We’ve all been there. After eating certain foods, it is not uncommon to notice that your breath is not as fresh as usual. Unfortunately, brushing, flossing, and rinsing will do little to mask the odour. Generally, the smell diminishes only after the foods have completely passed through the body. This is a normal byproduct of consuming strong-smelling foods, such as onions or garlic. However, some patients experience chronic bad breath, or halitosis. This type of condition is not caused by the foods we eat, but is typically related to a more concerning issue, such as gum disease, tooth decay, or dental infections. Are you asking yourself, “Why is my breath bad”? If so, our team at Glenora Dental can help shed some light on the subject.
What causes chronic bad breath?
There are several different reasons why an individual may develop chronic bad breath. Some of the most common causes include:
- Poor oral hygiene: If they are not removed daily, plaque deposits, tartar, and other irritants can accumulate on the teeth and near the gums. This can lead to bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease, resulting in bad breath.
- Chronic dry mouth: Saliva helps to rinse bacteria-causing particles from the teeth and prevent bad breath. Patients with xerostomia, or chronic dry mouth, are far more likely to develop halitosis.
- Tobacco use: Smoking and tobacco use alone is enough to cause foul odours. However, smoking also leads to dry mouth and gum disease, two major risk factors for bad breath.
- Certain medications: Some prescription drugs cause dry mouth, while others can indirectly cause bad breath as they are broken down by the body.
- Oral infections: Any type of infection in the mouth can result in chronic bad breath. This includes periodontal disease, an abscessed tooth, or yeast infections.
- Conditions of the mouth, nose, or throat: Anytime there is inflammation of the nose, sinuses, tonsils, or throat, there is an increased risk for halitosis. Generally, this unpleasant side effect diminishes when the illness has run its course. However, patients who suffer from chronic nasal or sinus issues may notice frequent bad breath.
Bad breath treatments
The treatment recommended for you will be determined by the root cause of bad breath. For example, if you have extensive decay, a restorative treatment plan can be designed to eliminate cavities and repair damaged teeth. If periodontal issues are the culprit, then gum disease treatments can be performed to eradicate bacteria and discourage further irritants from reattaching. Each treatment plan at our practice is catered to the individual needs of the patient.
Tips for preventing bad breath
Once bad breath has been eradicated, it is important to attend all scheduled dental cleanings and examinations. By doing so, your doctor can monitor your progress and help prevent the problem from returning in the future.
In addition to receiving professional dental care, it is crucial that patients develop an effective at-home hygiene routine as well. This should include brushing at least two times per day and flossing once a day. It is also a good idea to use an antibacterial mouthwash to keep harmful microbes at bay. During your dental cleanings, your hygienist can help you design a personalized plan to keep your breath fresh.
Contact us to learn more
Chronic bad breath can be a source of embarrassment and shame. If you notice symptoms of halitosis, our Edmonton, AB dental team can help. To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call us at 780-452-5700.