a symptom of several different conditions, from persistent dry mouth to extensive tooth decay or gum disease. If you can’t get rid of your bad breath at home, then you may need to visit your dentist to diagnose the reason behind it and recommend an appropriate treatment to alleviate it.

Causes of Bad Breath

Oral bacteria that release foul-smelling compounds are the most consistent causes of bad breath. For instance, when you sleep at night and your saliva flow dries up, bacteria can gather in force by the time you wake up in the morning, leading to morning breath. When you eat a healthy breakfast and brush your teeth, it usually eliminates the bacteria and the compounds they’ve released. Chronic bad breath may mean that oral bacteria have gathered excessively due to poor hygiene habits, or it may indicate a developing issue caused by oral bacteria, such as tooth decay or gum disease.

Treatment Options

The first step to treating chronic bad breath is to visit your dentist for a comprehensive dental examination. The exam will help uncover the reason behind your halitosis so you and your dentist can discuss your treatment options. Depending on the nature and extent of your condition, your halitosis may be treated with improved hygiene and routine dental cleanings, or you may need appropriate treatment to address an existing dental disease.

After your halitosis has been treated, you can prevent it from resurfacing by brushing your teeth at least twice every day and flossing at least once. In addition to regular dental exams and cleanings, brushing and flossing your teeth helps control the accumulation of oral bacteria, thereby reducing your risks of chronic bad breath.