What Causes Chronic Bad Breath and What Are My Options?

Do you brush, floss, and rinse yet still battle bad breath? Chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis, is common. In fact, an estimated one in four Americans has chronic bad breath. 

The good news is that a trip to the dentist can uncover the root of the problem. A dental professional is trained to look for possible causes of halitosis, which include bacteria buildup, inflammation in the mouth, and infections. 

Want to find out what could be causing your bad breath? Here, the team at Dental Care of Beverly Hills put together a list of possible causes for halitosis and their treatment options.

Dry mouth 

Many medications, including diuretics and antihistamines, can cause your saliva production to decrease. When you don’t have enough saliva to wash away the bacteria in your mouth, bacteria build up on your tongue, gums, and teeth and start decomposing. This causes bad breath. 

Other potential causes of dry mouth are cigarettes, coffee, and soft drinks. These may dehydrate your mouth even further. 

If you’re diagnosed with chronic dry mouth, a medical professional can prescribe an oral medication to stimulate saliva flow. Increasing your water intake may also help.

Gum disease

Halitosis could be a warning sign of a bacterial infection in your mouth. When plaque isn’t removed properly by brushing and flossing, it can lead to infections, sensitive gums, and bad odor. Caught early by a dental professional, gum disease can be treated and even reversed by removing the tartar above and below the gumline.

A dental professional may also recommend using antimicrobial toothpaste or mouthwash to eliminate odor-causing bacteria. 

Dietary habits 

The smell of certain foods can persist even after you’ve brushed and flossed. Foods that may cause bad breath include garlic, onions, and spicy peppers. A ketogenic diet may also change the way your mouth smells by leaving behind an acetone-like odor. 

Brushing your teeth, gums, tongue, and the insides of your cheeks after spicy or heavily seasoned meals can help with odors. Follow up with a mouth rinse.

An underlying health condition 

Several health conditions can lead to halitosis, including infections of the throat, tonsil stones, GERD, acid reflux, and diabetes. If your dentist concludes that the cause of your bad breath isn’t located in your mouth, they may refer you to another specialist for further testing.

Many people choose to cover up bad breath with mints or mouth sprays. Although bad breath is a confidence-killer, it can also be a sign of an underlying condition, so don’t hesitate to seek a diagnosis for persistent bad breath.

If you want to get to the bottom of what’s causing your chronic bad breath, contact the caring team at Dental Care of Beverly Hills by calling or using the online tool to schedule an appointment.

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