It could be that you are suffering from a case of "halitosis," the dental term for chronic bad breath that is connected to poor oral health.
Possible Causes of Halitosis
What are the signs you have halitosis? When breath mints, mouthwashes, and even proper brushing and flossing do not stop your bad breath, at least, not for long, and when simply changing your diet, do not solve the problem, it is more than "ordinary" bad breath.
Poor oral health may be causing your chronic bad breath. Here are some possible specific causes:
- Cavities and tough to remove plaque deposits may be festering zones for bacteria, which give off an unpleasant odor as they feed on your tooth enamel.
- Gum disease, even in its earlier stages, can lead to chronic bad breath as well. If your gums are infected, inflamed, or easily bleed, that is a sign. There may even be deep pockets of bacterial infection in your gum tissue.
- Oral infections, be they in your nose, sinuses, throat, or mouth can lead to postnasal drip, which in turn, can lead to bad breath.
- Dry mouth, where you have low levels of saliva production, can cause bad breath because saliva is naturally instrumental in dissolving leftover food particles and in killing off bacteria in your mouth. (Note that caffeine, alcohol, and certain medicines can also cause dry mouth.
- Smoking can also hurt your oral health, gum health, and produce chronically bad breath.
- Various chronic conditions, such as diabetes and gastric reflux disease, can cause halitosis as well.
How to Fight Back Against Chronic Bad Breath?
There are a number of solutions to chronic bad breath, and you should take a step by step approach in finding the solution that will prove to be "the cure." First, try simply avoiding particularly strong-smelling foods and drinks, not drinking coffee, soft drinks, or alcoholic beverages for a time, and (if you smoke) stopping the habit. Also begin to follow a consistent, proper dental hygiene regimen if you aren't already doing so. Perhaps your bad breath will prove to have been chronic only because of chronically bad practices.
If these changes of habit do not kill your bad breath, it may truly be halitosis due to poor oral health. At that point, you should consider seeing a dentist or periodontist who can identify the source of your bad breath and help you eliminate it.
The first thing to try is a regular dental or periodontal cleaning and checkup. In many cases, that may be all that is needed. But if gum disease, cavities, or other oral problems are discovered, more action may be required.
The good news is that by following up on your bad breath, you can track down its root cause and finally cure it. And that is something your family and friends will appreciate as much as you!
To learn more about halitosis' causes and cures, contact Dr. Raymond A. Kenzik in the Ormond Beach, FL, region.