Updated: May 9
Halitosis – or chronic bad breath – is something that mints, mouthwash or a good brushing can’t solve. Unlike “morning breath” or a strong smell that lingers after eating certain foods, halitosis remains for an extended amount of time and may be a sign of something more serious.
What causes halitosis?
Quick bad breath fixes only cover up the problem for a short time. If halitosis persists, something else may be happening in your body, including:
Dental Issues: Cavities and deeper pockets from gum disease give bad breath bacteria extra places to hide in your mouth that are difficult to clear out when you’re brushing or cleaning between your teeth. Either can contribute to halitosis.
Mouth, Nose and Throat Infections: According to the Mayo Clinic, nose, sinus and throat issues that can lead to postnasal drip may also contribute to bad breath. Bacteria feeds on mucus your body produces when it’s battling something like a sinus infection, leaving you sniffly and stinky.
Dry mouth: Saliva goes a long way for your dental health – and your breath. It rinses and removes unwanted leftovers from your mouth, helps break down food when you eat and provides disease-fighting substances to help prevent cavities and infections. If you don’t make enough saliva, one sign may be halitosis. Dry mouth can be caused by medications, certain medical conditions, alcohol use, tobacco use or excessive caffeine.
Smoking and tobacco: Tobacco products wreak havoc on your body and your breath. Not only do many tobacco products leave their own odor on your breath; they can also dry out your mouth. Smokers are also more likely to develop gum disease, which can also add to halitosis.
Other chronic conditions: While halitosis is most often linked to something happening in your mouth, it may also be a sign of gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease.
Here are some helpful tips to improve bad breath:
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, after meals, with a fluoridated toothpaste.
Floss once a day to remove bacteria in between the teeth.
Avoid tobacco smoking and chewing tobacco-based products.
Rinse and gargle with an alcohol-free mouthwash before bed.
If you have dry mouth, make sure to drink enough fluids throughout the day and use over-the-counter moisturizing agents, such as a dry mouth spray, rinses, or dry mouth moisturizing gel. If you don’t see any improvement, you may want to schedule a visit with your doctor. Your doctor can help provide comprehensive care for mucosal diseases, salivary gland disorders, orofacial pain conditions, and oral complications of cancer therapies, among other things.
Visit Clinique Dentaire WM Dorval for regular cleanings and checkups. Together, you can track down what the cause may be. Your dentist can help rule out any oral health problems and advise you on next steps, including what types of dental products to help. Remember, oral causes are responsible for most cases of bad breath!
If you feel like you may be struggling with bad breath and do not know why, contact us at 514-631-3811 to book an exam with our Dentist in Dorval.