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What Should I Do If I Have Chronic Bad Breath?
If you find yourself constantly grabbing a stick of gum before you interact with others, you may be wondering what causes your chronic bad breath and if there are any solutions. Bad breath can be a simple result of lifestyle choices that can be easily remedied to freshen up your breath or it can also be a symptom of a more serious health condition. Knowing what is the source of your bad breath may help you think through ways to improve your breath and alleviate any health concerns.
Causes and solutions
If you are wondering what you should do if you have consistent bad breath, consider these causes and possible solutions.
- Saliva plays a huge role in the cleanliness of your mouth. If you suffer from xerostomia or dry mouth, your mouth may not be making enough saliva to clean itself from food debris. Dry mouth can be caused by primarily breathing through your mouth, certain medications you take, or you have a salivary gland disorder.
- The type of food you eat can have an effect on the smell of your breath. If you frequently eat foods with garlic and onions, your bad breath may be simply coming from these pungent foods. Drinking coffee frequently can contribute to odors as well. Changing your diet or using mouthwash after eating these foods will improve your breath.
- Food that is stuck between teeth or to your tonsils can cause bad breath. Cleaning your mouth properly through brushing or flossing, and occasionally gargling saltwater, will eliminate these odors. Brushing the tongue is important to keeping odor-causing bacteria and foods from sticking to the tonsils.
- If you have plaque on the backsides of your teeth, you may not notice it. But bacteria thrive in this sticky, unbrushed substance and it can be quite odorous and can also lead to gingivitis and possibly periodontitis, which greatly affects the health of your mouth and can cause tooth loss. Good oral hygiene will keep the plaque in check but routine dental cleanings will give you another set of eyes on your teeth to be sure they are really clean and odor-free.
- Tobacco products like cigarettes can have a negative impact on your overall health and can also cause bad breath. Quitting this habit will be beneficial in several ways, including improving your breath.
- If you constantly snore at night, bad breath can be a symptom. Snoring in itself can be a symptom of sleep apnea and needs to be addressed anyway. Talking with your doctor or dentist about being fitted with an oral device or a CPAP will benefit your health and your breath.
- Allergies or sinus infections could be the cause of your bad breath, not originating in your mouth but rather in your nose. Addressing this issue will allow your bad breath to go away as a side effect.
- Bad breath can also be a symptom of a disease like gastroesophageal reflux or even cancer.
Address oral hygiene and the kinds of foods you eat and tobacco habits first to eliminate bad breath. If these changes do not improve your breath, make an appointment with your dentist, who can make sure your overall oral health looks good and can even do a smell test on your breath to help determine the cause. If the odor is not actually in the mouth, your dentist can refer you to a doctor to find the underlying cause of your chronic bad breath. If you are suffering from bad breath, there is help that can greatly improve your breath and, more importantly, your overall health. Do not hesitate to contact a dentist today. If you live in Wheeling or Lake in the Hills, IL, give Aristo Dental a call to set up an appointment, taking the first step to eliminating your bad breath.