Bad breath is an oral health problem. When you have chronic bad breath, you have a condition known as halitosis. People experience bad breath, especially after waking up in the morning. However, if this condition is chronic that good brushing or using mouthwash can’t solve, then it is time to see your dentist. If the condition remains untreated, it can affect a person’s social life and lead to self-esteem issues.
If you have tried everything to cover up your bad breath without success, it indicates that something else is happening in your body. You may have an underlying medical condition. Causes of halitosis include:
Smoking tobacco can leave bad breath. Smokers normally have bad breath because tobacco causes dry mouth. Smoking not only causes bad breath but can also cause gum disease that can add to halitosis.
Having enough saliva helps remove food particles between the teeth. Saliva is also responsible for breaking down food. One sign you may have halitosis is when your mouth cannot produce enough saliva.
When someone is battling an infection in the nose, throat, or sinus, the body produces mucus that bacteria feed on. Postnasal drips can be smelly.
Bacteria that cause bad breath can have extra places to hide if you have gum disease or cavity. In addition to brushing your teeth regularly, you should also floss to remove food particles between your teeth. Food particles that remain between the teeth start to rot and cause bad breath.
It is not easy to smell your breath, but you can tell you have stinky breath after eating certain foods such as onions and garlic. If you are not sure about your breath, you can ask a trusted friend to smell you. Another way to tell if you have bad breath is to experience a bad taste in your mouth.
If you have bad breath, start by reviewing your oral hygiene habits. Make lifestyle changes such as brushing and flossing after every meal. Don’t forget to brush your tongue as well. Clean any dental appliances you may be using such as dentures.
Ensure you drink lots of water to remain hydrated. Cut back on caffeine if you drink too much coffee and chew sugarless gum to help your mouth produce enough saliva. Avoid eating foods such as garlic and onions. Change your toothbrush after every three months.
If none of these measures work toward improving your breath, it is time to check in with your dentist. Your dentist will carry out some tests to determine the source of your bad breath.
To rule out oral health issues, your dentist will properly clean your teeth and gums. If your problem persists, your dentist may refer you to a specialized physician if they suspect the condition is caused by an underlying medical condition.
Other illnesses and diseases that can cause bad breath include:
Kidney or liver problems
Chronic lung infection
Chronic acid reflux
Chronic sinus infections
Respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia
To learn more about when you should see a dentist about bad breath or to schedule an appointment, call Seale Family Dentistry at our office in Lake Charles, Louisiana at (337) 474-0212 today.